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Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park - Everything to Know

Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park is a 40-acre regional park located in Riverside, California. Not only is it next to the Santa Ana River and riparian woodlands, but there is an 18-hole disc golf course, walking and biking trails, and picnic tables with grills. We’ll cover all of these things and more in this blog.

Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park in Riverside, California
Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park

This video from Jeannette Ali shows the park and the astonishing view you will have at the park!

Before we start, this park is named after Martha McLean. She and her friend are responsible for stopping the Santa Ana River from being channelized. The Anza Narrows is where the Juan Bautista de Anza Expedition crossed the river all the way back in 1774 and 1776. There is a plaque near the northern end of the park about this.

De Anza Trail in Riverside, California
De Anza Trail

We’ll start off with parking. There are 4 parts to a parking lot inside of the park (the entrance is off of Jurupa Avenue). In total, there are about 200 spaces and a few handicapped spots. There should be plenty of parking unless there is some type of event or tournament. I have seen concerts here pretty often.

A map of Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park in Riverside
A map of Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park on Google Earth

The main parking lot at Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park
One of the parking lots

The disc golf course at Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park has 18 fun holes to play. There are obstacles, like trees and hills, that make the game more interesting. The park waters the grass during the day for a few minutes. The entire course spans 2,000 feet.

The disc golf course at Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park
The Disc Golf course

There are picnic tables spread throughout the park, some of which have shade. Also, there are 2 gazebos with shaded picnic tables sitting underneath. Each of them has 4 tables, a barbecue grill, and a trash can. Please don’t litter!

The gazebo, picnic tables, and grill at the park
The shade shelter, picnic tables, and a barbecue

Although it may be dirty (one person said it should be quarantined because it’s a health hazard), there is a restroom on the western side of the park. It’s a bad placement, too, so it requires a decent walk to get to it.

The northern end of the park next to the parking lot has a sandy area to play volleyball and Horseshoe toss. You will most likely need to bring your own tent if you are wanting to play volleyball. Either bring shoes or go when temperatures are low because there is no shade to keep the sand cool.

The volleyball court and horseshoe toss game in Riverside
The volleyball court and horseshoe toss

The Santa Ana River Trail runs along the park - next to the riparian woodland. The trail system is currently 60 miles long, but will eventually be extended to 110 miles! It will run from the San Bernardino County National Forest to the Pacific Ocean at Huntington Beach. It’s also made out of asphalt so it’s perfect for riding your bike. Benches along the path are perfect for relaxing and taking in the stunning view.

The Santa Ana River Trail next to Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park
The Santa Ana River Trail

If you want to see the Santa Ana River up close, head over to the northwestern corner of the park (opposite of the parking lot entrance). There’s a little path down to the water just before the railroad bridge. The river can get over 100 feet wide in areas after heavy rain! If you’re a nature lover like me, you’ll love it here. Upstream are Ryan Bonaminio Park, Mount Rubidoux Park, and Fairmount Par

The Santa Ana River flowing through Riverside, California
The Santa Ana River in April

There’s an area with a lot of palm trees next to the river. I may know a lot about trees and ecosystems, but my educated guess is that they are mildly invasive. They are taking over the area in this one area.

As for the 1903 Concrete Railroad Viaduct (a railroad bridge), it is 1,000 feet long going over the Santa Ana River and the riparian woodland. It’s a cool place to take some pictures or see some trains pass by. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of graffiti on the walls - they did repaint it in 2022.

The 1903 Concrete Railroad Viaduct in Riverside, California
1903 Concrete Railroad Viaduct

Last but not least is that Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park gets crowded on the weekends. The busiest times are around 4 PM; the morning is the best time to go to beat the crowds. As for the weekdays, the busiest times are 11 AM - 1 PM. The early morning or late evening are the best times to go.

One review says, “This park has a sweet little 18-basket disc golf course and I love it. There are BBQ grills, a couple of gazebos, picnic tables, plenty of parking, nice views, and mostly everyone I have come across seemed nice and friendly. I've seen people with their pets, RC cars, drones, yoga classes, photography, birthdays, and Disc Golf tournaments. It’s a great little park.”

The Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park sign in Riverside
The Martha McLean - Anza Narrows Park sign

If you’re looking for a nearby playground, I recommend Ryan Bonaminio Park. It has tall slides, games, a jungle gym, a rock climbing wall, swings, and so much more!

Address: 5759 Jurupa Ave, Riverside, CA 92504

Hours: 6 AM - 8 PM daily

Coordinates: 33.962789, -117.427648

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