More Trails For Goleta

[06/30/15 UPDATE: The County Planning Commission added the following action to the Eastern Goleta Valley Community Plan: The County shall review, address, and revise the Goleta Trails Implementation Study. In addition to any revisions necessary to update information contained in the current document, the revised implementation study shall investigate additional opportunities to add proposed trail corridors to the PRT map. The revised implementation study shall study and recommend to the Board of Supervisors incentives to encourage property owners to dedicate trail easements as determined to be feasible.]

The Trails Council volunteers are reaching out to community members to get their support for trails proposed in the Eastern Goleta Valley Community Plan decades ago. The plan is now being revised and will guide development for the next quarter century. The County Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the updated version of the Eastern Goleta Valley Community Plan on June 17, 2015.


Slippery Rock | Late 19th Century Stage Coach Route Across Santa Ynez Mountains

We are providing postcards to community organizations and collecting signed cards at Farmers Markets on Saturday, May 30th and Tuesday, June 2nd. Below is an example of the postcard with the message being sent to the County Planning Commission Chair (click on image to enlarge).

Postcard Message

If you would like to participate in the campaign you are welcome to send your own postcard or letter to the address shown above. Alternatively you can send an email to the Commissioners. We have provided an example email at the bottom of this page. Comments need to arrive before noon on June 15th.

More Information

Following are trail related excerpts from the Goleta Valley Community Plan Update for the Eastern Goleta Valley EIR. A PDF of the whole PRT section (with maps) is available here.

(Page 4.13-1)
4.13 Parks, Recreation, and Trails

This section of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) addresses the potential increase in demand for parks, trails, and recreational facilities that would result from buildout of the proposed Goleta Valley Community Plan Update for the Eastern Goleta Valley (Plan update), along with the impacts that would result from the construction of new facilities.This section also takes into account proposed Plan update policies, development standards, and programs that are intended to minimize potential adverse environmental effects. To address potentially significant impacts that are not minimized to less than significant by the Plan update components, additional mitigation measures are proposed that minimize, reduce, or avoid these adverse environmental effects. These measures, if adopted, would become additional Plan update development standards

(Page 4.13-4) Trails Setting

Hiking and mountain biking are very popular activities in the County. Although there are existing trail segments, the Plan area lacks a network of trails with connections to one another and to other popular public trails along the South Coast, such as the Jesusita, Tunnel, or Arroyo Burro Trails. The Plan area also contains historic trails. Although not public, the Fremont and Slippery Rock trails corridors once provided passage from the coast to the Santa Ynez Valley. The Comprehensive Plan Land Use Element provides a Parks, Recreation, and Trails (PRT) Map (PRT-1 and 3) that was last revised in 1988. The Comprehensive Plan delineates a number of proposed trails, which would establish the envisioned comprehensive trail network for the unincorporated area. Additionally, the Goleta Trails Study completed in 1995 provides strategies to implement the trail network

(Page 4.13-10)
Proposed Trails

The Plan update identifies several proposed trail alignments (see Figure 4.13-1) along with Policy PRT-EGV-5.7 which states:

Trail acquisition and siting shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • San Marcos Preserve to Calle Real County Administration Campus connector trail
  • Fremont/Slippery Rock trail
  • Windy Gap fuel break/San Antonio Creek trail
  • San Marcos Pass trail
  • Calle Real County Administration Campus Trailheads and Urban Trails Network, including trails providing public coastal access
  • Maria Ygnacio Creek equestrian trail(s)

Although ample recreational facilities and open space in the Plan area are already provided to serve existing and 20-year buildout populations, future development under the proposed Plan update would require the dedication of land or payment of in-lieu fees, or a combination of both, for park and recreational purposes as a condition of approval of a tract map or parcel map. These collected fees or allocated lands would be used to create additional park and recreation facilities, in order to help maintain demand associated with the Plan area’s future residents.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact us.


How Can I Help?

Please take a few minutes to write or send an email to the County Planning Commission such as the example below. Please personalize your message so that the Commissioners will not get too many form letters.

To: Santa Barbara County Planning Commission c/o David Villalobos at:

cc: Janet Wolf, County Supervisor:

Subject: Eastern Goleta Valley Community Plan Trail Update

Dear Chair Brown and Commission Members,

Creation of new foothill trails into the Los Padres National Forest is a high priority for Goleta residents. For the last 25 years the Eastern Goleta Valley Community Plan has proposed such trails, but our community still does not have even one foothill trail! I respectfully request that the Planning Commission:

  • Adopt policies and programs to ensure that new trails are implemented.
  • Pursue creative measures to spur trail acquisition.
  • Provide strong incentives for land owners to offer easements for new trails.

Please do everything possible to ensure that our generation leaves a legacy that includes making our community a better place for nature-based outdoor recreation!

[your name and community of residence]


Farmers Market Community Outreach

Community Outreach | Promoting Goleta Trails at Farmers Market

Community Members Learning About Goleta Trails

Community Members Learning About Goleta Trails at Farmers Market

Community Outreach for more trails in Goleta

Community Outreach at Tuesday's Farmers Market on State Street


  1. Anon A Anon

    Please make trails. Woot.

  2. thanks

    Thanks, trails are needed! A spelling quibble:
    “Please do everything possible to ENSURE that our generation…”

  3. Scott Switzer

    Would love nothing more, than access to Slippery Rock!!! Go Goleta!!!

  4. Tim Cooley

    Dear Chair Brown and Commission Members,

    I have owned a home and lived in Goleta since 2001. While I love it here, one of my greatest frustration is the lack of access to the wilderness, especially trails that link the town to the Los Padres National Forest. I can see the wilderness from my house, but I can’t walk there! I have to drive to Santa Barbara or Montecito so that I can walk in the mountains. In my estimation, this downgrades Goleta to a second-class city, as much as hate to admit it.

    Creating access trails will enhance Goleta is so many ways. Not only will it encourage healthy living among our residents, but it will also attract visitors who will walk our trails, stay in our hotels, and shop in our local shops.


    Tim Cooley
    Goleta, CA 93117

  5. strong silence

    I don’t think you know how great we have it here. Keeping Goleta a “second class” city is fine with most of us. Here since ’66.

  6. David fisk

    I support expansion of Goleta bike trails as a frequent cyclist there!

  7. Jan Powell

    It’s frustrating and counter-productive to the love of nature to have to drive significantly to get to trailheads.
    Keep us off the roads and on the dirt!

  8. marc lehrfeld

    I’ve lived in Santa Barbara and Goleta since I moved here in 1993. I retired in 2005 and have been looking for a form of recreation and exercise that would get me outdoors and force my body to get into better shape. Toward that end, I recently bought a bicycle that I regularly ride and I walk our local trails. My favorite place to ride is the paved trail that parallels Atascadero creek, it goes from the end of Turnpike to UCSB…very nice ride. More like this would be very nice. Thanks!

  9. Susan Bertelsen

    What good are public lands if the public cannot access them? The national forest is a stone’s throw away from us in Goleta, yet it is completely locked up to the public- we’ve been waiting for an organization like you for a long time to address this extremely frustrating issue – keep up the great work, SB County Trails Council!
    /Flemming and Susan Bertelsen

  10. B McDermott

    Please, I support expansion of trails to our back country,
    and into the hills and mountains. Goleta needs access
    to our beautiful mountains.

    Thank You

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