Manes & Trails: Ramona Community Park — by foot or by hoof
Trail miles in Ramona may seem tough to come by, but there are many locations that are available for riding and hiking that you may have never considered or been aware of. So many are uncharted gems, yet some are right in town, like our Community Park. I think all too often people discount the Ramona Community Park, or Wellfield Park as it is also referred to, all too quickly as too small or uninteresting. Think again!
I live and mostly ride in Ramona, and occasionally I hike with friends and family. Getting out and exercising and enjoying our horses and the outdoors is important, and having access to outdoor recreation is a vital part of any healthy community.
Right in the center of town on Aqua Lane and Fifth Street are five miles of nonmotorized trails that can be a relaxing jaunt through the park or an exciting trounce of activity. It kind of depends on when you go.
Within the park there is a two-acre parking or staging area, so whether you plan a hike, a bike ride or horse ride, there is plenty of room to park. The pull-through design makes it easy for anyone to navigate with pretty much any sized trailer. No backing required for those who need more practice.
There are also picnic tables, a small gazebo that provides some shade, a barbecue, trash receptacle, horse tie rail, water connection if you need to water your horse (but take your own hose and bucket for use), and an informational kiosk. Ramona Eagle Scouts had much to do with the kiosk and there is another at the rear of the park too — thank you, boys!
Speaking of Ramona Eagle Scouts, there are plans for a concrete, in-ground trail map to be created and installed by one of Ramona’s Eagle Scouts (go, Trevor!) some time this summer. His concept is beautiful and is such a wonderful idea.
There are no restrooms at the staging area; however, there are restrooms throughout the park and they are open much of the time, with no guarantee they will be open, of course.
The five miles of trail meandering through the park are mostly flat to gently rolling terrain and pretty much rock free — nice for unshod hooves. Single track short loops offer a variety of scenery, including the Santa Maria Creek. The creek proper is not part of the trail system, so remember not to ride in the actual creek bed. As part of the planned and proposed Santa Maria Creek Greenway (more on that later), these trails offer a vital connection through Ramona from the Cleveland National Forest off of Black Canyon Road to the Ramona Grasslands as part of the Master Trails Plan in our community. The creek is dry most of the year but caution should be exercised along the creek edges, which can turn into deep bogs during wet seasons. Brown trail markers make it easier to follow the trails.
The Community Park is a bustling place of activity. It’s home to baseball and softball fields, the Rodeo Grounds, the Ramona Country Fair in summer, dog shows, the Community Center, and so much more. It is a very active park much of the time. There are areas of the trails that will lead you closer to some of the activities, and some horses may be frightened by flying balls or Frisbees, running children, or barking dogs.
You may be able to enjoy watching some of the games or activities from horseback if your horse is a calmer sort, like Cricket. Know your horse well before you visit the park or check the schedule to see if it will be a busy day or not when you’d like to go check it out. The website is www.ramonarec.com/index2.html. Hikers can have a great time and watch some of the activities going on any time.
Keep in mind that summer in Ramona includes June, July, August, and September (sometimes October), which are typically too hot to ride or hike in the park, as there are very few trees lining the trails. If you need to cool off, head back to the staging area and have lunch at the picnic tables under the shade of the gazebo. Water your horses, hang a full hay bag, then kick back and enjoy your lunch while you visit. It makes for a fun day outside. There is no fee to ride or hike or even to park on non-event days.
The Ramona Parks and Recreation Association is planning some improvements to the park in the near future, and I am really looking forward to hearing what those might include. I’ll let you know as soon as I do. The RPRA does wonderful things in our park that make it available for our community to use for many outdoor activities, and I appreciate them for doing so.
I recommend you visit our lovely community park by foot or by hoof. It’s a lovely, easy trek and a nice place to gather with friends, get some exercise, check out community activities, and get some fresh air with little travel time.
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- Manes and Trails: Upper Santa Ysabel Truck Trail
- Manes and Trails: Rattlesnakes and your horses
- Manes & Trails: NERN Puts a Dent in Future Equine Population
- Manes & Trails: Community help needed to restore Ramona’s Historic Rodeo Arena
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