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The L.A. River Bike And Pedestrian Path Is Fully Open Again

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Spoke Bicycle Cafe, along the L.A. River Path (Photo courtesy of Spoke Bicycle Cafe)
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After a long and controversial, El Niño related, closure of the Los Angeles River bicycle and pedestrian path for the past several months, it brings me great happiness to write that the path is, once agin, fully open for service. As CiclaValley wrote yesterday, the path is smooth, clean, and free from those pesky "HESCO Bastions" that had been clogging up the path since January.

Back when El Niño was considered a credible threat, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the L.A City Council teamed up to spend $3.1 million on barriers, officially called HESCO Bastions, to keep the L.A. river from overflowing its banks in the event of a major rainstorm. Consequently, a major portion of the path between Griffith Park and Elysian Park was closed off.

This perturbed (enraged) many. Businesses, like Spoke Bicycle Cafe, found themselves cut off from customers who would usually enter via the path itself. Bicycle commuters and equestrians alike were challenged with a funky detour on roads through Griffith Park. Pedestrians, despite the path being technically passable, were barred all together.

Now, nearly six months after the barriers first went in, the path has finally been reopened for all to use.

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If you haven't visited the path before, you definetly should. It stretches 7.4 miles along the L.A. River from Victory Boulevard in Burbank to Riverside Drive's transition into North Figueroa Street. Had the path been open when we published the 8 Best Bike Rides In Los Angeles, we would have certainly included it. The technically "Class 1" bike path lets cyclists (and pedestrians and equestrians) enjoy an uninterrupted right-of-way, totally car-free. The scenery along the path, for the most part, is also pretty quality. Coincidentally, the river path runs along the section of the river you're allowed to kayak in.

Accessing the path is pretty easy. There are bountiful access points along the path's entire length, most within a minute's walk of some free parking. Study this Google Maps link to get an idea of where the access points are, and plan accordingly. As for what to do, check out our (2015) guide to activities along the river.