Simply put, the Santa Barbara County Trails Council provides critical services needed to support trail access, maintenance and restoration in Santa Barbara County — ranging from expertise in trail planning and mapping capabilities to many years of experience using the most sophisticated equipment needed to care for trails such as those in our mountainous front and backcountry areas.
The Trails Council has been a leader in advocating on behalf of trail users for more than 40 years in the County. Trails Council is well represented on the County's Riding and Hiking Trails Advisory Committee (CRAHTAC), monitors development and other projects that may affect our trails and works steadfastly for new trail access as well as improvements to existing ones. Notable successes include securing funding for a new crest route in the Gaviota area and construction of a 1 mile route in Carpinteria to support re-opening of the Franklin Trail.
Among our leadership core, Trails Council has more than 100 years of combined experience in trail-related activities in Santa Barbara County. Trails Council has been actively involved in planning issues on the front country trails, Goleta Community plans, CRAHTAC and currently, the Gaviota Coast Planning process.
Trails Council is also working with the City of Goleta on its open space plans and has prepared a Management Plan for Lake Los Carneros as well as our proposed restoration plan for Tunnel Trail:
Thanks to generous donations of software by ESRI, the leading GIS software company in the U.S. and partnerships with several public agencies who share data with us, the Trails Council now has sophisticated equipment and software to produce state-of-the-art maps to support trail planning, maintenance and restoration projects.
Trails Council is available to contract for GIS work both on a volunteer and paid basis for projects in Santa Barbara County. Examples of recent work include project maps for our Tunnel Trail Restoration project:
Trail Maintenance & Volunteerism
The heart of our mission is the trail maintenance and restoration work which the Trails Council performs in partnership with various public agencies and non-profit organizations. As noted above, our trail crew has the experience, equipment and dedication to play a crucial role in caring for our trails.
Shown to the right, operating a Kubota K-008 tractor, Trails Council crew leader Ray Ford cuts through a major slide on the Buena Vista Trail after huge floods washed it out in 2005. Using the Kubota and other high-tech equipment, the trail was rebuilt at a fraction of the time and cost that traditional hand work would have taken.
Trails Council partners not only with the public agencies but a host of other non-profit organizations such as the Los Padres Forest Association (LPFA) and Montecito Trails Foundation (MTF) to ensure our trails are well cared for.
Of special note is the Santa Barbara Trail Volunteer "meetup" group we established in partnership with and LPFA, SBMTV and others to promote our trail volunteer efforts. Please sign up and join us out on the trails!