Heritage Hill Historical Park's 4.1 acres includes , four fully restored and furnished historic buildings that 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 and special events, by appointment. Park staff and associated community interest groups offer special events each year including the annual Victorian Christmas held on the first Saturday of December.
There are no fees for entrance or public tours of Heritage Hill Historical Park for groups of seven or less. Groups of eight or more must make advance public tour reservations and the fee is $2 per person. Please contact park staff a minimum of three weeks in advance of your requested tour date. Voluntary donations are accepted and aid the park in historical program presentations. The Amigos de la Colinas volunteer docent group assists the park staff by conducting tours and special programs.
Four free "Walk-in" tours are offered weekly for individuals and groups of seven or less. Wednesday and Thursday at 2 p.m., Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Volunteer docents meet visitors at the front porch of the Serrano Adobe and tour each building.
The buildings are open to public access only during tours in order to protect the historic furnishings and artifacts on display. Visitors not attending a "Walk in" tour or prearranged Group tour may look into each building though an open doorway, but may not go through the buildings.
Group tour arrangements should be made in advance for any group of more than eight persons. Please call the park at least three weeks in advance to arrange group tours. The fee for group tours is $2 per person.
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. A Hands-on program with an activity at each historic building is offered to third grade students. The Native American tour is available to elementary school children and features a visit to the Indian village exhibit to learn about the life of the "People of the Land Before 1769."
Please contact the park office to arrange Group, Living History, Hands On, or Native American tours. Call Tuesday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (949) 923-2230.
UPDATED 11/16/20: In an effort to minimize the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on park patrons, staff, and the Orange County community at large, and consistent with the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Governor’s office, the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA), OC Parks are operating in the following manner.
The clocks fall back early Sunday, Nov. 1, marking the end of daylight-saving time and OC Parks’ spring-summer operating schedule. Most regional parks close at 6 p.m. for the fall and winter, and wilderness parks close at sunset. Make sure to check our COVID-19 information page for modified operations at some parks.
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