Circle Wilacre Park and visit Coldwater Canyon Park in the Santa Monica Mountains above San Fernando Valley.

A 129-acre island of open space in the midst of Studio City's more lavish residential areas, Wilacre Park (the former estate of silent-movie star Will Acres) offers a wide-ranging view of San Fernando Valley and a peaceful, quiet atmosphere. This 2.7-mile loop route goes up through Wilacre Park and visits Coldwater Canyon Park, which is the headquarters of TreePeople, a grassroots organization that is spearheading efforts to plant millions of trees in the urban Los Angeles area.

Find a curbside parking spot near where Fryman Road diverges from Laurel Canyon Boulevard, and walk west up the gated trail -- at first a curving, hardtopped driveway flanked by pine and cypress trees. After passing the slab foundation of Acres's old house, the road turns to dirt. You ascend, more easily now, along north-facing slopes dotted with coast live oak and California walnut. After a while you turn south, descend slightly, and arrive at a wide junction (1.4 miles) on the edge of Coldwater Canyon Park. Take the Magic Forest Trail on the right, or use some steps a little way to the left to reach the old fire station above that serves as headquarters for TreePeople. If you want, pick up a brochure at the parking lot and make your own self-guided tour of TreePeople's exhibits and nursery.

Return to the wide junction and continue east (downhill) on Dearing Mountain Trail (a.k.a. Betty B. Dearing Trail), named in honor of the late advocate of Santa Monica Mountains trails. After 0.5 mile you hit pavement at Iredell Lane, a cozy, residential cul-de-sac. The last 0.6 mile is along lightly traveled streets -- down Iredell Lane to Iredell Street, down Iredell Street to Fryman Road, and down Fryman Road to the starting point.

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