Lacy Park in San Marino is a hidden gem that may very well be the most pristine green space in greater Los Angeles, and a concealed pair of nearby stairways makes it all the more appealing. Start your 2.5-mile trek by ascending the two sets of stairs, surrounded by flora and bridged by a straightaway that’s good for sprints or a breather. This workout venue is not only gorgeous, tranquil, and unfrequented, but also has a drinking fountain whose water is always refreshingly cold.
After you conquer a few ups and downs, proceed east along Virginia Road, oohing and aahing at the elegant estates as you hug the Lacy Park fence. The entrance to the stunning 30-acre park (totally worth the $4 weekend entry fee) and the two trailheads will be on your right in 0.25 mile. For the complete Lacy experience, first take the smooth, wheel-friendly 0.75-mile paved inner loop, a wide, flat track adjacent to the park’s vividly green and spacious lawn.
As you walk or jog, you’ll be treated to an arboretum-like experience showcasing a variety of trees, including coast redwoods, flowering cherry trees, and native oaks. There’s also a charming rose garden, tennis courts, and a war memorial honoring General George S. Patton, who grew up in the area back when Lacy Park was a swimming hole. Then make for the 1-mile outer route, a shady, more solitary path that winds around the park’s perimeter. You may never want to leave. Fortunately, this botanical paradise stays open until 8:00 p.m. on weekends March through November, perfect for an evening step routine as our spring days grow longer.
To get to the Lacy Park staircases from the west, take I-10 to the N. Soto St. exit and go north 2 miles. Turn right on Huntington Dr. and continue east for 5.6 miles. Then turn left on Virginia Rd., following it for 0.5 mile to the staircase, which is 0.1 mile west of the intersection of Virginia Rd. and Shenandoah Rd. Dog friendly!
From the east, take I-10 to the S. Atlantic Blvd. exit and go north 4 miles to Huntington Dr. Turn right and continue east 1.2 miles. Then turn left onto Virginia Rd., following it for 0.5 mile to the staircase, which is 0.1 mile west of the intersection of Virginia Rd. and Shenandoah Rd. Dog friendly!