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The paved Los Angeles River Trail—also known as the Los Angeles River Bike Path, Los Angeles River Bikeway, Los Angeles River Greenway Trail and Lario Trail—is open in two disconnected segments along its namesake waterway in Los Angeles County. Channelized for nearly the entirety of its run through the highly urbanized area, the adjacent river is the subject of sizeable plans to restore the original habitat and open it to recreational use.
In the north, the shorter open section of trail begins in Los Angeles near the Glendale–Burbank border and runs south to Los Angeles' Egret Park on Riverside Drive. Wedged between the river and Interstate 5 for most of its journey, the trail isn't particularly scenic. (This can be frustrating when you consider famous Griffith Park is just on the other side of the freeway but completely inaccessible from the trail.)
However, several new parks along the trail's route—all recently opened as part of the rehabilitation of the river and its immediate surroundings—do provide a pleasant diversion from the otherwise urban landscape. Sunnynook River Park offers a larger space to view native plants and trees, while Rattlesnake Park, Marsh Park, Elysian Valley Gateway Park (a particularly good spot to view the range of birds that call the area home) and Egret Park are smaller places to relax before you resume your trip.
After a significant gap near downtown Los Angeles, the longer southern trail segment begins in almost exclusively industrial Vernon, the smallest incorporated city in California. Like the northern portion, the trail continues south along the western side of the channelized river, but it soon crosses to the eastern side via the Imperial Highway's bridge. Here, it also meets the Rio Hondo River Trail, which heads northeast along its namesake tributary to the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area and beyond.
Continuing south through a variety of natural and industrial landscapes, the Los Angeles River Trail ultimately ends with the river at the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach, where it connects to the city's extensive waterfront trail network. Like the northern segment, the southern trail section links to several parks along the way, including the sprawling Hollydale Park in South Gate, scenic Ralph C. Dills Park in Paramount and pleasant DeForest Park in Long Beach.
Parking for the northern section of the Los Angeles River Trail is available at Marsh Park in Los Angeles (2999 Rosanna Street/2944 Gleneden Street). For the southern section, parking can be found at Hollydale Park in South Gate (5400 Monroe Avenue), Ralph C. Dills Park in Paramount (6500 San Juan Street) and DeForest Park in Long Beach (6255 DeForest Avenue).
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