Parks aplenty

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Following is a sampling of local parks. Others can be found at www.laparks.org. Griffith Park: 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, at the junction of the Ventura and Golden State freeways. With more than 4,107 acres of natural terrain covered with California oak trees, wild sage and manzanita, Griffith Park is the largest municipal park and urban wilderness area in the United States. The park offers educational and cultural institutions, miles of hiking trails and a landmark merry-go-round. The park is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Trails close at sunset. The park also is home to the interim Griffith Park Observatory Satellite (the classic observatory is under construction until the second half of 2006), which is open from 1 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends. Admission for the satellite is free. The Los Angeles Zoo in the park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, closed on Christmas Day. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for children 2-12, free for children under 2. The park’s Museum of the American West brings the American West to life from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (open until 8 p.m. Thursdays). Travel Town, an outdoor museum of locomotives and rail cars at the park, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends, and also is closed Christmas. (323) 913-4688. Hansen Dam Aquatic Center: 11798 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace. Enjoy water recreation, including fishing, boating and swimming, at the 40-acre park site. The center is open year-round, including holidays, but subject to closure during severe weather. Hours are generally from sunrise to sunset. Swim-lake area season begins in April. Call (818) 899-3779 for hours. Laurel Canyon Dog Park: 8260 Mulholland Drive, Studio City, features three acres of off-leash space for dogs, plus a fenced play area for children. (818) 766-8445. Sepulveda Basin Off-Leash Dog Park, 17550 Victory Blvd., Encino, a five-acre site that also includes a half-acre for small dogs. (818) 756-8190. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area includes 30 parks managed by the National Park Service and the California State Parks agency. Some of the major parks are Franklin Canyon Ranch/Sooky Goldman Nature Center, Cold Creek Canyon/Valley Preserve and Stunt Ranch Reserve Area, Malibu Creek State Park, Zuma/Trancas canyons, Topanga State Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park. The National Park Service visitor center and headquarters is at 401 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. Call (805) 370-2301. Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area: 17017 Burbank Blvd., Encino. Ride on paved and dirt trails around the park and walk in the 225-acre wildlife area. See flora and fauna. Walks and group hikes can be arranged. The recreation area also features sporting fields, kayaking and fishing on Lake Balboa, an archery range, skate park and off-leash dog park. Hours are from 5:30 a.m to 10:30 p.m. Stoney Point Park: 10800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Chatsworth. The park is just south of the Ronald Reagan Freeway. This site is for people who want to rock-climb or hike. Susie Ryan, left, and Vaughn Ermoyan relax with their dogs on a Sunday afternoon at a picnic table at the Veterans Memorial Park in Sylmar. Photo by Tom Mendoza / Staff Photographer last_img read more