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Beyond the Soundstage: LAKES of LOS ANGELES

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HadleyMearesWhen it’s scorching hot in the city of Angeles, sometimes there is nothing better than taking a nice walk in the woods next to a cool lake. Lakes in Los Angeles? Why yes, probably more than you think.  They’re free and easy, and a perfect place to clear your head and get away from the city and industry madness.

Echo Park Lake

Recently reopened after a $45-million renovation, this 29-acre Echo Park treasure(which began as a drinking water reservoir in the 1860’s) has been transformed from a seedy, run-down legend into a beautiful, eco-friendly marvel. A new playground, refurbished pathways and added wetlands make it the perfect neighborhood place to take the kids, a good book, or a group of friends and a picnic basket.

Lake Hollywood

Nestled in the hills just below the Hollywood sign this breathtaking Mulholland-designed reservoir is finally reopened after years of mudslide related closure. With a circumference of 3.2 miles, it’s a great place to jog or take long, leisurely walks with friends. It is also the ideal place to see wildlife-including deer. It’s like the perfect outdoor treadmill, just come prepared to move- there’s hardly anywhere to sit down!

Studio City Lake

Down a lovely, winding road you drive into an insanely green little park which surrounds a calm and shimmering lake. Unlike most lakes in LA, paths actually go right to the water line and there are many marshy areas where ducks and other wildlife paddle right by your feet. You can hop from rock to rock over little streams and picnic tables and benches are placed in perfectly-situated romantic spots. Secluded and scenic, it’s an excellent place for important talks and gooey walks.

Silver Lake Reservoir

The heart of forever trendy Silver Lake, this giant reservoir boasts a 2.2 mile jogging path, a dog park, a basketball court and the 3-acre Silver Lake Meadow, which is basically a grassy lawn with lots of little hipster children running around and actors taking $5 yoga classes. The neighborhood covered hills of Silverlake that surround the reservoir makes the ambiance at once urban and pastoral. A must visit!

Malibou Lake/Malibu Creek State Park

In the Santa Monica Mountains near Agoura Hills, the supposedly haunted Malibou Lake is a manmade spot so rustic and charming you will swear you are back at summer camp! Though a private lake, surrounding by expensive homes, it is a beautiful place to stop and look. Then head to the massive Malibu Creek State Park which extends from the mountains to the shore and features swimming cricks, a rock pool, hiking, camping, rock climbing and fishing. Take a mini-break and get away for the weekend- without ever leaving the county!

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About Hadley Meares

After finishing college in her native South, Hadley traveled cross country, got chased by a man with a gun, and settled in Los Angeles. Her fiction has been published in the Santa Monica Review and the Southern Indiana Review and her she writes for several online publications, including KCET’s Departures. As a pretty cool day job she is currently the lovely Amy Poehler’s stand-in on the show Parks and Recreation. She is also a frequent featured performer at the legendary Dresden (fulfilling her long held wish to be a lounge singer).