This enjoyable loop mixes suburban bridle trails managed by the city of Walnut with the single-track Schabarum Trail of L.A. County. Closely located to civilization, the route makes a good training trip for veteran hikers, and provides newcomers with a nice taste of the outdoors.
From the parking lot at Walnut Ranch Park, head right on Amar for a pleasant, if not all that inspiring, quarter mile walk on the sidewalk. Look for the yellow sign indicating the Schabarum Trail on the right. This brings you to an intersection, where you can head left (allowing you to warm up a little before beginning the ascent) or right, as described here, enabling you to get the hard work out of the way quickly.
The trail ascends quickly, making a few switchbacks before entering a pleasant woodland (the only shade on the route). The views of the Puente Hills get better as you climb out of the woodlands, making a few more switchbacks before threading a gap between two water tanks and arriving at a residential road.
At this point, the trail (now a bridle path) heads downhill on a few switchbacks that might remind some hikers of Lombard St. in San Francisco. The trail levels out and makes a slight ascent to a picnic area (1.6 miles from the start), where you can sit and enjoy views of the San Gabriels and the towns below.
Continuing along the bridle trail, you reach the intersection of Walnut Vista and Lemon Avenue at 2.5 miles. Head downhill along the bridle path following the east side of Lemon Avenue. Just before Amar, turn right and follow the bridle path for a pleasant half mile, making a small climb before dipping back down to the road. At 3.7 miles from the start, you reach the beginning of the Schabarum Trail segment. Head back along Amar Road to the park.
Text and photography copyright 2013 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.