Long Beach Bikeway 7
2012-11-09 · By Peter Dopulos
Ride Type: Recreational, Commuter, Family-friendly, Training
Long Beach Bikeway Route 7, also known as a the Los Angeles River Trail, is an excellent, all-rounder effort, perfect for commuters traveling to downtown, cyclists looking for a workout and recreational rides, all the while being safe enough for a family outing. The entire ride is car-free along well maintained, painted paths.
This route does lack for signs on the route itself which isn’t too much of a concern as once you are on the river trail it is easy to simply follow the path. However the lack of signs made it difficult to pinpoint the exact start and finish of the ride, so total mileage is a best guess. I began at the top of the route where the trail passes under Atlantic Avenue and headed south. At this point access to the trail is limited and the nearest entrance to the trail would have been Alondra Boulevard, in the City of Paramount, or further south from a connecting trail into Deforest Park in Long Beach. From here, for the most part, connections exist at major thoroughfares such as Del Amo Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway.
At 3.19 the route passes Dominguez Gap Wetlands, a project constructed by the Los Angeles County Sanitation to divert, filter and recharge our local groundwater. A pleasant byproduct is a serene wetlands wrapped by gravel pedestrian trails that allow you to watch fish, turtles and dozens of species of birds. The more southerly portion of the wetlands offers shade and seating, an ideal spot to refresh or even picnic.
Throughout the northern section of the ride the LA River is little more than a large flood control channel. At around 6 miles the trail passes under Willow Street and the river has a soft bottom covered in trees and rocks and here begins to resemble a ‘real’ river. On weekends expect to find plenty of strollers and bird watchers, even some riverside fishermen. Alongside the river you will also see stables and horses and a series of bridle trails. This section invokes an urban wilderness that is often stark and yet still picturesque.
The trail follows the river as it empties into Long Beach Harbor near Golden Shores Wetlands. Here you will find the first sign indicating Bikeway 7 exists and I have made this point the unofficial start/finish, which accounts for 8.53 miles. However, if the idea is to have a series of interconnected bikeways, follow the path as it passes Catalina Landing and eventually intersects with Bikeway 2, giving it an unofficial distance 8.97 miles. Here you will find most of the points of interest as the path continues past the Aquarium of the Pacific and on to the Lighthouse.
Official Distance: 8.53 miles
Points of Interest: Dominguez Gap Wetlands, Catalina Landing, Aquarium of the Pacific, Rainbow Harbor, Queen Mary, Long Beach Lighthouse.