Monday, May 20, 2013

Ernest E. Debs Regional Park - A Complete Outdoor Kid Experience!

Ernest E. Debs Regional Park is the fourth largest park in the city of Los Angeles, one of our favorites, and truly a hidden gem just north of downtown Los Angeles! Set on 300 acres, this park has a wide variety of terrain to explore with the kids. All of the trails are well maintained and for the most part, even stroller friendly, which makes it the perfect place to hike with little ones!

mommy hiker debs pond
Debs Pond
When our Mommy Hike LA group hikes here, we usually meet at the Audubon Nature Center off of Griffin Avenue. You'll find the trail head easily by walking down from the Nature Center parking lot. The trails aren't marked, so I would suggest grabbing a map from one of the Nature Center's friendly staff members! While you're at it, take advantage of what I lovingly refer to as their hiking concierge service, complete with All-Terrain strollers, backpacks and even binoculars for bird watching! Just leave your keys or ID and they are free to borrow during your hike!

ernest e. debs park mommy hiker
A Wee Hiker
Heading up the fire road, stay to the right at the first fork and continue up several easy switchbacks. The next marker you'll see is a short green staircase, stay to the right again (once you are finally able to goad your toddler down from the stairs, of course!)

ernest e. debs mommy hiker
Mini Explorer
Here the incline gets a little steeper and soon you'll come to a wash with a very steep grade, this is the most difficult part of the hike, sure to get your blood flowing! To the left of the wash is a flat area with benches where we usually stop for a quick kid snack break. After you make it up the wash, it's a very relaxing walk through rolling hills and pine trees. Once the trail connects to another fire road, hitch a right and the pond will be a very short walk down a wide path. 

toddler mommy hiker
Toddler Reflections
There are boulders and benches, ducks and fish and even tales of the pond having its very own mystery monster!

Once back down from the trail, don't skip the Nature Center which has a beautiful coy fish pond, water play area, a short Butterfly Trail for toddler exploration and a gorgeous massive live oak for the kids to climb on! 

ernest e. debs water play mommy hiker
Have water, will play!
As if that wasn't enough, simply ask one of the Center staff members and they will supply you and your babe with art supplies, so they can draw a picture of all the wondrous things they discovered!

mommy hiker
Nature Creations! Photo by Megan Flowers
So much to explore, this park has it all!! How lucky we are to live in such a glorious place!

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