Dog-friendly Franklin Canyon

Franklin Canyon

Hercules, California
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Local Phone: (925) 228-5460
E-mail: info@jmlt.org

Franklin Canyon logoOne of the most important projects ever undertaken by John Muir Land Trust, Franklin Canyon is a 483-acre property comprised of rolling hills, deep canyons, and spectacular panoramic views in every direction.

Combined with JMLT’s Fernandez Ranch, which is immediately adjacent, Franklin Canyon creates a 1,185-acre preserve of permanently protected open space in which people, plants and animals can thrive.

Wooded hills on the property, visible just south of the John Muir Parkway (Highway 4), provide a scenic display rising behind the Franklin Canyon Golf Course.

A segment of Rodeo Creek flows perennially in Franklin Canyon, as well as key tributaries that contain water much of the year. JMLT is the permanent owner and steward of more than one-fifth of the land within the Rodeo Creek watershed.

A fragile ecosystem preserves habitat for a variety of special-status species such as Cooper’s hawk, northern harrier, California red-legged frog and western pond turtle.

Riparian scrub along Rodeo Creek includes arroyo willow, thickets of California blackberry and short-spiked hedge nettle. This vegetation serves as a movement corridor for both aquatic and terrestrial species, providing relatively secure cover along its length.

Public access to Franklin Canyon is scheduled to begin in spring 2015. The area is especially well suited for hiking, with paths that provide important connectors to the 550-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail and the 500-mile San Francisco Bay Trail.

Dogs will be welcome! The property offers a striking and peaceful contrast to densely developed areas in nearby Hercules.

Dog hiking Acalanes Ridge
Axel hiking Acalanes Ridge. Photo Credit: Karen Booth, JMLT staff
Be grateful for the folks behind the John Muir Land Trust—and consider donating to the Saving Contra Costa campaign if you can. This 25-year-old organization devoted to outdoor recreation and preservation of open space manages 11 properties comprising more than 2,000 acres of classic East Bay hills, ranches, streams and shoreline saved from development and offering multi-use trails for hiking, cycling, horses and dogs.

If Daisy stays close and has a reliable recall, she’s welcome to accompany you off-leash as you take in an intoxicating dose of fresh air. Some JMLT properties are diminutive (Acalanes Ridge above Lafayette, for example, comprises just 23 acres), while the Franklin Canyon-Fernandez Ranch complex in the Martinez-Hercules areas sprawls over 1,185 acres of permanently protected open space. more »
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