Make a Donation

The Trails Council's mission is to protect Santa Barbara County's trails and open spaces through our trail advocacy, planning, construction and maintenance programs.

Our Goals:

  • Protect, maintain and restore Santa Barbara County trails.
  • Connect people and communities with nature-based recreation.
  • Advocate on behalf of trails and trail users.
  • Promote new trail access.

Trails Council works on behalf of all trail users and user groups, our public agencies and other organizations to support long-term care of our trails. Your generous donation to one of our Trail Funds will ensure that this important work continues. Online payments are processed by PayPal. Credit card payments are accepted. Donations sent by mail are also appreciated.

• All Santa Barbara County Trails Fund

Make a donation to our general Trail Fund and direct your donation to advocacy, operations, trail maintenance or to maintain a specific trail. Your donation will support current trail projects or be allocated to the trail you designate.

• Franklin Trail Fund | Los Padres National Forest Segment

The historic Franklin Trail in Carpinteria, California is experiencing a renaissance. The first two phases of the project is completed and open to the public. All that remains is the most difficult portion of the trail. Trails Council is working with the Friends of Franklin Trail to fund Phase 3. This is the section of the trail that goes through the Los Padres National Forest. The steep and rugged terrain is an extremely difficult area work. So far we have scouted and chainsawed a preliminary line that crosses a 2.7 mile section of the National Forest to meet up with the Franklin Trail on the North side of the mountains. The next step was& developing biological and archaeological documents to US Forest Service standards for an environmental review and trail planning. We received environmental approval in December 2017. The last step is re-constructing the historic trail.  We have completed two miles and only have one more to go. To donate online click the green button or download our pledge form to mail a check.

All donors will receive a free 12"x 18" map as our thank you. Donations of $50 or more receive a Franklin Trail t-shirt as our thank you. Please include your choice of women's or men's style and the size when donating.

Free with Donation
To date we have raised just over $80,000. We need $20,000 more to reach our $100,000 goal.

• Ellwood Mesa Coastal Trails Fund | Beach Access Phase

The Ellwood Mesa Coastal Trails and Habitat Restoration Project will enhance approximately 2.2 miles of existing trails by improving drainage and trail tread and restoring native habitats to reduce environmental impacts associated with the use of the existing California Coastal and Juan Bautista de Anza Trails on Ellwood Mesa. The project will enhance this trail system and include improvements to three drainage crossing and two beach access points. The next step is providing safer public access from the bluff top to the beach. At one location, where a steep and narrow trail descends down the bluff to the beach we will construct approximately 100 steps and restore the surrounding habitat. At the second access point we will remove the existing asphalt pavement and reduce the steepness of the grade at this location by creating a curvilinear trail with a short flight of steps at the bottom of the trail. We will restore the surrounding habitat.

In future phases we will reconstruct the major trails to improve erosion control and repair entrenched trail segments that crisscross Ellwood Mesa. We will add boardwalks to span minor drainages and Devereux Creek.  The last phase is to restore 12+ acres of coastal habitat. To donate online click the green button or download our pledge form to mail a check.

To date we have raised just over $19,000. For this phase we need $231,000 more to reach our $250,000 goal and construct the stair and pathway to the beach.

• Baron Ranch Trail Fund | Los Padres National Forest Segment

Currently, the Trails Council has raised over $100,000 towards the environmental review process and new trail construction for a 3.5 mile route that will provide access to the Santa Ynez Mountain crest in Gaviota. Trails Council is working with the U.S. Forest Service to implement this segment of the Baron Ranch Trail is known as the Ridge Trail. Our goal is to raise an additional $5,000 to establish a fund for five years of maintenance once the trail is completed. To donate online click the green button or download our pledge form to mail a check.

As of March 1, 2016 we have completed 2/3s of the project with the last mile scheduled to be completed in the Fall of 2017.

• Baron Ranch Trail Fund | County of Santa Barbara Segment

The Trails Council is working with the Santa Barbara County Public Works and the Parks Division to upgrade the lower ranch section of the trail. The trail through Baron Ranch will provide access to the trail segment that will go through the Los Padres National Forest to Camino Cielo along the top of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The County Board of Supervisors has provided $100,000 to fund the environmental review/planning process and  the engineering for the parking area and the bridge over the Arroyo Quemada creek. Trails Council is helping to raise $465,000, for trail and bridge construction, and five years of maintenance once the trail is completed. Project implementation will begin in late 2017 and lead to a trail that is multi-use and open seven days a week. Currently the Baron Ranch Trail is only open on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and is restricted to use by hikers. To donate online click the green button or download our pledge form to mail a check.

• California Coastal Trail Fund | Paradiso del Maré Segment

On February 4th, 2014,  as part of the Paradiso del Maré project, Brooks Street Developers and Trails Council reached an agreement to dedicate easements and provide $500,000 in funding for the first phase of the Gaviota Coastal Trail, a new public parking lot and connecting access trail.  This bluff top  Coastal Trail will extend for over 1.1 miles along the scenic Gaviota Coast, the longest segment of the Coastal Trail acquired in the County since the 2004 acquisition of Ellwood Mesa in Goleta.  This scenic new trail will be first phase of the planned 20 mile long Gaviota Coastal Trail, which when completed will reach from Bacara Resort and Spa to Gaviota State Park.  Trail easement dedication and funding will be accompanied by dedication of conservation easements spanning more than 100 acres.

The Trails Council is slated to manage the endowment and coordinate fundraising for the estimated $1.5 million needed to complete the pedestrian bridge over the Union Pacific Rail Road, parking area, and a network of trails. Help us raise $500,000 a year for the next three years. To donate online click the green button or download our pledge form to mail a check.

• Midland School Ranch Trails Fund

With generous donations from community members and foundations the Trails Council had expanded the trails system in the foothill of the San Rafael Range in the Santa Ynez Valley. You only need to use the equestrian or hiking trails once to see the value in donating to support the exceptional trail network. Please donate to support our trail maintenance program. All donors will receive a free 12"x 18" map as our thank you.

• Gaviota/El Capitan State Park Trails Fund

Trails Council is working closely with the Gaviota/El Capitan State Parks staff to maintain the trails in both parks. You are encouraged to hike beyond the wind caves to see our work over the crest and into the back country. With extensive volunteer support we have cleared the Ortega Ridge Trail, cleared the Tunnel View Trail and the connector trail that goes under HWY 101 between the east and west sections of the park. Most recently we re-opened the Woodland and Yucca Trails that have not been passable for the longest time. This year we will begin to work on the Bill Wallace Trail that is on the north side of Hwy 101 above El Capitan State Park.

Way finding signs have recently been added to the trail network on both sides of Hwy 101.

We have more work to do and a small donation in appreciation for this exceptional wild and scenic landscape will help keep the trails in tip top shape.

A larger donation of $200+ will offset the cost of fielding a volunteer crew of 15 to 20 people to spend a day brushing and making minor repairs to the trail tread.


All donations are tax deductible. A receipt for your one-time contribution will be sent to you within two weeks.  A receipt for the total amount of your monthly contribution will be sent to you at the end of the year.