Best Attractions for Nature Lovers Near Riverside, CA

Whether you already live in Riverside County or are just visiting the Inland Empire, make sure to take advantage of some of the best Riverside attractions. From hiking trails to Riverside wildlife, keep reading so you can plan your next outdoor adventure.


Riverside Wildlife

Two top Riverside attractions, Hidden Valley Wildlife Area and Hidden Valley Nature Center, are located only about a mile and a half from each other. Besides enjoying miles of beautiful Riverside hiking trails, you'll see an abundance of Riverside wildlife.


Hidden Valley Wildlife Area

Come and enjoy 1500 acres of nature, including 25 miles of hiking trails. And don't forget to bring your binoculars to take a broad look from the top of the higher hills. Considered a peaceful sanctuary within Riverside, this is a favorite place for locals to go mountain biking, take a morning jog, or ride their horses. During the week, it's not crowded at all and exceptionally calm. There are many different trails to choose from, so you can select the difficulty level that's right for you. Locals and visitors alike love bringing their bikes or horses and taking the trail down to the beach.


If you want to experience some Riverside wildlife, you'll be delighted by the painted lady butterflies. Depending on the time of year, sometimes there are thousands. Along with butterflies, you'll see birds, bobcats, wild pigs, and coyotes. If you'd like to go horseback riding, check out S&D Horseback Riding, one of the most popular Riverside attractions.


Hidden Valley Nature Center

Along the Santa Ana River sits Hidden Valley Wildlife Area with 1500 acres of beautiful scenery. Whether you want to take a tranquil stroll along the valley, relax on a bench, or have a picnic, you'll find the perfect spot here. The trails wind along the natural terrain and wind down to the pond level. You'll come across colorful birds of all kinds that fly in and out of the lush trees. And when you're hiking on the 25 miles of trails, don't be surprised if you see horses and their owners on a relaxing hike too.


When it comes to Riverside wildlife, you can see lots here from toads, turtles, and rabbits. There are plenty of programs for children to discover local wildlife and explore the outdoors. If you're visiting Riverside, check out the camping and lodging facilities.


Riverside Hiking Trails

Even if you live in the city, there are beautiful Riverside hiking trails close-by. Two favorite Riverside attractions are Mount Rubidoux Park and Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park.


Mount Rubidoux Park

If you live in Riverside, CA, and love the outdoors, Mount Rubidoux is a beautiful place to get out of the city and experience nature. It's considered a prime hiking spot by locals. There are so many different trails to choose from that you never get bored. The paths are easy to walk, with most of them paved. There are several historical landmarks along the way, including the Peace Bridge. Once you arrive at the top of the mountain, you'll see the iconic cross. The panoramic view from the top is incredible, and you can view the entire city of Riverside. If you're more adventurous, feel free to do a bit of rock climbing.


Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

Just a few minutes from town, you can enjoy the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness trails. The park covers over 1,500 acres with 25 miles of trails to hike, bike, and enjoy nature.  Besides the trails, you'll be amazed by the beautiful views of Riverside, and the variety of plants, birds, and other animals.  The park also offers guided tours most mornings around 9 am. The guided hikes cover about a half-mile and last about an hour or less.


Riverside Nature Parks

Besides the outdoor attractions we’ve mentioned above, you have to visit the historic citrus park. One of Riverside attractions best-kept secrets is a gem to visit, especially if you have out of town guests. It highlights California’s past beautifully.


California Citrus State Historic Park

From guided tours to citrus sampling, you'll have a good time at the California Citrus State Historic Park.  As one of the most interesting Riverside nature parks, this park covers 300 acres of picture-perfect grounds. The visitor center, museum, and exhibits share the rich and delicious history of California's citrus industry. After a hike, many tourists and locals take advantage of the free citrus taste testing and visit the gift shop. And on the way home, make sure you stop across the street and purchase some fresh oranges.


There are always fun events for adults and children to do with special events planned throughout the year.


Ready to learn more about Riverside attractions including modern new communities? Learn more about Pulte, one of the top home builders in Riverside, CA.



Contributed to Your Home blog by Carol Youmans

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Published 11.27.19

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