Description - Heritage Hill Historical Park is composed of 4.1 acres, four historic buildings and associated structures for maintenance and public restrooms. The fully restored and furnished historic buildings span the early history of the Saddleback Valley and El Toro area from the Mexican Rancho era (Serrano Adobe, circa 1863), to the founding of the town of El Toro (El Toro Grammar School, 1890; St. George's Episcopal Mission, 1891), through the citrus farming days of the early twentieth century (Harvey Bennett Ranch House, 1908).
- Guided tours through the buildings are provided for the public Wednesday through Sunday. The tours offer an interpretation of Saddleback area history through the artifacts, events and people associated with each building. Landscaping of the park is in keeping with the historic nature of the buildings. The grounds are also available for weddings. Park staff and associated community interest groups offer special events each year, the most popular of which is the annual Victorian Christmas held on the first Saturday of December.
A Living History program is offered to fourth grade children. The program enables students to experience a typical school day around the turn-of-the-century.
Tours are offered Wednesday through Friday at 2 PM, Saturday and Sunday at 11 AM and 2 PM. The buildings are only open to public access during tours in order to protect the historic furnishings and artifacts on display. Group tours may be arranged by contacting the park office Monday through Friday 8:30 AM - 4 PM. Please call the park at least two weeks in advance to arrange group tours. Group tour arrangements should be made for any group of more than 10 persons.
There are no fees at this time for entrance or public tours of Heritage Hill Historical Park. However, voluntary donations are accepted and aids the park in historical program presentations. The Amigos de la Colinas are the volunteer docent group and assist the park staff by conducting tours and special programs.
Recreation - Guided historical tours, viewing exhibits, group events and special holiday events provide recreation for many.
Climate - A warm, dry Mediterranean climate prevails over Southern California - inland it is hot in the summer, mild in the winter. Coastal areas have a more moderate climate with frequent fog in the summer. Most of the precipitation comes as rain during the winter months. The best seasons to visit are spring and fall but with the generally mild climate, outdoor activities are available year-round in Southern California.
Heritage Hill Historical park is located in the community of Lake Forest (El Toro) near the intersection of Lake Forest Drive and Serrano Road. To reach the park take the Lake Forest exit ramp from the San Diego Freeway (or the Santa Ana (5) freeway). Drive Lake Forest east approximately two miles, then turn left on Serrano Road to the park entrance.