By Anneli Fogt
While some schools have Ivy League status, crazy party reputations or centuries-old history, Cal Poly Pomona has something you would be hard-pressed to find at any other college: hiking trails.
I’m not talking about the one very steep trail up to the letters, which most students know about. No, I’m talking about a legitimate system of trails that wind through the north side of campus, the Voorhis Reserve and the hills beyond CPP.
The most obvious trail is the one up to the letters. People can be seen sitting atop the concrete “CPP” on the side of the hill on a clear, Southern California afternoon enjoying the view. The trail to the letters is extremely steep rock and definitely not recommended unless you are wearing tennis shoes. While it is an extremely short walk from Parking Lot J, the hike up to the letters is the steepest hill on campus.
From Lot J, walk all the way east until the lot ends and a dirt road and stairs lead up the hill on your left. Follow the paint-splattered rocks up until you reach a small, flat landing among Southern California brush. The letters are actually below you, and the view extends all the way to the east horizon, into Claremont in the East and all the way down to Brea, south of the school.
This landing is a fine place to hang out, but if you continue up the hill, there’s another larger area shaded by an old tree that is just a little bit higher and allows for views of the Forest Lawn cemetary to the north, where you can sometimes hear music or a band playing, and the hills surrounding CPP. Once you’ve gotten your fill of the CPP landscape, head back down to the parking lot, but do not go back the way you came.
When you reach Lot J, head down the path on your left that looks like it leads nowhere. It will take you through some of CPP’s orange groves and runs parallel to University Drive, but keeps you hidden from the cars on the road. The trail ends at a gate in the parking lot behind Building 1.
From Building 1, you can walk back into the Voorhis Reserve at the top of the lot, listen for the sound of a tiny creek and look up to see if you can find the remains of the 70s treehouse that was built back there. There are still pieces left.
Once you have found the treehouse, and maybe figured out how to get a closer look, you can head to Mansion Lane and walk up to the proper entrance to the Voorhis Reserve. Beyond the stairs, make a right and you will be welcomed by a concrete shelter and couple graffiti-covered picnic tables with candle wax from numerous campus club initiations. A path winds up from the tables all the way to the Kellogg Mansion with plenty of places to explore on the way.
The possibilities are endless and can be done between classes free of any charge. Happy exploring.
The Hiking Boot Chronicles
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