Week 140: Veterans Parkway

July 29, 2018

L.A. Walks: Here's a Walk in Manhattan Beach that's All About the Grass instead of the Sand, 4.4 miles

The heat wave that won't give up drove Barbara and me to the beach again, this time for a trek along Hermosa & Manhattan Beach's Veterans Parkway, the 3.5 mile "rail trail" featured in Charles Fleming's January 9, 2016 L.A. Times' "L.A. Walks" post. That's 3.5 miles one way, and the July sun was too punishing for a 7-mile hike (that's our excuse and we're sticking to it.) So, like the resourceful adventurers we are, we parked at the trail end at Sepulveda and Rosecrans and rode the bus to the trail head on Herondo St. at the foot of Hermosa Beach and hiked the parkway back. A good trek along the 21-acre path of the old Sante Fe rail line that once ran from El Segundo to Redondo carrying beach-goers and freight at the turn of the 20th century. The train line bustled with activity from 1888 to 1918 when the passenger station for the beach-bound closed, and by the 1970s the freight biz had fizzled out. The train tracks were pulled up in 1986, and the two beach cities converted the land into a well-kept parkway that includes a 4-station Par Course for the dedicated. Locals refer to Veterans Parkway as the "greenbelt," or "chip path" for the chip bed, and though we avoided the sandy shoes of an ocean boardwalk stroll, the cedar chips had no problem hitching a ride in my hiking shoes. More of a local bonus than a destination hike, the greenery, cool breeze off the ocean, friendly joggers, and dog-walkers (loved the guy walking his dog and carrying coffee and a bouquet of flowers!) made Veterans Parkway an enjoyable, vigorous walk for a hot morning. 

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