Arcadia Community Center and Recreation Dept, at the corner of Campus Dr, Huntington Drive & Holly Avenue, is the center of recreational activity. No one in Arcadia can legitimately complain that there is “nothing to do.” From Breakfast with Santa to Snow Day to Family Nature Hikes, Family Fun Nights at the Library and various exhibits at the Historical Museum, there is something for every age and interest. We can happily report that juried photo contests, Mommie & Me Classes, Dance and Gymnastics, Cooking for Tots, ballet, baton, yoga, tennis, ceramics, movies, children’s day trips, football, cheerleading, music, art, martial arts, tennis, golf, teens from 9th-12th grade activities, foreign films, adult book discussion, writing workshops, dance of all kinds, flower arranging, jewelry making, calligraphy, sewing, pilates, dog obedience classes and last but not least, table tennis classes, can be found in Arcadia.
Charles and Ruth Gilb Historic Museum houses interesting artifacts pertaining to the history of Arcadia. This recent addition to Arcadia is still growing and is worth a visit. Our Arcadia Historic Society invites all interested to a brown bag lunch every month to hear history presentations in the museum.
After school tutoring of all kinds and levels is popular, especially the Chinese Schools who teach the Chinese language and assist with children’s homework.
Arboretum: A garden oasis of 127 acres in the center of Arcadia, the LA County Arboretum offers visitors miles of walking paths, a tram, library, gift shop, the Peacock Café and acres and acres of lovely landscaped lawns, gardens, forests and water features. For under $10, you can wander for an entire day through vegetable and flower gardens, ponds, streams, waterfalls and fountains, bamboo forest and past the Queen Ann cottage. You can view numerous wild birds such as ducks, Canada Geese, herons, parrots and hawks and have a light meal at the café to keep you going for the rest of the day. Many shows and exhibits, such as the Winter Cactus Show, History of Wine Making and the LA Garden Show are on the calendar. Photography is really big at the Arboretum. Bring the kids and grandparents, too!
Arcadia County Park, on the corner of Santa Anita Avenue & Huntington Drive, has many activities during the course of a year. There are dog shows, the Asian Harvest Festival, Veterans Day Celebration, a small Medieval Faire and the Water Fest, just to name a few. Reservations may be made to reserve portions of the park for private picnics and parties. There is also a softball field, tennis courts, pool (under reconstruction—to be opened in 2013), lawn bowling, senior center, a group of wood carvers, picnic tables, walking paths and children’s play equipment.
Two golf courses, Santa Anita Golf Course and Arcadia Par Three, are within the Arcadia city limits where serious and recreational golfers can drive, pitch and putt on rolling greens, and tree shaded fairways with glorious views of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Santa Anita Golf Course, a full regulation course, 6,368 yards, boasts a lovely Club House that includes a grill and the Sunset Room, an upstairs banquet room with beautiful views of the course and sunsets. This municipal course is open to the public with a 70.4 rating, opened in 1935, and designed by James Harrison Smith.
Arcadia Par Three is 18 holes of flat course open at night ‘til 10pm. Tree shaded fairways with a 50.8 rating, 1947 yards long and par 54 is a perfect fit for the busy executive, the retired senior citizen, kids and those just learning the wonderful game of golf.
A small and secluded local reservoir, 80-acre Peck Road Park Lake where fishing for rainbow trout, bass, catfish and carp—free fishing with your fishing license—in an urban reservoir is the main activity. An old gravel pit that is now one of the largest reservoirs in the Los Angeles vicinity was converted in mid 20th century. No boating allowed.
Chantry Flat and Adams Pack Station
Chantry Flat is designated as a Recreation Area within the Angeles National Forest and closely associated with Arcadia. Gold was discovered in the 1850s, never amounting to much, but contributing to the construction of the first trails.
It was about 1905 when Charley Chantry, as he was passing through the area, found the oak studded bench or flat that eventually bore his name. He was granted a permit for 20 acres but never acted on his plans, allowing the permit to lapse and thus returning control to the Forest Service.
Of historical significance, Chantry Flat is home to the last pack station in southern California, the trailhead to Sturtevant’s Camp and the last “magneto-type crank phone system” in the US. The entire watershed is a living museum to the “Great Hiking Era” from the 1890s through the 1930s.
To get there, get off the 210 Freeway at Santa Anita and exit north. Follow Santa Anita, pass the yellow pipe gate and continue three miles to the end of Santa Anita Canyon Road. It is only open daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; gates are locked 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. A parking pass is required, and lot fills quickly. The picnic grounds are for day use only.
Parking permits may be purchased at Adams Pack Station, a permitted outfitter and general store operating Chantry Flat since 1936. The store is open weekends and holidays ‘til 5 p.m. and also sells food and other gear. Reports from happy hikers include: “This pack station is the last of its kind in So Cal. Since 1936, they have faithfully delivered goods to cabins via donkey and served the hikers and campers of Chantry Flats. More than food and gear, the friendly folks at the station can provide valuable advice on trails and terrain conditions.” From Dave L, San Francisco. A local review from Scott H: “The most special and unique place in the forest—a pack station that offers many live music and family activities, moonlight hikes and much more.” i