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Franklin Canyon Park - A hidden treasure above Beverly Hills you may not even know existed

By Paula Jessop

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2600 Franklin Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills, California

Put on your pioneer bonnets and raccoon skin hats and spend the day in the wilds.

There is much to do and see at Franklin Canyon Park you can have a leisurely day hiking the many trails, picnicking, bird watching, exploring the nature center, attending a class in the outdoor amphitheatre or sitting by the lake and watching the ducks.

The parkland rests on 605 acres at the geographic center of Los Angeles. Within the park boundaries are a 3 acre lake and duck pond, chaparral, grasslands and oak woodlands forest ecosystems. The lakes act as permanent and seasonal home for birds in the pacific fly zone.



This location was heavily used by the television industry with such shows as "The Andy Griffith Show", "Combat", "Star Trek", and "How the West Was Won", but was also utilized by film companies. It is said that one scene from "On Golden Pond" was shot at a small pond next to the reservoir. And Claudette Colbert's famous hitch-hiking scene in "It Happened One Night" was filmed here in 1935.

This park has a history steeped in the forces, which created the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles, oil and water. The Department of Water and Power created a reservoir and power system in Franklin Canyon during the turn of the century and the system is still in use today. The Doheny Family, of oil fame, used the canyon as a summer retreat and a place to graze and water their cattle. During the 1970's the canyon was set for development when Sooky Goldman and Congressman Howard Berman encouraged the Department of Water and Power and the National Park Service to make Franklin Canyon a Park for posterity

The park is also available for rentals birthdays weddings anniversary parties etc. To learn more about Franklin Canyon Park check out their website at http://ceres.ca.gov/smmc/franklin.htm




Directions to the park:

From the West Side, head north on Beverly Drive following signs to Coldwater Canyon. Turn left on Coldwater/Beverly Drive and turn left again on Beverly Drive , at Fire Station No. 2. The third right is Franklin Canyon Dr. continue through residential area to park entrance. At the intersection of Franklin Canyon and Lake Drive turn right to go to Franklin Canyon Ranch site or turn left to go to the Sooky Goldman Nature Center and Franklin Canyon Lake.

From the San Fernando Valley, From the Ventura Freeway (101) or Ventura Blvd. take Coldwater Canyon Boulevard south to the intersection of Coldwater Canyon and Mulholland Drive. Make a 90 degree right turn onto Franklin Canyon Dr. There is no street sign "Franklin Canyon." Road signs read "Road Closed 800 Feet" "Sunset to Sunrise"; this is the park entrance. Do NOT make a "U-Turn" for this will bring you onto Mulholland Drive instead of Franklin Canyon. Stay on paved surface to reach the Sooky Goldman Nature Center and continue south of the lake for 1.5 miles to reach the Franklin Canyon Ranch Site area.

Published on Apr 02, 2011

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