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The 5+ best parks around west covina you have to visit

From sunny beaches to forested trails, there is a lot to love about the nature parks in California. Read on to learn about the best parks around West Covina.

Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park

The Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. The park covers 1,975 acres and has trails suitable for hiking, walking, bird watching, and bicycling. Bicycle rental is also available at the parks. When you are ready for some downtime or a bite to eat, the park provides lots of picnic tables.

This park’s biggest asset, the Puddingstone Reservoir, is calm and great for fishing, boating, and swimming. The park has a boat launch for speed boats, and Sailboat Cove provides a quiet area perfect for sailing and fishing. In the summer months, the park offers overnight family fishing and camping events. Paddleboard and kayak rentals are available on the water’s edge.

Bonelli Regional Park also has a dedicated swim beach removed from the activity of boaters. The swim beach is a great place to soak in the warm California sunshine or take a dip in the Reservoir. If you enjoy camping, the eastern shore of Puddingstone Reservoir is home to a large campground. Campsites range from lake view to secluded, but all are well maintained and roomy.

Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park is open every day from sunrise to sunset. A daily vehicle entrance permit costs $10, and other charges apply for boats and RVs.

Crystal Lake Recreation Area

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Image via Flickr by Brian Altmeyer.

Crystal Lake Recreation Area is in the San Gabriel Mountains of the Angeles National Forest in the city of Azusa. This park is home to Crystal Lake, the only naturally occurring lake in the San Gabriel Mountains. Although not suitable for swimming, Crystal Lake is a popular fishing destination.

The Crystal Lake Recreation Area is home to over 15 nature and hiking trails, providing options for every fitness level. Trail length ranges from the short 1.2-mile Big Cienega Trail to the challenging 7.2-mile Islip Ridge Trail. Many of the trails are also great for riding bicycles.

Over 100 campsites are available at Crystal Lake, at a reasonable price of $12 per campsite per night. For a family get-together, check out Deer Flats, a 25-site group campground.

Eaton Canyon Natural Area

If you are interested in fire ecology and native Californian vegetation, check out the Eaton Canyon Natural Area. The large, on-site Eaton Canyon Nature Center is a great place to see live animals and learn more about the history and ecology of the area.

The park is home to three self-guided nature trails. A walk along the Fire Ecology Trail is a great way to learn about local habitats and the impact of fire on wildlife. The Junior Nature Trail is flat and short, perfect for walking with little ones. Kids can look for tadpoles in the pond, listen for songbirds, and learn about the natural plants. The Oak Terrace Nature Trail is a looping, short trail that provides scenic views of the park. Free trail guides are available for each of the nature trails.

If you prefer hiking, the Eaton Canyon Natural Area provides many challenging trails through untouched wilderness. Equestrian trails and picnic areas are also available.

Whittier Narrows Recreation Area

The Whittier Narrows Recreation Area is one of the most popular recreation spots in Los Angeles County. This 1,492-acre park is found in South El Monte and is home to lots of amenities. The Whittier Narrows Nature Center is free to enter and contains displays and artifacts describing the history, ecology, and land features of the area.

Whittier Narrows has three lakes, the largest of which is Legg Lake. Legg Lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout and catfish, making it a great place to fish. Legg Lake is also a great place to boat, paddleboard, and kayak. The walking and hiking trails allow you to take in beautiful views while getting some great exercise. Several equestrian trails provide spaces for horseback riding.

Other amenities include disc golf courses, model control airplane areas, shooting ranges, a BMX track, and community gardens. Picnic areas are scattered around the park, and overnight fishing and camping are also available in the campground.

Whittier Narrows Recreation Area is open from sunrise to sunset. A vehicle entrance fee of $6 applies on weekends and holidays.

Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area

The Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area is at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains in Irwindale. This park covers 836 acres, including a beautiful 70-acre lake. The Santa Fe Reservoir is a great place to go boating and fishing. A chlorinated 5-acre swimming beach is perfect for taking a dip or soaking up the sun. Pedal boats, kayaks, and canoes are available for rent.

The park is home to many nature trails that you can enjoy on foot or by bicycle. Bicycles of all kinds are available for rent at the park, including fun family-sized bicycle ‘cars.’ Model rocketry fans can take advantage of the park’s model rocket launch pad and field.

The Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area is open daily from sunrise to sunset. A vehicle entry fee of $10 is required on weekends and holidays.

California Botanic Garden

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Image via Flickr by Swallowtail Garden Seeds.

The only privately owned park on the list, the 86-acre California Botanic Garden is a must-see. Since 1927, the ‘living museum’ Botanic Garden has been dedicated to the preservation of native California plants and the education of the public. The Garden is home to over 22,000 native plants, including many rare and endangered species.

Walking through the main garden path will take you through the various habitats found in California, including Mojave desert, yellow pine, and more. The garden paths are paved, making them accessible for both wheelchairs and strollers. The Alluvial Gardens showcase California’s impressive oaks and wildflowers and even feature a fan palm oasis. In addition to the paved garden paths, a winding trail snakes throughout the property. Little ones will enjoy spending time at Benjamin Pond.

The California Botanic Garden is just a short drive away in Claremont. Memberships are available. Daily admission for adults is $10, and children under 3 years old are free.

California is home to some of the country’s most beautiful natural spaces. These are our top pics for the best parks around West Covina. Did we miss a favorite park of yours? Let us know about it! Contact Lem Garcia Law, and we will consider adding it to our list.