At the turn of the last century, San Gabriel Valley residents and tourists could ride bikes on the Great California Cycleway -- Horace Dobbins' elevated wooden bike path leading from Hotel Green to just past South Pasadena's Raymond Hotel. Original plans called for the bike path to meander along the Arroyo, tunneling through the hills of Elysian Park all the way to Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. There were even plans for a Swiss dairy in Highland Park, and a grand casino called Merlemount to be built in South Pasadena's Lower Arroyo Park. (Learn more about the cycleway here and here with history of the freeway that eclipsed bike paths in my previous post here.) Although the cycleway was never completed (and South Pas never became a gambling mecca) the elevated bike path from Pasadena to South Pas was the place to see and be seen.
Only a a few remains of the cycleway can be found in South Pas -- a dirt path near the railroad tracks under the Oaklawn bridge and a canopied stretch adjacent to the freeway near Arroyo. The only traces left of the Raymond Hotel are remnants of the original river rock garden walls, the caretaker cottage (now the Raymond Restaurant) and a few of Walter Raymond's palm trees.
But the Castle Green still stands. It's a beautiful reminder of our region's history.