Enter the bike path at Egret Park and enjoy the scenic ride through more than eight parks
Begin at the Los Angeles River Center, where you can stock up on L.A. River facts. Roam the courtyards, fountains, and gardens of this Spanish-style estate (7:30–12, afternoon hours vary; 570 W. Ave. 26; 323/221-9939), which houses the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Friends of the Los Angeles River, and other river-friendly groups. To get to the bike path, take a right on Ave. 26, another right on Figueroa St., and curve right onto Riverside Dr.
Enter the bike path at Egret Park and enjoy the scenic ride through the Elysian Valley, aka Frogtown, with its eight charming pocket parks. Check out the river’s ducks, fish, and, yes, frogs. From Frogtown, exit through the Great Heron Gates at Rattlesnake Park and cross Fletcher Dr. on Ripple St., which becomes Crystal St. and ends at the path.
Cross to the river’s east side on Glendale Boulevard (take the path upstream from the bridge), and you’ll find Black Maria Gallery (3137 Glendale Blvd.; 323/660-9393) on an arty row of shops and galleries in the up-and-coming Atwater Village area. Retrace your way to the river and continue upstream on the west side.
Cross to the river’s east side on Sunnynook Footbridge, and strike an eagle pose at the yoga course (upstream from the bridge) before hitting one of the city’s best bakeries, L.A. Bread ($; 3119 Los Feliz Blvd.; 323/662-8600). Try the caramelized banana pancakes or a Caprese sandwich before returning to the River Center. To get to the bakery, exit the path at Dover St.; turn left on Glenfeliz Blvd. and take it to Los Feliz Blvd. The bakery is about one block to the right.