The 76 people who tackled the Terri Peak Trail at Lake Perris Nov. 17 offered a variety of reasons to conquer the challenging four-mile hike.
The stunning views of Lake Perris, the City of Perris and surrounding communities.
The chance to bond with friends, neighbors and fellow climbers on a majestic morning and maybe take home a nice prize like a Fitbit, backpack or bicycle.
But for many, the Terri Peak trek was about burning off calories—calories expected to result from overindulgence during the upcoming holidays.
Perris Mayor Michael Vargas, Mayor Pro-Tem Malcolm Corona, City Councilman David Starr Rabb, City Councilwoman-elect Marisela Magana, City Clerk Nancy Salazar and City Manager Richard Belmudez represented elected officials and senior administrators taking part in the final 2018 “Take a Hike” program.
More hikes and one bike-ride already have been scheduled for 2019 as the City’s “Live Well Perris” healthy-eating active-living campaign rolls along. A “Geared-up” bike ride takes place Jan. 12 at the Bernasconi entrance on the east side (off Ramona Expressway) of the Lake Perris State Recreation Area.
Upcoming hikes include a Feb. 16 trek at Terri Peak, March 16 and May 11 hikes at Kabian Park and an April 13 hike at Bernasconi.
Mayor Vargas greeted visitors who arrived in the early-morning chill, which turned into pleasant climbing weather by the time the hike commenced.
“You could not ask for a better morning,” Vargas said. “We want to stress the importance of exercise as part of healthy lifestyle. If you’re going to promote good health, you’ve got to follow it up with exercise. Health matters.”
Corona hiked with his dad, Jesus, and brother, Jhalister. He’s attended each of the nine hikes sponsored by the City.
“This is a great venue for Perris residents and visitors to see what our City has to offer,” Corona said. “It’s also Thanksgiving week, a time to be grateful.”Corona said the strong showing by City policy-making officials shows leadership by example.
“We are committed to our Live Well Perris program,” he said.
Rabb said the Terri Peak hike provided the chance “for people to start losing weight” before the season of big meals begins. It also presented the chance for hikers to work out together and improve their health. And the view from atop Terri Peak, Rabb said “is worth the effort of the hike.”
Magana said she was taking part in her first Take a Hike because “I want to make room for all those holiday calories!” She also echoed sentiments from other Perris representatives, saying “it’s as a great way for families to get active.”
“You have people here for the same goal—to get healthy and fit,” Magana said.
Salazar said the scenery was beautiful, the weather perfect, the turnout gratifying and the workout beneficial.
“This is good for your health mentally and physically,” she said. “Working out your muscles on a Saturday morning gets you through the day so you can go about enjoying your weekend.”
Supporting the City
Perris resident Carmen Villatoro has embraced the Live Well program with enthusiasm. She’s completed all the “Take a Hikes,” enjoys the workouts at the recently dedicate Motlagh Fitness Court at Paragon Park, exercise sessions at other parks and has attended City-sponsored nutrition classes. She credits exercise and better eating with helping reverse previously diagnosed diabetes.
“I support the City because it believes in helping people live better lives,” she said. “The Terri Peak hike is very intense and challenging but at the same time the view of Lake Perris is very beautiful. I like the shared experience with my friends. And because Thanksgiving is coming, I have to lose the calories I know are coming.”
Denise Zelaya completed a previous hike at Kabian Park in south Perris and enjoyed the peaceful setting. The health benefits of hiking make a difference as well.
“Disease catches up to all of us, so it’s important to eat healthy and exercise every day,” she said. “You’ll live longer.”
She ran all the way
Resident Tasha Prescott was the first person to conquer Terri Peak at the recent hike, completing the ascent and descent in under an hour. After reaching the summit, Prescott ran all the way back to the starting line.
“It was pretty intense but it was fun,” she said. “I definitely appreciate the City of Perris for organizing events like this. It’s a great way to meet people and share common goals.”