In the Inland Empire we are fortunate to have one of the best kept secrets flowing right through our entire region. The Santa Anna River Trail (SART).
The Santa Ana River starts in the San Bernardino Mountains and runs for 100 miles all the way to the coast at Huntington Beach. Trails along the river which merge together to create the SART system meander down through Redlands, Riverside, Corona and multiple locations in Orange County as it heads out to the Pacific Ocean.
The trails feature bikeways, paths for walking and equestrian riding. There are places to stop and enjoy nature, views, and even a few local historic sites all along the trail and bikeway. Some of the parks that you’ll pass as you travel the trail include Riverside’s Fairmount Park, Carlson Dog Park, and Martha McLean/Anza Narrows park. You’ll also pass right by the Hidden Valley Wildlife area where you can stop and catch spectacular views looking out over the river bottom towards Mount Baldy. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see a few red shoulder hawks riding the thermals above the river.
Thanks to the recent efforts of the SART Trust, awareness of this urban oasis has been increasing. The Trust just recently turned the reigns over to the Santa Ana River Conservancy. The conservancy brings together entities from 3 counties, 17 cities, and multiple special jurisdictions through which this contiguous trail system travels. Having this green, forested artery travel through and along our urban sprawl adds value to our region.
Studies have shown that open space and trails increase property values and quality of life. A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 57% of those polled would choose a home close to parks and open space over one that was not. Bottom line, green, open spaces make us healthier and happier so let’s get out and enjoy this hidden gem.
We’re always boasting about how wonderful our quality of life in Riverside is. Another great example of the good things that are happening took place last August. Forbes Magazine named Riverside the 8th “Coolest City” in the nation in a survey based on the simple idea of how many options are there for you to enjoy spending a Saturday in your city. The metric they used included “quantifying the availability of professional and college sports events, zoos and aquariums, golf courses, ski areas, and National parks, among others. It also factors in art and cultural options, measuring the presence of theater and musical performances as well as local museums.” Riverside’s public spaces, unique eateries, fabulous theaters and museums and our proximity to great hiking and outdoor activities worked to our advantage. Click here for the full article.
This weekend is the start of a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the 8th Coolest City. As part of a kickoff event for the R.I.G.H.T program (Riverside is Getting Healthy Together), this month’s “Walk With the Mayor” will start at Ryan Bonamino Park and participants will walk from the park up Mount Rubidoux. This is the start of the 3 month challenge through the City of Riverside. The Start R.I.G.H.T. Challenge is a city-wide, healthy-living campaign and challenge that aims to increase health knowledge and access to fitness and educational opportunities for Riverside Residents. The Challenge is completely FREE for people who live and work in Riverside to take part in! Residents who participate in the challenge have a chance to win a grand prize of $500. This year those that complete the challenge, by having both an entry weigh-in and exit weigh-out, are entered in a drawing to win $300. We will be giving away two $300 prizes. Click here for more details regarding this program and for details on how to join the challenge.
Let’s get out and get fit Riverside!