Friday, March 20, 2015

Hike 2015.016A -- California Citrus Historic State Park

Hiked Sunday, March 16. Well, not really a "hike," so I'm not counting it as a full-fledged hike. I doubt I covered more than a mile. But it was a nice trip, since I was able to spend the afternoon with my wife, visiting a state park and learning about the state's citrus history.

I visited this park on my own last summer. Had fun, and figured it might be something my wife (who doesn't enjoy hiking like I do) might also be able to enjoy. So when we had a Sunday together and were already going to be driving down to Chino Hills for something else, well, why not continue on south on CA-71, and on to CA-91 and Riverside County?

To get to California Citrus State Historic Park, take the Riverside Freeway (CA-91) to Van Buren Blvd. Turn left at the end of the ramp, but turn from the right lane, because you'll have to make an almost-immediate right turn to get on to Van Buren. After a bit over a mile, a sign will direct you to turn left at Dufferin Avenue. The park entrance will be on your right.

As noted on my previous write-up, they do free (for now) guided tours of the very large citrus grove, where you'll learn a lot about the fruits and the history. You'll also get to taste a number of different varieties of citrus, and usually get to take at least a few home, with you. Of course, you need to let the volunteer docent cut and pick the fruit for you--Plants, animals, and structures in state parks are all protected, so picking on your own could get you a huge fine.
You are free to wander on your own, however, so if you want to get in several miles of walking and you're willing to zig-zag somewhat, it can be done. Also, the last tour I went on was somewhat longer in distance. Still, a mile or two is typical. It's over uneven ground, and there's not a lot of shade in the groves, so be sure to come dressed for the uneven surface and the heat. Bring a hat, and some water. Other than that, do come to enjoy your visit to Riverside County!

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