The Encino area offers a lot of great recreational activities. This week I explored local parks and biking trails that can spice up your regular exercise regime.
As with all activities, I encourage you to take the proper precautions and wear protective gear. Want to log your progress? Go to Google maps to enter your route and click the bicycle icon to see how many miles you've cruised. You can also go to mapmyride.com/ to log your workouts and keep track of your progress.
The perimeter of Lake Balboa is easy to bicycle or skate around. Lake Balboa itself extends 1.3 miles and makes for a great rest stop with a scenic view. The perimeter of the area along Burbank, Balboa and Victory boulevards is much larger. If you don't have a bike, you can rent one at Wheel Fun Rental on Balboa.
Oxnard Street Path
If you really want to challenge yourself, you can ride the bike path from Canoga Avenue and cruise for almost seven miles until you reach Balboa Boulevard. This path provides a nice, flat surface for all kinds of wheels. Separate from traffic, the path is definitely safer than your average bike path on the street.
Kick things up a notch by taking this windy road uphill. This path is suitable for more advanced cyclists. At nearly 11 miles long, it starts shortly after Sepulveda Boulevard meets Ventura Boulevard and ends before Sunset Boulevard near the Getty Center. Beware of traffic as cars tend to speed by rather quickly in this canyon.
Grab your skates and skateboard for this park. Start with the smaller ramps and work your way up. This park typically draws a younger crowd, but it is a great way for kids to keep active. Again, be sure to wear protective gear.
Drive all the way up Hayvenhurst Boulevard from Ventura Boulevard to meet Mulholland Drive. There you can mountain bike your way along Westridge Fire Road.
Ride your bike up to this park from the intersection of Ventura and Reseda boulevards. Take Reseda all the way to the top. This road is spacious, and will give you the uphill workout that ends with a finish line of scenic views. If you want to burn a few more calories, challenge yourself to a hike at one of the many trails found in this park.