Encino Balboa Golf Path - 3 Mile Trail
The three-mile Encino Golf loop is a popular walking, jogging and running path in the Valley. Click here for a map.
The running trail circles the Balboa Golf Course and is bounded by the Los Angeles river to the north, Burbank Boulevard to the south, and Balboa Blvd to the west. The jogging path is wide, flat and easy to nagivate.
Depending on your route, up to 75-80% of the loop is on hard-packed dirt (the balance being on the sidewalk or bike path) and an okay amount of shade (much of the path gets a lot of sun and can be quite hot depending on the time of day and year.) Shoot for mornings and evenings.
There are two main starting points and accompanying parking areas:
- From Burbank Blvd, just to the west of Hayvenhurst Ave., there is an entrance to the Golf Club with plenty of parking. Pull in and veer back toward the 405. Park near the fence where you can enter the trail.
- The other main starting point is where Balboa Blvd. crosses the L.A. river. There is parking available across the street at the Balboa Sports Center. That lot, however, can be full depending on scheduled events for the fields. There is additional parking to the north across the LA river at Lake Balboa. Bike and jogging trails connect all of these areas.
- Note: there is no parking on Balboa or Burbank Blvds.
Drinking Fountins -- there are two functioning drinking fountains on the loop. One is located just at the entrance of the Balbo & LA River entrance; the other 1.25 miles away at the eastern most part of the loop.
Mile Markers -- I have broken the 3 mile loop into mile markers. You can go either direction around the course, but take the sun into consideration. In the mornings, the Balboa Blvd. side is shaded; in the late afternoon, it is in the sun, for example.
- Starting from the golf course parking lot (counter clockwise loop) -- After parking, head east and enter through the fence. There is an old "Gamefield" here, a 12 station fitness circuit that is mostly dilapidated, but some of the bars are functional for stretching etc.
- 1/4 mile is where Hayvenhurst meets Burbank
- 1/2 mile is where the trail narrows at the 17th hole tee
- 1.0 mile is the drinking fountain at the end of the golf course, the 5th hole green
- The path loops around the golf course, until you are heading west along the Los Angeles River... very little shade here.
- The red valve pole a ways down the fence is mile marker 1 3/4
- The dirt path ends at the other main entrance (and other drinking fountain) at 2 1/4 miles
- You can turn around (as many do) and go back to make it a 4 1/2 mile run or; continue through the fence and follow the sidewalk (bike path) down Balboa.
- You can continue along the sidewalk (makes the total loop about 3 1/4miles) or veer toward the fence and follow the path in the grass, 2 3/4miles
- The final stretch is on the bike path cutting through the parking area. Finish at roughly 3.0 miles.
From the other entrance, Balboa & LA River (clockwise loop)
- Drinking fountain, start
- Red valve, 1/2 mile
- 5th hole green drinking fountain, 1 1/4 miles
- 17th hole tee, where fence widens again, 1 3/4 miles
- Hayvenhurst, 2.0 miles
- Parking lot (other entrance) 2 1/4miles
- Bike path at far end of parking lot 2 1/2 miles
- Where the grass pathway meets with Balboa, 2 3/4 miles
- End at 3.0 miles
to post a tip or comment for others. It's free.