Week 219: Brand Park Glendale

October 11, 2020

 LA Walks: "Walk into Glendale's Historic Past, a Perfect Stroll on a Hot...Day," 2 miles. 

Barbara and I have been looking for a guide to the Verdugo Mountain trails ever since our first hike to Brand Park three years ago. Our hiking guru Charles Fleming gave us a key in his July 13, 2018 hike in the Los Angeles Times. You can't miss the starting point, the regal Miradero gate at the intersection of Grandview Ave. and West Mountain St. in Glendale. Park outside the gate or inside Brand Park, and follow the palm-tree lined boulevard to the Brand Library steps, the kick-off to the historic part of this hike. In 1904, Leslie Coombs Brand (1859–1925) built this Taj Mahal-esque home-now-library and named it Miradero,"a high place overlooking a wide view," at the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains. If you live in Glendale, you can thank entrepreneurial Mr. Brand, "the Father of Glendale," for his help in bringing railroads, power, water, and telephones to your town. Upon his death, Brand willed the stunning mansion and its 31 acres to the city of Glendale for use as a library and park. Following the road to the left as we faced the library, our next stop (and the key to the trails) was the Miss American Green Cross statue, one of the first entries on the Glendale Register of Historic Resources. It was sculpted in 1928 for the American Green Cross Society based in Glendale as a symbol against the deforestation that was taking place at the time. The statue is a monument to the resourcefulness of nature and the early environmental movement. Originally located on the Glendale High School campus, it was moved in the '30s, lost for two decades, found in a remote canyon in 1954. In 1977, it was designated a Glendale original landmark, and placed in storage. In 1992, it was restored, dedicated, and moved its new location—an apt meeting place for Verdugo hikers. But instead of taking the trail behind the statue, we stayed on the paved road, passing the historic Whispering Pines Teahouse as we walked to the Doctors' House, an 1888 Queen Anne—East Lake Victorian. Moved from its original location on E. Wilson Ave. in the 1980s then converted to a museum, the house is also on the Glendale Register of Historic Resources. The road along the Victorian led us to the Brand Motorway Trail trailhead and the most adventurous (for us) portion of the hike. With a dam/reservoir to our right, Fleming's directions led to a set of bumpy steps up to the pyramid memorial behind the gates of the Brand Family Cemetery. Another historic site, it began as a pet cemetery and ended up as the final resting place for Glendale's "first family." Some say the cemetery is haunted, but it didn't feel eerie to us. This is where Fleming's directions ended, leaving us on our own to explore. We followed a dirt path along the left side of the cemetery to a very cool bamboo "forest." Then we backtracked to a mysterious set of steps we had passed near the Brand Motorway Trail. The steps led to a small clearing with structural remnants...and nothing else. STILL curious, we continued north on the Brand Motorway with the dam to our right. When we came to a yellow-painted gate, we couldn't resist going beyond. We met firemen doing a PT hike, a couple enjoying the view at the edge of a ravine, and then stopped for water and a breather on a bench near the top of a dirt trail. Below, we could see the roof of the library, so "Down? Let's take it!" We did, unaware that the path was part of the 6-mile Miss American Green Cross Trail. Perfect. It took us back to the historic sculpture and the end of a really fun hike. 






You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

Total Pageviews