Fun fact: Griffith Park is over 5 times bigger than NY’s Central Park. With hikes, zoos, museums, beer (!), trains, playgrounds, ponies, golf, a carousel and lots more (all costing very little or nothing at all) it’s time to click through the slideshow and discover a baker’s dozen of the coolest places you just might not have visited in our gigantic urban forest.

Lake Hollywood Reservoir

Mere blocks above the city, not far from the 101, nestles a pristine lake, surrounded by trees and deer, turtle, ducks and other woodland critters. The 3.3 mile loop around the former reservoir is flat and paved. Barred to cars, you feel safe letting everyone explore, and you can walk with a stroller or bring newbie bikers, enjoying nature in the middle of the city. Be sure to check out the architecture on the former dam –it’s got some very cool detailing. (Look for the bear heads!) Note: dogs aren’t allowed on this trail, so leave leashed ones at home.

Bonus: There are three entrances to the lake, but if you choose to park at the Tahoe Gate (Tahoe Dr. & Lake Hollywood Dr.), you can leave by taking Tahoe Dr. to Canyon Lake Dr. (bearing right), and stop in at the hidden Lake Hollywood Park, with a playground, lots of green grass and a spectacular view of the Hollywood Sign. Also, this park is an unofficial dog park, so if you don’t want to leave furry friends behind, this is your spot!

Find It: Tahoe Dr. & Lake Hollywood Dr.

photo: Edenpictures via Flickr

What’s your favorite thing to do in Griffith Park?  We want to know!  Meet you in the comment section…

—Meghan Rose