22 June 2017
  TIME: 11:30AM - 1:30PM
  Meeting Place:

University Club
1332 Santa Barbara Street
Santa Barbara, California

  SPEAKER: McCall Marshall,
SB Foodbank
harvest program
Topic: She will be discussing some of the agency's efficient food collection programs - specifically as it relates to fruit and other produce bearing trees and plants in Santa Barbara. These have many benefits to the community and efficiently alleviates waste, among other things.

  None this month


Executive Director,
Santa Barbara County Trails Council
TOPIC: Baron Ranch trail project.

The Santa Barbara County Trails Council is a grassroots membership organization that has worked vigorously to enhance the county’s trail network for over 50 years. They are inclusive in their support for volunteering, collaborating and advocating for trail access on behalf of hikers, runners, bikers, equestrians and all others who use trails for nature-based recreation. To achieve their goals they provide trail related planning, design, mapping, construction and maintenance for city, county, state and federal agencies.

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.

African Savanna

Baron Ranch is a 1,038 acre ranch owned by Santa Barbara County (County) and is managed by the County Public Works Department’s Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division. The primary use of Baron Ranch is currently agricultural, including avocado and cherimoya orchards. However, 50 acres of the ranch has been restored with native plant communities as a part of the biological mitigation program for the Tajiguas Landfill Reconfiguration Project and partial mitigation for the Tajiguas Landfill Expansion Project. Habitat restoration activities have included creek restoration, planting of native riparian, oak woodland, coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitats, and relocation from Pila Creek to Arroyo Quemado Creek (Creek) of the California red-legged frog, a species listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act (Padre Associates, Inc. 2015). Approximately 30 acres of the ranch, including portions of the Creek, are proposed to be placed in a conservation easement upon completion of the restoration activities.

Gragg's garden

Looking down Arroyo Quemado from the Baron Ranch Trail

The existing Baron Ranch Trail (Trail) provides an approximately 6-mile loop from the trailhead at the Calle Real frontage road that parallels the north side of U.S. Highway 101. The existing Trail was completed and opened to the public in December 2010. This Trail follows existing ranch roads throughout much of its course. The lower reaches of this trail traverses existing orchards for over 1 mile, and then enters relatively undisturbed native habitats in its northern reaches. This Trail is generally located east of the Creek and is currently use-restricted to foot traffic only; mountain bikes, dogs and equestrians are currently prohibited, although trail operation guidelines permit such restrictions to be reviewed and reconsidered over the long-term (Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, Resolution 09252; 9/15/09). The trail is currently open for use on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (dawn to dusk); however, on March 15, 2016, the County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution to acknowledge the modified location and use of the County-owned portion of Baron Ranch Trail.

Gragg's garden

A view of the Santa Ynez Mountains from the Baron Ranch Trail


With assistance from the Santa Barbara County Trails Council (Trails Council) and in coordination with the Santa Barbara County Community Services Department, Parks Division and the County Public Works Department, SBC Trails Council proposes to construct and maintain a 1.35-mile realignment of the existing Baron Ranch Trail, from the eastern side of the Creek to its western side via a bridge spanning the creek, reconnecting with the existing trail at an at-grade crossing. The Project includes the entire trail segment within the County’s jurisdiction, extending northward and connecting with the trail segment in the US Forest Service Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) boundary. Improvement of visitor and trail user amenities (e.g., provision of a vehicle turnaround area, designation and interpretive signage, and kiosk with trail information), installation of minimal fencing along a portion of existing ranch roads on the west side of the Creek, and restoration of native habitat disturbed during Project implementation is also proposed. These actions collectively comprise the Baron Ranch Trail Realignment Project (Project). The proposed Project is located off Calle Real on the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County, California, approximately 2.5 miles northwest of Refugio State Beach.

Bragg's rose garden

The proposed Baron Ridge Trail would enhance non-motorized public access across County owned land and to an area of LPNF that is currently inaccessible via any established route. This combined County-LPNF Trail would be one of only two Front County trails to provide access to LPNF land in the 26-mile reach of the LPNF west of California State Route 154. The Baron Ridge Trail would provide connections to the West Camino Cielo jeepway3 within LPNF, and to Gaviota State Park trails to the west, creating greater than 13 miles of trail system across County, state, and federal lands.

The proposed Trail would replace the existing lower reaches of the Trail located east of the Creek. The County proposes to construct and maintain this Trail with funding support from the Trails Council for ongoing trail maintenance activities.

While trail use is currently restricted to pedestrian-users, joint trail operation under the County and LPNF as a multiple-use trail is proposed. User groups are anticipated to include hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, dog walkers, and trail runners. Opening of the trail for multi-use by these groups has been endorsed by the Board of Supervisors, including opening the trail for use seven days a week during the daylight hours between of 8:00 AM and sunset upon.

Bragg's doll houses

Baron Ranch trail is located between Refugio State Beach and Gaviota State Park along the coast, the trail leads inland through Arroyo Quemado and into the Santa Ynez Mountains and is about 7 miles round trip.

To get to the trail head from Santa Barbara take Highway 101 north, and look for the first turnoff on your right after Refugio State Beach, and then from there turn left onto the frontage road, which in this case is Calle Real. You’ll know if you missed the turnoff as the next turnoff available is for the Tajiguas Landfill. Follow the frontage road until it dead ends at the gate for Baron Ranch, parking is found along the road.

Tiki Bar
Bear sign on Sycamore tree.

From the gate the trail follows the main road to the ranch, which continues west along the coast, before turning inland and heading up into Arroyo Quemado. The road and the trail then continue through a working agricultural operation. Please respect private property at all times so that this easement will be preserved. The trail is well marked and follows the network of ranch roads leading through the agricultural section and into the backcountry.

The trail is slightly overgrown in places but is still easy to follow. At the top of the loop the trail connects up with another ranch road and then returns down the other side of the canyon and back to the beginning of the loop.

Submitted by
Ray Kolbe

More Information available from the sources for this article:
Santa Barbara County Trails Council
Songs of the Wilderness' Trail Quest: Baron Ranch


In conjunction with the CALM antique show, our annual plant sale was held at the EARL WARREN SHOWGROUNDS on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the 12th, 13th, and 14th. The total brought in by this sale was $4,665.19, bettering our sale last year of $4,269, which was our previous high. As a result, we have a comfortable balance in our club bank account!

Submitted by
Ray Kolbe

pink poppies