Looking for somewhere fun to go without a lot of travel? There are plenty of unique destinations right here in Riverside County. With three amazing watersheds (see the map on our website) there are many ways to get active and enjoy the natural beauty our County has to offer. Here are 5 places that should be on your list to visit in the new year:
- Whitewater Preserve: Located in the Whitewater Watershed, this gem offers visitors the chance to hike alongside Whitewater River which flows year-round. With 2,581 acres of pure wilderness, hikers are treated to the area’s diverse flora and fauna, including bighorn sheep that may be spotted on the cliffs above.
- Diamond Valley Lake: This man-made lake formed in an area that was known as the Valley of the Mastodons is an ideal spot for aspiring paleontologists. This section of the Santa Margarita Watershed has been the site of fascinating prehistoric discoveries that now populate the Western Science Center at the lake’s east end.
- Santa Rosa Plateau: This ecological reserve is home to vernal pools, a unique feature of the Santa Margarita Watershed. These pools are seasonal bodies of water that create the perfect environment for amphibians and insects to flourish, including the rare fairy shrimp.
- Lake Hemet: This aquatic destination in the Santa Ana Watershed is loaded with family-friendly activities. Whether you want to rent a lake-side cabin for a weekend or enjoy a day trip, Lake Hemet offers visitors options for camping, hiking, fishing and more.
- Lake Perris: Another man-made lake, this one in the Santa Ana Watershed, provides guests with great outdoor recreation. Keep an eye out for diverse wildlife while you enjoy the park’s beautiful hiking trails. You might even spot the golden eagles that call this area home. If you love water, be sure to check out the many water-related activities from snorkeling to windsurfing.