Fern Dell Drive

The Fern Dell Nature Trail appears to have been born in 1914 when the City acquired a 13 acre strip of land north of Western Avenue to connect that street to Griffith Park. At the time, the nearby corner of the park was called “Mocohuenga Canyon” – allegedly an old native name for a tribal council meeting place. That part sounds like hooey, as there’s absolutely no mention of “Mocohuenga” anywhere or anytime before 1911. Still, you can spot a remnant of the old moniker on the signpost for tiny Moco Lane, just off Fern Dell Drive. As for Fern Dell itself, the name first appeared in 1920 and may have been coined by Van M. Griffith (1888-1974), son of Griffith Park benefactor Griffith J. Griffith (1850-1919), as he had more or less taken charge of the park by this point. (There was a “Fern Canyon” referenced by the press a couple of times in 1917, but it’s not clear if this was the same part of the park.) Fern Dell Drive was named in 1942; it was previously known as Western Avenue Canyon Road.