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Everything About Aurantia Park - Highland, California

Aurantia Park is a 12-acre in Highland, California with a large dog park, a fun playground, walking trails, park shelters with picnic tables, green space, and more. Aurantia Park is also known as Aurantia Dog Park. Follow along as we talk about all of these things!

The sunset at Aurantia Park in Highland, California
The sunset at Aurantia Park

The video above from Brian West shows what the park and playground looks like!

To get to the parking lot, there is an entrance along Greenspot Road. This lot has close to 100 spaces, plus 7 handicapped spots. There is also an entrance on Santa Ana Canyon Road, so you can park along that street if the other parking is full. Every feature in the park is within a two minute walk from the parking lot. You will see the nice rock entrance pillars, and two plaques about the history of the park (scroll all the way to the bottom to read that).

The main parking lot at Aurantia Park in Highland, California
The entrance to the parking lot

There are 0.95 miles of trails inside of Aurantia Park. The pathways are cement or dirt, take you to everything in the park (including some nature), and Plunge Creek Bridge - which we talk about below. You will also find many tables along the way.

Plunge Creek Bridge is on the northern side of the park and spans 80 feet. This bridge was dedicated in memory of Lance Arnegard on May 12, 2015. It is usually dry (because, you know, constant droughts).

Plunge Creek Bridge in Aurantia Park in Highland, California
Plunge Creek Bridge

The green space is next to the dog park. It’s very small, but still large enough for a small game of football or soccer. You can let your kid play at the same time your dog is running mad. The grass is in good shape, too!

There are a total of 4 park shelters: two near the playground and two inside of the dog park. They each have a few tables, and one has grills to cook some food on.

The plaque on Plunge Creek Bridge in Aurantia Park
The Plunge Creek Bridge plaque

As for the restrooms, they are next to the playground. They are usually clean, so keep it that way!

Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days, while Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are the opposite. 6 p.m. is the most active time for Aurantia Park on the weekdays; 10 AM and 6 PM are the most active times on the weekends. 9 PM and 3 PM are the best times to go throughout the week.

A map of Aurantia Park in Highland, California
A map of Aurantia Park on Google Earth

Mary Hanna says “Aurantia Park has some interesting details. The dog park is well-used and maintained. The trails are multi-use including horse trails. The access from the neighborhood is a beautiful bridge. There are playgrounds and restrooms. Worth the stop!”

Aurantia Dog Park

Located just past the parking lot, Aurantia Dog Park has a section for smaller dogs and another for larger dogs. The larger section is multiple times bigger than the smaller one, but small dogs don’t need as much space.

Aurantia Park Dog Park in Highland, California
Aurantia Dog Park

Both sections have a shade shelter with some tables, plus some more unshaded picnic tables and benches in the larger section. The entrance has a couple of water fountains, one for people and the other for pets. It also has dog bags, so please pick up after them.

Aurantia Park Playground

The playground surface is made out of rubber. Luckily, it is a light color so it won’t get too hot in the summer season; it’s better than those wood chips that will cut up your feet. For the parents, there are benches and a shade shelter with some picnic tables. Bring some sunscreen because there is no shade whatsoever covering the playground.

The playground at Aurantia Park in Highland, California
Aurantia Park Playground

Aurantia Park Playground has 2 slides, a rock climbing wall, a bridge, games, ladders, and stairs. There are also a couple of swings off to the side. It’s a fun little park for families nearby.

Aurantia Park Playground in Highland, California
The playground at Aurantia Park

Aurantia Park Address: 29624 Greenspot Rd, Highland, CA 92346

Hours: 6 AM - 10 PM

Coordinates: 34.110686, -117.156389

Plunge Creek Bridge plaque: This bridge was originally part of 6 spans that crossed the Santa Ana River on La Cadena Street between the cities of Colton and Riverside, California, in the early 1900s. In 1933, the bridge was relocated to Greenspot Road by the County of San Bernardino to complete the construction of a road from the Greenspot area to East Highlands. This section of Greenspot Road was established by Mr. J.S. Edwards. He owned many acres of orange trees in East Highlands and Greenspot but had to truck his fruit some distance through Mentone and Redlands to reach his Gold Buckle Packing House in East Highlands. In July 1931, his employees cleared a five-mile dirt portion of the road, saving nine miles of travel over the old route. Two years later, the County took responsibility for Greenspot Road and improved it with pavement and placement of the bridge. In 1996, the City of Highland moved the bridge from Greenspot Road east of Alta Vista to its present location at Aurantia Park. It was relocated as part of a street improvement and bridge replacement project. The new bridge across Plunge Creek was dedicated in 1997.

The plaque at Plunge Creek Bridge in Aurantia Park
Plunge Creek Bridge Plaque

Aurantia Park plaques: Highland played an important role in the Citrus Belt of the San Bernardino Valley. Historic development began during the 1850s when members of the Cram and Van Leuven families settled at the base of the East Highlands bench. In 1858 Lewis F. Cram and his brothers, and Federick Van Leuven and his son, joined in digging a ditch from the mouth of the Santa Ana River to irrigate their land. This ditch crossed the Aurantia Park.

The plaques at the entrance to Aurantia Park in Highland, San Bernardino County
More plaques at Aurantia Park

In 1879, Redlands developers, Jedson and Brown, became interested in the higher ground on the Highland bench, and contracted to build a new high-line ditch, known as the North Fork Ditch. It was completed in 1885 and allowed the development of what became known as East Highlands Ranch by J.S. Edwards, who began buying land and planting oranges in 1887. The region grew and became a major citrus growing area during the latter nineteenth century and through the twentieth century.

The Highland plaque at Aurantia Park in Highland, California
A close up of the plaque

In 1886, the Santa Fe Railroad came into San Bernardino, and soon after, a loop through the project area and Redlands was completed. Known as the Highland Division, and part of Santa Fe's famous "Old Kite Routes" popular for weekend excursions during the early part of the century. The line passed adjacent to the southwest corner of the project site. It is now abandoned and the rails and ties have been removed. Since 1980, the East Highlands area has been in the process of conversion from a rural agricultural region to a suburban residential neighborhood and is now a part of the City of Highland, incorporated in 1987.

In 1988, local resident and citrus grower, Elizabeth Mclean Kiel, donated these 12 acres to the City of Highland. It is the first place of property to be set aside as public parkland in Highland. Its name "Aurantia" means "Golden" for the variety of oranges grown in this area. Mrs. Kiel requested the park be used to preserve a small piece of Highland's citrus heritage, native flora, and fauna. Improvements at the park were constructed with thousands of volunteer hours, and state and local funding.

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