Six Little Santa Barbara Hikes

I love my days of short hikes for so many reasons.  Today I completed six in the Santa Barbara area, totaling out at about nine miles.  I hiked in order: 1) Lookout Park  2) Coffin Family Trail  3) Ennisbrook Trail  4) Shoreline Park  5) Douglas Family Preserve  6) Elings Park

1   I began my day by parking under the freeway across from Lookout Park in Summerland.  I crossed the road and some railroad tracks.

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Photo 1 – Plaque commemorating the region’s offshore oil drilling.  Photos 2 and 3 – Long and close shots of several of the oil rigs.


From the parking lot I headed to the left and found the trail that leads down to the beach.  The trail is short but beautiful.

7     8     9   Soon I reached the sand.

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Looking down and then up the coast.

12     13     14   Photo 1 – A glob of tar on the sand.  I headed up coast.  My hiking book says there is a one mile loop here, but I didn’t really see that.  There are a few trails/roads that lead up from the beach to the bluffs where I started.

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I walked along the top of this seawall and right under a house.  The tide was high so walking on the sand was not an option.  It didn’t look that inviting anyway.

17     18     19   Photo 2 – Dead squid – bait left behind by a fisherman.  Photo 3 –  There is one spot where you can fall about 12 feet off the wall toward the sand, or about 8 feet into a big hole, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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I turned back here as the wall ended.

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A close up of the point up the coast, which I should know the name of but don’t.  Photo 2 – Looking back down the coast from my turnaround spot.  Watch out for all the rusted metal along the way.

24     My next stop was the 1.8 mile loop known as Coffin Family Trail.  My guidebook said to park under this grove of eucalyptus trees but there were several no trespassing/no parking signs.  Instead I parked on the side of the road just up a few yards.

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Coffin Family Trail is right next to the trails on my Toro Canyon hike and had a similar feel.  For much of the way, the trail runs right next to private property.  Too bad the mountain views were blocked by the overcast conditions.

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31   Gorgeous wild artichoke by the side of the trail.

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Horse corral below.  I’m pretty sure I walked right past it during the second half of the loop.

34     35     36   I climbed up to a road and walked down about a hundred yards to pick up the trail again.


The trail is squeezed between this fence and the road which sits just a few feet above.

38     39   I reached a junction for several roads.  My natural instinct was to cross but didn’t see a trail anywhere.  But the route doesn’t continue across the road, it turns and heads back up Sheffield Drive, where I parked my car.  In a short distance I picked up the trail again on the right.

40     41   I passed by the horse corral.  Under a shady tree is a bench with the names of horses who have passed on.  I love animals so seeing such things always tugs at my heart strings.

42   My third stop was the out and back Ennisbrook Trail.  Look for the small green building and the white picket fence that marks the trailhead.


I was quickly taken into a magical land of twisted oaks.

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46     47   Shapes and Patterns


There are a couple of stone bridges to cross.

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I lost my map along the way so things got a bit confusing.  I just kept following the trail signs north until I reached this area by a road where the trail headed east.

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I continued on until I reached the creek beside a grove of eucalyptus trees and then headed back.

53     54   I did a bit of driving and found myself at Shoreline Park, a narrow greenbelt that runs along the bluffs.  It reminded me some of Palisades Park in Santa Monica, but not as big or crowded.  The bluffs were all fenced off, but the fences were low enough so as not to destroy the amazing views.


Leadbetter Beach sits below Shoreline Park.

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I walked up a ways and found the beach access.

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62   The tide was even higher now than it was when I was at Lookout Park.

63     64   I returned to the bluffs and continued to the end of the park.  There is a telescope along the way for whale watching, etc. which was clean and functional.

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69   On to my fifth trail, Douglas Family Preserve.  I drove down the road and parked at the Arroyo Burro Beach parking lot.  I took the trail that headed back up the road over the Arroyo Burro Estuary.  I crossed over a bridge and headed up into the hills.  Eventually I reached a large flat area on top.  I walked over to the bluffs.


What a gorgeous blue the water was on this day.

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The trail skirts the edge of the bluffs and then circles back a little more inland to form a short loop.

73     74     75   I reached the end of the bluffs, marked by some logs.  To the side is a small perch that provides the best view.


Arroyo Burro Beach from Douglas Family Preserve

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The last location of the day was Elings Park. This park is a little more inland and has a lot of community park features like ball fields.  The looping trail climbs up and down on long switchbacks.  I reached the top of the trail and a flat area.  Vanyo Point is marked by a stone pavilion.  I like how the rocks are stacked in a way that encourages people to climb to the top for a nice view.

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Looking in the directions of La Cumbre Peak and the Pacific Ocean from Vanyo Point.


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