The air was crisp, the sunlight shimmered off the water and the Lake Perris State Recreation Area provided the perfect backdrop for the first in series of three hikes sponsored by the City of Perris.
A crowd of more than 250 people—twice more than expected—turned out Feb. 25 to take part in a three-mile jaunt along the shoreline of Lake Perris. The crowd included residents recovering from major illnesses, moms and dads pushing strollers, people with pets on leashes and elected City officials.
Mayor Pro Tem David Starr Rabb and City Councilman Malcolm Corona were among those who took part in the hike, the easiest in the series of three “Take a Hike” walks sponsored the City. The next walk takes place March 25 at Kabian Park in south Perris, and the last and most challenging hike will be held April 29th. That four-mile hike will reach the summit of Terri Peak at Lake Perris.
All hikes are free. Additional information about the “Take a Hike” series is available at www.cityofperris.org, the City’s Facebook page, “Perris Today,” Twitter, Instagram or by calling 951-943-6603.
Rabb said he was pleased that such a large and enthusiastic crowd turned out, noting that the hikes continue the City’s ongoing “Live Well Perris” healthy-eating active-living outreach.
“This great turnout shows that people are interested in keeping fit and shows the City’s commitment to the Live Well Perris program,” Rabb said prior to the start of the hike. Later, as he walked along the Lake Perris shore, he described the day’s activities in one word: “good, good, good, good, good!”
Corona walked with his wife, Mila. Son Malcolm, 20 months, enjoyed the catbird’s seat, rolling along the sand in a stroller.
“I am very pleased that so many people have turned out to enjoy themselves, meet their neighbors and get some exercise,” Corona said. “In the last few years, the City of Perris has a big push to improve the lives of its residents. Many thanks to the community and our City staff for making this a great event.”
Improving health and fitness
The hikers included Walter DeAngelo, who suffered a stroke last year and used the event as a form or physical therapy.
“Part of my rehab is to exercise,” DeAngelo said. “This is a very nice event. I am glad the City of Perris took time to organize this event. This is good for me, my family and the community. It makes me feel good, very good.”
Eugenia Gonzalez said a desire to “challenge myself to get outside and do something fun” brought her to Lake Perris. Gonzalez said she frequently walks through her May Ranch neighborhood and hits the treadmill and elliptical machines regularly, but the recent hike was her first.
“I like to look and feel good,” she said. “This hike is a great event because it motivates people to do something to improve their health. That’s a good thing.”
Sheila Cardwell said she spends most of her work day behind a desk. For her, the hike was the perfect opportunity to “get some exercise, burn some calories and work up a sweat.”
“There’s nothing better to do on a Saturday,” she said. “It’s a really, really good thing the City of Perris is doing because a lot of people don’t get the chance to get out and exercise.”
City fitness instructor Laura Sosa led the Feb. 25 hike and will lead the other two upcoming events. She’s taken part in many exercise programs since the start of Live Well Perris in 2014 and has seen many people improve their looks and health in that time.
“People are really appreciative to the City for sponsoring these programs,” she said.