KID-FRIENDLY RIDE IN NORTHEAST LOS ANGELES COUNTY
If only there were more bike paths like this in LA county! The Thompson Creek Trail in Claremont is smooth, tree-lined, and NOT next to a freeway. The creek is channelized--not a pretty sight--but the banks have been lovingly landscaped with native and Mediterranean plants. (I can't recall ever seeing so many rosemary bushes!) You also get a nice view of Mt. Baldy. On a recent trip it was dusted with snow.
Be sure to slow for the the horse stables near the beginning of the trail. We were also amused to see not one--but three--dogs cruising the path in strollers.
In a little over half a mile you reach Higginbotham Park, which has a small play ground with a couple rock-climbing areas. You could also start your ride here, especially if you have kid bikes, picnic blankets and other things you might like to stash at the park while you ride. There are short paved paths through the park that are good for kid riding and scooting.
The path has a slight upgrade, so I recommend starting at the southwest end, so you can coast back. If you don't live in the area, consider making a day of it and stroll the nearby Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
From the 210 Freeway, exit on Towne Avenue. Head north on Towne one block, and get in the left-hand lane. Once you cross Baseline Road, you have to make a slight left turn to stay on Towne to where it ends at the creek. Park in one of the turnouts by the road. The path is at the end of the road.
To start your ride at Higgenbotham park, park on the street on Mt. Carmel Drive (Thomas Guide page 571).