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Cool Walkings: Fern Dell in Griffith Park

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If the idea of getting out in nature is appealing, but the summer sun a deterrent, there's a walk in Griffith Park you might find a pleasant way to take a walk and escape the heat.

A 1/4 mile loop at the base of the western end of the park in the area known as the Fern Dell provides an easy landscape for getting in a little exercise, and makes a great outing with dogs or kids, since it isn't rigorous and offers cool--literally--options for taking a pause to drink in the surroundings.

Ferns are among the fauna that canopy and bedeck the shaded dirt path on a slight incline. Start and finish near the Trails Cafe and kick or cap off the outing with a bite from their selection of treats and beverages. You'll find an opening that leads to the down-sloping path just across the street from the cafe. Head down into the dell; at first things seem a bit dusty and bleak, but soon you'll be winding your way alongside tiny "waterfalls," and spotting butterflies dozing on sunlit-fence posts. Read a book or snuggle with your honey on one of the benches. Look up, up, up at the purple morning glories that seem to grow out of the heavens. Relax, and enjoy.