Once mocked as an eyesore, the Los Angeles River has experienced something of a renaissance in the last decade. Stretches of the waterway that were once synonymous with blight, decay and ugliness have been cleaned up and safety improved. Where once there was nothing to do along the the L.A. River’s concrete-lined banks, you can now enjoy bike paths, a string of pocket parks, and community events. Now, in a historic development, you can throw boating into the mix.
For the next couple of months, kayaks, canoes and rafts will be allowed on a two-and-a-half mile stretch of the Los Angeles River between Fletcher Drive just south of L.A.’s Atwater Village neighborhood and Steelhead Park just north of downtown L.A. It’s the first time boating has been allowed since the 1930s. It’s part of a pilot project organized by groups including the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Friends of the Los Angeles River, and the Los Angeles Flood Control District. If this trial program goes well, the boating program could become an annual summertime event and a great new L.A. tradition.