Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hike 2014.037 -- California Citrus State Historic Park

"Hiked" July 4, 2014. Short post, so I'll do this one now, as I try to catch up on the blogs.

California Citrus State Historic Park is in Riverside, off the 91 (Riverside) Freeway. Exit at Van Buren and follow the signs. I've got very few pictures from this hike, because my camera battery died shortly after my arrival. This was one of several incidents that has me thinking about getting a spare battery to carry.
If you visit, definitely visit on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, when guided tours are available (edit--as of March 2015, tours are only held on Saturdays and Sundays; Friday tours have been cancelled due to a lack of docents--so, if you live in the area, here's a great volunteer opportunity for you! Probably best to come in winter, although some citrus are edible almost year 'round.

And that's what you get with the guided tour: A chance to eat some citrus. Well, that's just a bonus. Your volunteer docent will take you for a nice walk among a LARGE variety of citrus, where you'll learn about a variety of trees, and some history of the area and of the citrus industry in southern California. As you walk among the trees, the docent will cut fruit off the tree and let you sample. You'll also usually get a few extra fruit to take home.

But don't try cutting your own--the trees, like the structures and historical artifacts in any state park, are protected. I hear it's a $1000 fine for picking on your own, so don't do it!
There was an entry fee, although I used one of my California State Parks Foundation vouchers (which also got me into Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve). Twice, this year.

There is no additional charge for the tour, however (though there's some talk of that changing, in the future).

The walk around the citrus grove is over generally smooth, but uneven (sloped) ground, so wear shoes and walk carefully. It's not a long walk, but it can get hot out there. Dress accordingly.

There's an actual hike that would take you out of the developed park area, but it's still pretty short. I didn't have time for that because of when I arrived. So I just walked the mostly-developed walking path around the gazebo, up to a viewpoint, and around the groves, before joining the tour that walked amongst the citrus groves. Not what I expected, but in a good way. Of course, I'm a big fan of anything "free," including fresh fruit.

The last picture in this post is my fruit drawer, after I got home. As I said, with a dead battery, I couldn't take many pictures of the park. So here's one of my refrigerator!

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