The 135 hikers who tackled the Kabian Park trail March 25 offered a lot of great reasons they chose to spend their Saturday morning working up a sweat and straining their muscles.
The verdant green hills comprising much of the course. The spectacular wildflowers. An unsurpassed, up-close look at Canyon Lake.
And to show their appreciation to the City of Perris for organizing the hike, the second in a series of three that concludes in April with a jaunt to the top of Terri Peak at the Lake Perris State Recreation Area.
Mayor Michael Vargas and his wife took part in the 3.5-mile hike at Kabian Park in the City’s extreme south end.
“Another great example of community engagement,” Vargas said. “It’s great to be able to get folks out for some exercise. The scenery was stunning. It was a real good nature hike.”
Vargas noted that the City offers weekly walking sessions for seniors, an early-morning boot camp three days a week and a once-a-week workout at the Senior Center.
“Truly something for everyone,” he said.
Leading by example
Mayor Pro Tem David Starr Rabb and City Councilman Malcolm Corona are both avid runners who completed the hike. Rabb said the route, particularly the view of Canyon Lake, was “really, really nice.”
“This is a great event with great turnout,” Rabb said. “It’s good to get people outside so they can get healthy and stay healthy.”
Corona hiked with his dog, a miniature bull terrier named Marty.
“I saw a lot of smiling faces and a lot of wildflowers,” Corona said. “The trail was nice. Events like this show our City cares about its residents by organizing healthy and fun activities.”
An awesome experience
Andrea Paris said she came to Kabian Park to inspire her children.
“I want to show my kids I can do this,” Paris said. “The City of Perris is awesome because it organizes great events for the community. It’s a fun event, and it’s free.”
Paris said she was unsure whether she could complete the course, which featured several challenging hills and climbs. She did.
“It was awesome!” she said. “It was gorgeous.”
Annabel Gonzalez made the Kabian Park hike and will scale Terri Peak Trail in April.
“I make all the City hikes,” Gonzalez said. “I like the scenery and I like doing something to improve my health. I’m trying to lose a little weight and stay fit. “
Marlon Cervantes has shed 22 pounds in the last six weeks as part of a “biggest loser competition” sponsored by his employee. His weight loss puts him in the lead at this business. It’s an advantage he doesn’t plan on losing. Cervantes said he's impressed with the scope of the City’s exercise programs and commitment to physical fitness.
“I moved from Covina three years ago and there weren’t nearly as many community outreach programs as there are in Perris,” he said. “Perris does a great job organizing these type of events. It’s a great way for Perris residents to stay very active. I’m impressed. I’m very impressed.”
Cervantes said that, in addition to the Kabian hike, he works out every Thursday evening as part of a series of ongoing workouts at the Perris Senior Center, across the street from Perris City Hall.
Many Kabian Park hikers are already anticipating the upcoming Terri Peak Trail, a challenging 4.5-mile route expected to challenge even experienced outdoors people.
That hike takes place April 29 at Lake Perris. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with the start of the hike about 8 a.m. Admission to the Lake Perris State Recreation Area and parking are free for all Terri Peak hikers.
Patti Cortez-Castanon, a 25-year resident of Perris, called the Kabian Park hike “my stress reliever.”
Like other hikers, she found the hike challenging but doable, the scenery spectacular, the results “very much worth it” and the City’s sponsorship commendable.
“I am glad the City of Perris is doing these hikes for the community,” Cortez-Castanon said. “Let’s continue to do this.”