Franklin Canyon Park is a park in the Santa Monica Mountains of California. It is most famous for the lake which was used in the opening credits of the Andy Griffith show.
Franklin Canyon Park is usually accessed from the entrance at Mulholland drive and Coldwater Canyon drive where Franklin Canyon drive is located. This is a strange intersection where Franklin Canyon is parallel to both Mulholland and Coldwater Canyon which are separated by only a few feet and yet the stop lights for crossing these two streets are not synchronized. Be very alert when crossing this intersection, especially exiting the park.
Access to the park and parking is free. However there are lots of stop signs, some not as obvious as others, in the park and legend has it that it's a ticket zone, where it is common for police to give tickets for incomplete stops etc. There are parking lots but a lot of parking is on the street especially in the lower part.
There are two parts to the park, upper and lower. The iconic lake (where the opening credits of the Andy Griffith were filmed) is the Upper Franklin canyon reservoir which is completely man made and in places you can see the cement edges. There are turtles in places and while there are bushes around the edges in places children will probably find this interesting. Walk across the street from the lake to the west and there is the Heavenly Pond which is prettier.
In the center it's very shady but the trails are mostly unshaded and have the usual sparse vegetation of the east Santa Monica Mountains
The are three trails. The walk around the lake, the adjacent Blinderman trail system to the east of the lake and the Hastain trail in lower Franklin canyon.
When to Go
Parks in the Santa Monica's are generally more crowded on weekends. But generally you should be able to find parking and the trails aren't usually crowded.