We recently had the opportunity to take a guided tour up to Grant Park in Ventura. The switchback design makes the 1 1/2 mile assent quite easy. Park behind the historic Ventura government building on Poli Street where you’ll find the trailhead. The views of the ocean, Ventura County coastline and mountains just keep getting better and better as you make the climb. Ventura Botanical Garden constructed the trail in 2012, and while doing so, uncovered centuries-old stone walls and agricultural terraces built by Chinese immigrants. These artifacts make up part of the trail.
Once at the top, be sure to hike over to the Serra Cross. The original wooden cross served as a guidepost for travelers to lead them to the San Buenaventura Mission (just down the hill). Father Junipero Serra founded the mission in 1782. The current cross was erected in 1941. The grassy area around the cross makes a perfect spot for a picnic lunch.