Thursday, August 31, 2017

San Marcos Preserve

Near Highway 154 is an unimproved open space with miles of trails. One of the newer open spaces, the land was donated in 2007 and several organizations have been part of restoring the habitat. This is a very sunny path with little shade so be prepared.

Directions: From Santa Barbara, take 101 N to the 154 exit. Continue straight onto Calle Real and turn left onto 154. Take the first exit and turn left onto Cathedral Oaks. Turn right onto Via Chapperal and then left on the bridge to nowhere (Salvar Rd) and left again onto Via Gaitero.

Trail Rating: Moderate
Distance: 2.6 miles (or a shorter turn around point)
Time: 1.5 hours for the whole trail
Nearby Attractions: Tuckers Grove and La Cumbre Plaza
More Information:
Trail Map:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

El Capitan State Beach

El Capitan Beach is a state beach with camping and a day use area. There are biking and hiking trails and family events. It is a narrow, rocky beach so check the tides before you go. The parking is a short walk (down a hill) to the beach. As camping restrictions ease, it may be hard to socially distance here.

Directions: Take 101N to exit 117. Take a left onto El Capitan State Beach Rd and continue straight.

There are bathrooms and showers.
There is a small store for simple snacks. 
It is a nice beach in the off season and during the week, but does have camping traffic.

Hauling stuff back from the beach is an uphill walk.
There is a $10 daily charge for state park use or an annual Golden Poppy pass is $125 
It is a drive from Santa Barbara/Goleta (20-30 minutes).

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Lake Los Carneros

Near the Stow House and the South Coast Railroad Museum, there is a 25 acre Goleta open area with miles of trails and plenty of wildlife to spot. This ia a great place to feed the ducks, climb or play under trees or take an easy nature walk. It is a flat dirt trail and one of the easiest for little ones to navigate.

Directions:Take 101 N from Santa Barbara. exit Los Carneros and turn right. Go straight through the roundabout and park in the lot near the Railroad Museum. Alternately, turn right at the roundabout onto Calle Real and take the first left onto La Patera. Park near the gate.

Trail Rating: Easy
Distance: 1 mile around the lake depending on the path
Time: 35 minutes
Nearby Attractions: Stow Park and Girsh Park
More Information: and