Gaviota Coastal Trail & Access Study

The Trails Council is pleased to present the Gaviota Coastal Trail and Access Study (Trails Study) for consideration by the community, Santa Barbara County staff and decision-makers, State agencies and our local representatives. The Trails Council hopes that the Trail Study provides useful information and recommendations for interested parties and stakeholders to consider as part of pending development projects and long range planning efforts on the Gaviota Coast. The Trails Council is committed to working with all parties in a cooperative manner to advance the planning for and development of the proposed Gaviota Coastal Trail and coastal access improvements set forth in the Trails Study.  In particular, the Trails Council would like reviewers to consider the following:

  • The Gaviota Coast is changing and such change will likely accelerate over the next 20-30 years as high end residential estate development transforms the coastal plain into an exclusive residential area.
  • The currently pending development projects between Bacara Resort and Spa and El Capitan State Beach combined with the County’s 2013 draft Gaviota Coast Plan offer a once in a generation possibility of protecting and improving access to and along this spectacular shoreline; if the community and public agencies hesitate, that opportunity may be lost forever.
  • Obtaining funding for both construction and maintenance will be a concern; however, with a strong commitment from the community and cooperation from local and state agencies such funding can be secured from a range of sources.
  • Realization of the Gaviota Coastal Trail and improved access will not occur over night; like all major trail projects, this is a project that will require 20 of more years of persistent measured effort; that effort begins in 2014!
Association of Environmental Professionals give award to Santa Barbara County Trails Council

Gaviota Trail Study Wins Award

We hope that the Trails Study objectively presents the challenges and benefits of realizing the Gaviota Coastal Trail and improved coastal access. We look forward to its successful completion for the benefit of County and State residents and visitors to our community.




Complete Report: Gaviota Coastal Trail and Access Study
(PDF, 130 Pages, 60MB, Large file requires a few minutes to download)

Part 1 Only: Gaviota Coastal Trail and Access Study – Part 1 (PDF, 34 Pages, 12MB)
Part 2 Only: Gaviota Coastal Trail and Access Study – Part 2 (PDF, 55 Pages, 42MB)
Part 3 Only: Gaviota Coastal Trail and Access Study – Part 3 (PDF, 45 Pages, 8MB)

Appendix A: Recreational Use Survey and Economic Impact Information (PDF 4MB)
Appendix B: Agriculture and Trails Questionnaire (PDF .5MB)
Appendix C: Photos of the California Coastal Trail (PDF 12MB)
Appendix D: 2004 Gaviota Coastal Trail Study – Unpublished (PDF 17MB)
Appendix E: Policy Recommendations (PDF .5MB)



  1. 1973: Proposed Coastal Trail System | Trails Council - […] Coastal Trail with projects that are in the planning stages. Trails Council recently published the Gaviota Coastal Trail and Access…

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