One of my favorites, not only because it's conveniently located, but it also feels like you've left the city when you're on-site. It's hard to believe that the 405 is practically next door. This "trail" does get congested depending on the time of day/season, and because it has more of a "park" vibe to it, there are more kids and slow strollers enjoying the scenery than serious hikers/walkers looking for some exercise, so you'll have to do a bit of zig zagging around folks to keep a steady pace. That said, it's never stopped me from coming for long walks around the lake, enjoying the soothing site of the water while listening to a podcast after a long day at work.
This lake gets a fair amount of foot traffic but is relaxing to be by the water. The main photo shown for this lake is not in fact lake balboa. It is a nearby lake located st the Japanese Gardens in the Sepulveda dam basin area about a half mile east of lake balboa. The gardens lake walk is superb for relaxation and meditative meandering.