Our Work

The work of the Trails Council is divided into several categories and many projects are decades in the making.

  • We advocate for new trail access to wild and scenic destinations
  • We protect trail access to the coastal, foothill and forest habitats of Santa Barbara County
  • We build and maintain safe and sustainable trails for all types of nature-based recreation
  • We support public agencies with trail planning, construction and maintenance services
  • We collaborate with community organizations to enhance trail-based recreation for everyone
  • We educate the community at large about issues that impact the Santa Barbara County trail network.
  • We raise funds to construct and maintain trails through community outreach and philanthropic resources

Community Outreach

  • Advocating for the protection of existing trails and construction of new trails
  • Advocating for the California Coastal Trail (20 miles of trails from Bacara Resort to Gaviota State Park)
  • Trails and Ales (monthly trail users social gathering)

Health and Education Initiatives

  • Healthy People Healthy Trails Program (Countywide collaborative initiative in partnership with Sansum Clinic, Cottage Health, Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation, CenCal Health, community members and with hands-on support from the National Parks Service)
  • Mapping the Gaviota Coast (Funded by CA Coastal Conservancy and UCSB Coastal Fund)
  • Gaviota Coastal Trail and Access Study (Winner of two planning association awards for excellence)

Trail Projects

  • Baron Ranch Ridge Trail | Los Padres National Forest Segment (Planning/constructing 3.5 miles of trail)
  • Baron Ranch Lower Trail Enhancement | Santa Barbara County Segment (new bridge and miles of trails)
  • Ellwood Mesa Coastal Trail and Habitat Restoration Planning (Planning for 2.2 miles of trail and 10+ acres of habitat restoration. Funded by CA Coastal Conservancy, CREF Fund, and UCSB Coastal Fund)
  • Franklin Trail Phase One Construction (completed 1 mile of trail in 2013)
  • Franklin Trail Phase Three| Los Padres National Forest Segment (Planning/constructing 2.9 miles of trail)
  • Paradiso del Mare Coastal Trails (Planning for 1 mile of the California Coastal Trail)
  • Rice Ranch Trail Network | Valley View Segment (Planning/constructing 3.0 miles of trails)

Trail Maintenance Projects

  • Gaviota Coast State Parks (In partnership with California State Parks)
  • Midland School Ranch Trails (In partnership with the Midland School)
  • Ellwood Butterfly Grove (In partnership with the City of Goleta)

Trails Council Programs

  • Santa Barbara County Hikers (over 2000 members participating in weekly group hikes)
  • Santa Barbara Outdoor Volunteers (over 450 members ― in partnership with other community organizations)
  • Island View Trail Race Series (over 100 participants raising funds for Phase III of the Franklin Trail)