It’s just 15 minutes from Beverly Hills and the Valley, but 605-acre Franklin Canyon Park
feels miles away from urbanity. Many of the hiking trails lead to photo-worthy views of the LA basin, but on a hot day the welcoming attraction is the lush, lively water habitat. Originally created in 1914 as part of a reservoir, today 3-acre Franklin Canyon Lake is surrounded by pine, redwood, oak, and sycamore trees. Take an easy 30-minute stroll around the lake or just kick up your feet and catch some quacks: ducks, including the rare and striking Mandarin (identified by its red bill and large white crescent above the eye), are signature residents. Be sure to check out neighboring Heavenly Pond, a petite avian oasis with benches, picnic tables, and a nature trail. This park’s a breath of fresh air on a sizzling city day.
Franklin Canyon Park is at 2600 Franklin Canyon Dr., Beverly Hills. Here is a map. From Sunset Blvd., take Beverly Dr. north. After 0.5-mile, make a left to stay on Beverly Dr., then left again at Coldwater Canyon Park to continue on Beverly Dr. Beverly becomes Franklin Canyon Dr. as you enter the park. Once in the canyon, stay straight on Franklin Canyon Dr. to reach the lake; there are parking areas around the lake and in the north end of the park. From the valley, take Coldwater Canyon Blvd. south to Mulholland Dr., then make a right onto Franklin Canyon Dr. Dog-friendly!