Bicycle ARound Legg Lake


Legg Lake Bike Ride

05.17.12

From the issue River Coaster

Legg Relaxer

There's a really good way to get a leg up on the blazing heat and hectic urban bustle on the eastside of LA. Legg Lake (actually three lakes strung together) is a tranquil oasis tucked into Whittier Narrows Recreation Area and bordering the San Gabriel River. A mellow 5-mile dirt trail circles the park's paddleboat-dotted waters, making for a refreshing roll among plentiful shade thanks to tall walnut trees. Bring your own bike or share the load with friends on the ever-popular surrey—a pedal-powered quadracycle (pictured) that keeps the sun off your back with its bright yellow canopy. The western tiger swallowtail butterfly is common here in spring, recognizable by its yellow and black stripes. Stop to watch radio-controlled boat hobbyists test physics at the designated racecourse. Finish in time to grab a cool spot under a large maple tree and enjoy a fruit mix of fresh jicama, mango, and coconut from a nearby vendor.

TIP: Those seeking a longer leg of path can exit onto Durfee Road (near mile 4) and branch out onto the Rio Hondo River bike path, a paved stretch heading 5.2 miles north to a dead end at Pioneer Park in El Monte. The San Gabriel River tributary is more of a trickle this time of year, but the route is clear of crowds.

Take SR-60 to the Santa Anita Ave. exit and continue for about .3-mile. Turn left into Whittier Narrow Recreation Park. Parking is free in this lot (other lots are $6). Turn right off the main parking entrance to follow the full loop around the lakes. Single surrey rentals are $20 for one hour; double are $30. Dog-friendly!

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