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Family Spots

Special Opening of Strauss Ranch


Peter Strauss Ranch in Agoura will be officially turned over to the National Park Service on Sunday. In addition to the ceremonies, there's a ranger-led walk in the morning and a folk music concert in the afternoon.

With its broad lawn and shady hiking paths, the ranch has been a favorite family picnicking spot in past years. The drawback has been its limited hours: two weekends a month. Beginning Aug. 1, the ranch will be open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday's festivities will begin at 9 a.m. with an easy 1 1/2 hour "History of the Ranch" walking tour along oak-shaded paths. The walk is suitable for children who are good walkers and those in backpacks (no strollers). The walk may be repeated in late morning if interest warrants.

Following the 1:30 p.m. opening ceremony, the Aman Folk Ensemble will perform for an hour and a half in the ranch's amphitheater, which was built in 1929 when the property was known as Lake Enchanto.

Bring a Picnic

Picnickers can toss a blanket on the sunny front lawn of the ranch house or head for the shaded picnic table area. There are no food facilities at the ranch so be prepared with everything you'll need in the way of food and drinks. The lawn is perfect for Frisbee-tossing and kite-flying.

Peter Strauss Ranch is at 30000 Mulholland Highway. Take the Kanan Road exit from the Ventura Freeway and drive south approximately 3 miles. Turn left on Troutdale Road for one-fourth mile, then left on Mulholland Highway to the parking lot. Information: (818) 888-3770.


Fireworks Walks--Families can watch fireworks far from the madding crowd by joining two walks this evening, both timed so that participants get to carefully chosen viewing spots for firework displays. The Sierra Club's walk begins at the south end of Reseda Boulevard at 7 p.m. and makes its way up Caballero Canyon, a 1 1/2-mile walk. Bring a picnic dinner and blanket. Information: (213) 387-4287.

At Franklin Canyon Ranch, a ranger will lead a discussion of "what independence is all about" as walkers make their way to the top of Franklin Canyon Ranch. This two-hour walk begins at 8 p.m. at the ranch house. Bring water and wear good walking shoes. Franklin Canyon Ranch is located north of Beverly Hills at 1736 Lake Drive. Information: (213) 858-3834.

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