Hike Ferndell to Berlin
Hike Ferndell Nature Trail to Berlin Forest in Griffith Park
As Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm character famously says in Jurassic Park: Life finds a way. He may have been talking about a scary dinosaur takeover, but as California continues to face droughts, an abundance of tropical plant life tucked away on Griffith Park hike proves his point.
The 0.5-mile (one-way) Ferndell Nature Walk features a shaded dirt path, a running creek with miniature waterfalls, and lavish greenery that you have to see to believe. Start out on Fern Dell Drive and Black Oak Drive, where a gated entrance leads you into what feels like a lush Jurassic getaway.
Over fifty species of ferns line the creek, including one with giant dino-sized leaves, something a stegosaurus would love to nibble at (or chomp on). Although the path runs right alongside the road, the sound of cars melts away with the bubbling of the creek. Bridges and benches along the way make good photo ops in front of tiny waterfalls. Photo bomb-asaurus!
The path ends at Griffith Observatory, and from there you head to Berlin! Berlin Forest is just half a mile from the Observatory, yet feels a world away. The forest is actually dedicated to LA’s sister-city of Berlin.
Directly across the street from Western Canyon Road’s large lot are three parallel fire roads. Though the leftmost path merges later, take the middle one for sake of continuity on a 2.5-mile (round-trip) trek that gently ascends 600 feet. Sycamore trees and yellow mustard flowers hug the trail. As you near the top, be sure to take a quick, sharp-right detour just before you cross West Observatory Road to an awesome, western-facing lookout offering ocean views on a clear day, and a unique view of the Observatory. After continuing a short distance gradually uphill, you’ll reach a junction; to your right is the Mount Hollywood Trail, while the Berlin Forest lies a short way down the left path. It’s wonderful to reach the forest and take a break under the pines before returning the way you came. Nature is so nurturing!
Ferndell Nature Walk starts at the intersection of Fern Dell Dr. and Black Oak Dr. and runs for just over half a mile up to the Observatory. From the Observatory, if you continue Berlin Forest and return for an out-and-back, the entire hike is 3.5-miles. Dog-friendly!
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