It is amazing to think of the number of outdoor adventures that we have had over the years and many within an hour’s drive from where we live in the San Gabriel Valley. Even more surprising might be to think that less than two miles from Old Town Pasadena, home of the Tournament of Roses and premier shopping, is the Lower Arroyo Seco and ample opportunities for recreation. Highlighted here are two fun activities that can be done along the Lower Arroyo Seco, in addition to miles of hiking trails on the Pasadena stretch.
Pasadena Roving Archers- 415 S Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105
A few Saturdays ago, we spent a day at the Pasadena Archery Range, an historic archery range established by the Pasadena Roving Archers. Our lesson with one of our Scout leaders, a level three coach, included a safety lesson and an afternoon of shooting at the practice targets. This experience was much more thorough than what I remember from the archery unit in high school physical education, and more ‘real’ in a sense than the archery ranges at the various camps we had attended. For one, I learned from our instructor that while I am right-handed, I am a left-handed shot, since my left eye is dominant. Thus, after years of shooting the opposite, it took a few rounds to get used to it. In the end, it made a lot of sense. I am slightly less nearsighted in my left eye, so I could actually aim a bit better. Once I figured out what I was doing, that is.
While the spring Saturday was rather warm, the day was a lot of fun. The Pasadena Roving Archers was founded in 1935 by members of the Pasadena Target Archers. The sport of field archery had been established not long before, and interest in the sport quickly grew. The archery range is the oldest continuously operating field archery club in the United States, and continues to attract serious and recreational archers as well as organizations such as Scouts. With the wooded environs of the Arroyo Seco just south of the famed Colorado Street Bridge, and its long history the Lower Arroyo Archery Range is a registered national landmark and is also listed on the California Register of Historic Places. But mostly, it was fun; even Sami had a great time on the range.
San Pascual Stables- 221 San Pascual Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Sami had long been a fan of horses, and prior to Covid she needed an extracurricular activity, so we had looked into riding lessons for her. After some back-and-forth, as well as some figuring out of logistics especially to see where we could get to a riding lesson on time after the busyness of school, we decided on signing her up for lessons at San Pascual Stables in South Pasadena, which was about 20 minutes away from where she was attending middle school.
San Pascual Stables is located in the Lower Arroyo, about a mile south of the Pasadena Roving Archers. While Sami would ride, I would often hike on the trail in back of the stables north past the archery range and to the base of the Colorado Street Bridge. San Pascual Stables offers boarding for horses along with riding lessons and riding camps. Sami was able to take weekly riding lessons on Thursday afternoons after school.
The riding instructors teach English horseback riding as well as hunter jumping. The beginner riding lessons also included training on how to groom and tack the horse. This was a great experience for Sami; she learned how to be more responsible as a result of her time at San Pascual. And I saw her really begin to build confidence while on a horse.
Sadly, the costs for riding lessons has gone up quite a bit since the Covid-19 pandemic. At time of writing, it is $960 for an 8-lesson pack. Group lessons and beginner lessons are priced accordingly. Single lessons can also be purchased.
There are so many opportunities for recreation and extracurricular activities in the Pasadena area. There are many places that lead to happy trails- figuratively- and literally here on the Arroyo Seco.
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