Taking a long walk during winter is always a good idea in the mild weather city of Angels. Taking a walk in one of fortunate Los Angeles’ many lush parks is even better. So put on a sweater (or wear it around your waste if it’s too hot when you start out) and take to any of the following fine places where sauntering is perfectly acceptable if you want to see what the Southland is all about.
926 W. Avenida de los Arboles
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
You can head in almost any direction on a winter day in Wildwood Park and be happy with what you’ll see when you do so. However, the best of the bounty can be accessed by a trail called Moonridge. That is because this well-traveled trail will lead you toward the 40-foot cascade that is Paradise Falls. Since swimming isn’t a thing here at any time of the year (the water’s just too dirty), don’t take your suit, but do take your camera to document this ode to nature that is unparalleled in these parts and well worth the pre-planning it took to get there.
835 Academy Road
Los Angeles, CA 90012
For a really picturesque experience, stroll through the woodlands of Elysian Park, arguably Los Angeles’ oldest park and one of the most verdant. There’s a meadow, a picnic area in a carob tree grove and a thoroughfare called avenue of the palms at this popular outpost that also includes legendary Dodger Stadium. That means don’t plan your walk on a game day or a day when there’s any other event there (too much traffic) but do plan to visit any other time as this is a lovely place to roam. In many parts you can see the downtown LA skyline too!
4730 Crystal Springs Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Be one with nature at the nation’s largest city park, but realize that to see even a small chunk of this wonderland in one outing, you’ll have to pick up the pace a bit. Of particular interest to intrepid walkers is Griffith Park’s old zoo, a veritable ruin where you’ll want to wander around to peer in empty cages and see where and how the animals used to live. You’ll pass the landmark merry-go-round with its hand carved horses thriving there, a charming throwback to 1926. To get to the latter, simply drive through the entrance at Crystal Springs Drive and park. From there on, it’s your own two feet that will get you around this fascinating spot of greenery in the Los Feliz section of Griffith Park. There is so much to see that you may want to make it a two day excursion.
Wattles Garden Park
1850 N. Curson St.
Hollywood, CA 90046
A Hollywood mainstay, Wattles Garden Prak is a convenient place to spend some great hours walking and chatting with friends in tow. Take a spin around Wattle Mansion at the front of the park to stimulate architectural discussion and take a look at what’s growing in the community veggie garden nearby as well. Then, if you’re still up for some exercise, take on even more of this verdant wonderland, either on trail or off. Note: The trails that do begin here end up in Runyon Canyon Park, detailed below.
Runyon Canyon Park
2000 N. Fuller Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Runyon Canyon, one of the more popular parks in LA, boasts 160 acres that are ideal for taking in a fine winter day in Los Angeles. Choose one of two entry points at either Mulholland and Fuller and then get your fill of the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains in all their glory as you gaze upon them while sauntering along. Choose a hiking trail or just wander, it’s your pick.