I don't know at what point I became a walking junkie, but it's safe to say that I've mastered my signature move: putting one foot in front of the other. Recently I've gone on so many walks and hikes that I thought nothing could cramp my style. Then the temperatures climbed this past week. Hiking in the blazing sun is like eating liver flavored ice cream--a typically fun experience gone bad.
Thankfully there are two remedies for summer hiking: do an early morning hike or find a shady hike. Which one did I choose? If you said "find a shady hike," you know me well. ;)
Mike and I set off to Franklin Canyon in Beverly Hills the other day at noon. The sun was in full force, but much of Franklin Canyon is shaded. As you drive through Franklin Canyon, you'll eventually catch glimpses of a large body of water on your left; that's the man-made lake known as Upper Franklin Reservoir (see the picture at the top).
The Upper Franklin Reservoir is the beauty of the park; it gets its photo taken all the time and it's what the park is known for. I, however, prefer its little sister nearby, Heavenly Pond. At first glance, it's not very striking. A peek under the surface, however, reveals its true beauty. I'm talking about turtles--tons of them--and beautiful red carp, and even little baby geese. Awww.
We walked all over the park, went down Lake Blvd and back, searched for Wild Pond (never found it), passed a grass hut, and did a short loop trail.
Even though the park is close to busy Sunset Blvd, it seems very much secluded from the rest of the city. And while the trails are not long, there are many to choose from. Here are some tips for your visit:
- There are two stop signs in the park that have cameras on them. You'll see the words "Photo Enforced" under the signs. Be careful or else you'll get a hefty ticket in the mail!
- Be sure to check out the Sooky Goldman Nature Center, which has a stuffed mountain lion and hands-on displays for the kids.
- Every Wednesday at 7 pm in the summer, the park hosts Family Campfire Evenings. Call the park for more info.
- Click here for a trail map. The directions say to come from the 101, but you can also get there from Sunset Blvd. Just enter it into google maps and it will give you the shortest way.