Located near Benedict Canyon at the eastern edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, Franklin Canyon Park is one of the hidden natural gems found in Southern California. The 605-acre public park sits at the geographical center of the City of Los Angeles. The park features a three-acre lake, a duck pond, and more than five miles of hiking trails. Birds that travel the Pacific Flyway often visit the lake and pond for feeding and resting intervals. Franklin Canyon Park has appeared in numerous films and television shows, most notably during the opening credits of The Andy Griffith Show. The park receives positive reviews for the natural splendor, as well as cultural attractions that include the Sooky Goldman Nature Center, the Sam Goldman Amphitheater, and the Eugene and Michael Rosenfeld Auditorium.
Plants and Animals
A wide variety of plants thrives inside of Franklin Canyon Park. The Mediterranean-like climate encourages the growth of chaparral, oak woodlands, and grassland meadows covered in shade. Park management nurtures several types of non-native flora that include pine, walnut, and sycamore trees. Spectacularly colored wild flowers complement the rich green hues of the indigenous plants and trees. Visitors to Franklin Canyon Park might encounter wildlife such as frogs, rabbits, gray foxes, and seven different species of hawk. Cougars, coyotes, and bobcats also call the park home, although the predators prefer to remain outside of the visitor spotlight. You should see wood and mandarin ducks at the pond and lake.
Franklin Canyon Park Activities
Franklin Canyon Park represents one of the best places in Greater Los Angeles for bird watching. Non-native birds travel the Pacific Flyway from as far away as Canada to spend autumn and winter living in the temperate Southern California climate. Natural history programs presented at the William O. Douglas Outdoor Classroom entertain the entire family. The conservation organization TreePeople offers organized hikes, as well as environment awareness workshops.
Cyclists enjoy access to the wide hiking trails that include the short Discovery Trail and strenuous Hastain Trail. The Hastain Trail increases in altitude slowly on a fire road that runs through chaparral-covered slopes. At the top of one of the slopes is an overlook that provides breathtaking views of the lower canyon, west Los Angeles, and on a clear day, the sparkling Pacific Ocean. The moderate difficulty Berman Trail spans about a mile to Mulholland Drive. We remind our guests that park management prohibits fishing and swimming at the pond and lake.
The unincorporated area surrounding Franklin Canyon Park is adjacent to the Beverly Hills Post Office. Franklin Canyon Park is open every day throughout the year from 7am until 7pm. The peak season for visitors runs from early May through the end of October. During the offseason, you can expect to encounter students from nearby schools participating in class field trips.
Guests of Holiday Inn Burbank take the Ventura Freeway (US 101) west until you reach Coldwater Canyon Avenue, Take Coldwater Canyon Avenue south until you pass the parking lot located at the park entrance.