The morning air was chilly, the scenery at Kabian Park in Perris was stunning and the enthusiasm of the hikers was contagious as they tackled a three-mile hike sponsored by the City to help people get and stay in shape.
Nearly 50 people tackled the trail that began in the park and made it’s way past wildflowers, birds, hills and rocks before ending with a spectacular view of Canyon Lake. Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Malcolm Corona, City Manager Richard Belmudez, Assistant City Manager Darren Madkin and Chief Information Officer Arturo Cervantes led a contingent of elected representatives and municipal employees at the hike.
Beginners and returnees
Corona has taken part in all eight City-sponsored hikes over the last two years.
“I genuinely enjoy these hikes—I like seeing the people and supporting our residents,” said Corona, who came with his wife, Mila, and son, Malcolm. “I am proud of the commitment our City has to encouraging healthy lifestyles. Hiking with people and being around nature makes these them more fun.”
Cervantes also is a hiking veteran.
“The City appreciates the opportunity to host these nature hikes as part of our Live Well Perris program,” Cervantes said. “It give us a chance to show off the beauty of our community while letting folks get outdoors and get into better shape. And everyone always has a great time.”
The Oct. 20 hikers included regulars and first-timers. Delia Garcia is a regular.
“I’m grateful for the City of Perris which gives us the tools to lead a healthier life,” Garcia said. “If people don’t take advantage of this opportunity, they have no one to blame but themselves.”Garcia won a Fitbit at a hike last year. She uses it to keep track of the number of steps she takes each day. Her goal: at least 8,000.
Doug Thompson has been hiking around Perris for 25 years, often with camera in hand. He’s captured birds, wildflowers and insects, including an image of a bee sticking out its tongue.
“I like to see nature,” he said. “In all the hikes I’ve been on, I’ve never seen another person. To see so many here today is really exciting.”
His enthusiasm remained high after conquering the Kabian Park trail. He snapped photos of sediment rock formations, a woodpecker and an egret.
“Fantastic!” Thompson said. “A great time.”
Challenging but peaceful
Tasha Prescott found the Kabian Park hike somewhat strenuous but not overly taxing. Like other participants, she said she appreciated the City of Perris for creating its Live Well program to “motivate and encourage people” to improve their health and well-being.
“It was definitely a relaxing time,” Prescott said. “Canyon Lake was calm. It was a time to think and meditate for me. It’s nature. It’s a break from the bustle of life and cell phones. You feel good, like you accomplished something.”
The last hike in this year’s “Take a Hike” series is scheduled for Nov. 17 at the Lake Perris State Recreation Area.