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Two Chairs No Waiting 13: Myers Lake is Franklin Canyon Reservoir

Host: Allan Newsome
Running time: 0:13:19

Two Chairs No Waiting

Two Chairs No Waiting

This episode is all about Franklin Canyon and the real “Myers Lake” location where the opening credits for The Andy Griffith Show were filmed.  If you’re ever in the LA area you will not want to miss out on visiting this location. Be sure to take this podcast along with you so you can listen to the ‘scouting report’ about where the Mayberry related areas are.  Don’t miss out on the photos and other links in our show notes.

Below are the directions to “Myers Lake.

You can only go one-way around the lake and that’s staying to the right. When you start around the lake….stop at the first parking area and walk over toward the wooden railing. Looking down from the road you’ll see an area of dirt….that’s the area where Andy and Opie walked. If you get past the wooden railing…you’re too far. The other side of the lake is where Howard was fishing for “ole Sam”.

The house that’s on the right before you go across the dam is the game wardens office when Andy and Helen went fishing without a license and had to pay the fine.


2600 Franklin Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills, California

From the West Side, head north on Beverly Drive following signs to Coldwater Canyon. Turn left on Coldwater/Beverly Drive and turn left again on Beverly Drive , at Fire Station No. 2. The third right is Franklin Canyon Dr. continue through residential area to park entrance. At the intersection of Franklin Canyon and Lake Drive turn right to go to Franklin Canyon Ranch site or turn left to go to the Sooky Goldman
Nature Center and Franklin Canyon Lake.

From the San Fernando Valley, From the Ventura Freeway (101) or Ventura Blvd. Take Coldwater Canyon Boulevard south to the intersection of Coldwater Canyon and Mulholland Drive. Make a 90 degree right turn onto Franklin Canyon Dr. There is no street sign “Franklin Canyon.” Road signs read “Road Closed 800 Feet” “Sunset to Sunrise”; this is the park entrance. Do NOT make a “U-Turn” for this will bring you onto Mulholland Drive instead of Franklin Canyon. Stay on paved surface to reach the Sooky Goldman Nature Center and continue south of the lake for 1.5 miles to reach the Franklin Canyon Ranch Site area.

As you enter the “loop” that goes around the lake (it’s one way so this should make it easy to describe), you will have a wooden railing on the left. That railing is where Andy stopped on “The Return to Mayberry” and looked down at Myers Lake.  There is a parking area about 40 yards down on the left.

Park there and walk over to the railing just to the left of the parking area (not the railing that on the main road but the wooden “fence” that keeps folks from falling down the slope.   When you look down the slope you’ll see the path. This is where Andy and Opie walked.  There’s a wooden picnic table down there.

Related Links:

  • Photos of Franklin Canyon – These are photos taken during my two trips to visit Franklin Canyon.
  • Video at Franklin Canyon – Your host and his son, Adam, back in 2004 at Myers Lake filming our version of the opening credits of TAGS.
  • Franklin Canyon Reservoir – Live Search Maps will show you an “Aerial” view of the exact location Andy and Opie walked in the opening credits. The “pins” are off a bit but they’ll get you started. Click “Aerial” after the page loads to see the overhead view.
  • Franklin Canyon – The TV show “Combat” as filmed at Franklin Canyon as well. See if you can spot Myers Lake areas in the images on this site.
  • Opening Credits Location – Wikimapia.org provided another nice view from above of “Myers Lake.”
  • Let’s Go to the Fishin’ Hole – Report by The Mayberry Times publisher (1996) about his trip to Myers Lake and meeting with some of the cast members.
  • A Walk With Andy and Opie – Report in “My Sen-Tence” from the mid-1990’s by Paul Filder and his trip to Franklin Canyon.

Two Chairs No Waiting is brought to you by WeaversDepartmentStore.com.

Background music courtesy of the VW Boys

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Robert James February 11, 2009, 1:07 am

    Allan: This was so enjoyable. I would love to see Myer’s Lake. It must be close to heaven for a TAGS fan! Thanks for all you do. I know you enjoy it but you are so dedicated. I have a blog for my wife’s business that I try to maintain but it’s difficult. How you do it all…I don’t know! Thanks again, Bob

  • "Briscoe Darling" February 16, 2009, 3:11 pm

    Thanks for this podcast, Allan! The pics, links and video are incredible! My goal is to visit there someday soon. I would rather drive cross-country as opposed to flying, just so I could carry whatever I wanted with me. The pics were emotional for me, in that they made me want to visit what’s left of TAGS in Ca.

    Thanks again!!!

  • Dave March 27, 2009, 9:42 am

    You asked about Myers Lake in other TV episodes. Check Ozzie and Harriet TV episode entitled “The Motorcycle”. Ozzie and Dave are fishing at Myers Lake.

  • Randy Sonke May 31, 2010, 10:11 pm

    After several years of wanting to see “Myers Lake,” I finally went down there today. Being about 90 miles from my house, and being a HUGE TAGS fan, not sure why it took me so long to get down there. I must say, I was very disappointed!!! The place was PACKED with people…none of which seemed to speak English. I realize the show was 40+ years ago but there really was not anything remotely recognizable. I “think” or “guess” we found the path where the opening footage was filmed…but I am not sure. There were about 30 Mexican people seemingly camped out there. I suppose the most interesting thing for me was the fact that the lake is so small!!! Not what I would imagine from the show. But I guess that is how everything is in Hollywood. Being the avid fan I am, I am glad I went there to at least say I have been there. Oh how I wish the “40 acres” were still around to peruse!!! My tip for anyone planning to go is to take a English/Spanish dictionary just in case!!!

  • Floyd June 1, 2010, 6:12 am

    Wow. That wasn’t my experience at all when I’ve gone to Franklin Canyon. I wonder if the crowd being there was related to it being a holiday when you went there?

  • Ernest T. Bass October 7, 2010, 2:32 pm

    Gosh, I didn’t have that experience either. I went on a Sunday with my girlfriend, and it was hardly busy at all. We walked around the lake and had a picnic and it was delightful. This was a few years ago, but I’ll have to go back and see.

  • Alan March 2, 2011, 8:16 pm

    Finally made it there! I had a brief opportunity while on a business trip, and so I headed up there (thanks to Allan’s excellent directions and inspired by his photos). While there was a lot of activity due to the filming of some picture (I didn’t see Andy anywhere), they let me drive around the lake. They didn’t, however, let me get out of the car. So, I guess I’m going to have to try again someday. All of that being said, I did see things that were familiar, and I had a great time. Thanks, Allan, for the directions and the inspiration.

  • Beezen March 3, 2011, 7:11 pm

    Was there in ’06. Nice museum in the area too. One of the reasons the lake seems smaller is they reduced the water level years ago to minimize the chance of flooding the canyon below.

  • Tony Figueroa July 6, 2012, 9:15 pm
  • Tim Bradshaw January 17, 2013, 6:57 pm

    Another great podcast. I had the opportuntiy to visit this place twice. First time in 2006, on that visit only ran into a hand full of people. I did not have the wonderful information and direction included with this podcast, so I was winging it. Rode around the lake a couple of times and stopped once at the first parking area near the end of the path, but when I got out to look down the embankment, it looked familiar, but I was distracted by the large Redwood tree and thought, this was not in the shot in the opening scence, there were no redwoods that I remember. Later, we flagged down a park ranger and asked him if he knew the exact location….turned out that he was on duty the day Andy and Ronnie Howard where there filming the opening for the 40th anniversary show, took us right back to where I saw the redwood tree. Once I walked down to the bottom of the small hill I knew I was there! I was not expecting to see the weeds in place of the water where Opie threw the rock, but it was still very recognizable, I could see it just like it was in 1960 when they filmed the first time. My second visit this past summer 2012, was just as facinating, but there were lot more people there, it was a nice sunny day, I beilieve it was on a Sunday. I would reccommend visiting on a week day for anyone who would like to be there without the crowds. I thouroughly enjoyed both visits. On the second visit, I spent lots more time on foot and walked all the way around and recognized the area were Andy and Hellen had their picnics, got some good photos all the way around. This podcast is a great resource for anyone who is planning to to there!

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