If you're looking for a late-summer date with nature, you can now add the Los Angeles River to your list.
With a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Los Angeles Conservation Corps will offer tours this month and next. This follows a recent federal designation of the river as navigable.
For seven weekends, morning trips will be offered from the Sepulveda Recreation Basin down a mile-and-a half-long stretch of the Los Angeles River.
Local nonprofits and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority will lead talks about the river ecosystem and history. Before you can pick up a paddle for the river, you'll need to sign a waiver, pay $50 for equipment, and pay a fee for the ticket. With room for just 40 people a weekend, local environmental advocates say scoring a seat in a boat will be like scoring a golden ticket from Willy Wonka.
The pilot program could pave the way for more permits and river trips in future years.