Tucked away in the Santa Rosa Hills southeast of Hemet, California, Simpson Park is an undiscovered gem. Offering an intricate 10-mile network of single-track trails, the park is a microcosm of nature’s best elements combined into a single canvas for cycling enthusiasts.
For those interested in a journey to this less-chronicled but highly rewarding trail, the directions are straightforward. Head east on Hwy 74, make a right at San Jacinto Street, followed by a left at Stetson Avenue. A right at Cornell, a left at Crest Drive, a right at Vista del Valle, and another right on Rawlings Road will get you there. For detailed mapping, a Google Map link is often included in most trail guides.
Despite a lack of abundant information, the single-track network in Simpson Park is a treasure. The trails offer a beautiful balance: simple enough for novices, yet featuring rocky gardens and technical descents to challenge more seasoned riders. The varied elevations add another layer of complexity. Don't be fooled by some sandy patches that might seem sketchy, especially to first-timers; the overall experience is quite manageable.
Those who’ve explored the trails recommend an upward trek via Crest Trail followed by a descent to the car park. This then connects to the lower trails, providing a satisfyingly lengthy downhill ride. However, it's worth noting that some parts of the trails might be challenging for younger riders; as some riders commented, it proved to be too much for a 14-year-old.
Simpson Park's trails are, without a doubt, worth the effort of discovery. With varying terrain and challenges, it has something for every level of cyclist. Just make sure to check park status for any seasonal closures and be prepared to share the path with hikers. It's not just a hidden paradise for cyclists; it's a community treasure for all outdoor enthusiasts.