Growing up in the valley, I was always under the impression that we didn’t live in a beautiful place. That people didn’t really come from all over the country to visit here. Most people that live here pretty much take the scenery for granted because, well, we are just so used to it. So many people here will exercise indoors even though the beautiful weather and the sites are smacking them right in the face. I know for me; fresh air and a view make exercise a whole lot more tolerable. Here are four local trails you should test out next time you want to get up and enjoy the outdoors.
1. Simpson Park, Hemet
On the Southeast side of Hemet sits this beautiful natural landscape that boasts 483.48 acres. Set in the Santa Rosa Hills, it’s great for those who just want to take a short walk or do a full-on day ride of the mountain biking trails. The city has really done a great job of maintaining, and refurbishing the area. They have put in a covered picnic area, restrooms, barbecue pits, and tables. One of the negatives of this trail is the lack of trees and shade so be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen. Also, since we live in the desert and all, rattle snakes are always a danger.
2. Dripping Springs Trail, Aguanga
This one is a little far for most people, but if you are willing to take the drive, it is definitely worth it. You can find this campground in the Cleveland National Forest about 11 miles off of highway 79. It has lovely scenery with trails that are fairly easy to navigate. The higher you go, the better the view is. The trail is a total of 13 miles, but there are sights all along the way so it’s really up to you how far you want to climb. In combination with the natural beauty of the area, a few of the local Temecula vineyards can be seen. To park at the campground for the day, the fee is $5.00 per car. It is a national forest so paying a fee is always expected, especially in California.
3. Copper Canyon Trail, Murrieta
I chose this hike purely because of its length, and level of difficulty. This is a perfect walk for beginners who want to experience the area, but not stray to far from the city. It is about 1.46 miles that will lead you close to Cole Canyon Trail (Santa Rosa Plateau), if you so choose. I think this trail is awesome because the Santa Rosa Plateau is right in view and has stunning scenery, but this requires a lot less commitment. You can literally go right down the hill, and be back on the freeway in no time. It’s also right in the middle of a maintained park.
4. Valley-Wide Regional Park, Hemet
This trail is less like a hike, and more like a scenic stroll in town. Nonetheless, it has pretty much everything you could ask for in a park. It has fitness trails, horseshoe pits, ball fields, and picnic areas. It just an overall great place to get a brisk walk in or a lazy Sunday stroll with a friend. The park is a hidden secret to the rest of the valley. Most people don’t understand how many beautifully maintained parks are out in Hemet.