Friday, December 13, 2013

Mobile Maps Of The Front Country Trails Updated

Newly updated, maps for your mobile device are online.  These maps are view-able for both Android and iPhone and give you all the trails and the scenic points along the trails.  Every map icon holds details about the selected trail including elevations, distances, descriptions, and points of interest.

To use, Google Earth App must be installed on the mobile device and if scanning QR codes, iPhone users will have to scan using the RedLaser App.  Scan from your home computer before leaving for the trail head or open directly from the webpage on your mobile device.

Visit for more details

Screen Shot of the Tunnel Trail Area Mobile Map

Screen Shot of Scan-able QR Codes As They Appear on the PC or Mac- 
Simply scan, open in Google Earth App and go! 

Screen Shot of QR Codes on a Mobile Screen
Tapping desired QR code will open that Map in Google Earth App

Having these maps does not insure your safety on the trails, be prepared whenever you go out on the trails and follow the Santa Barbara County Search and Rescues Hiking Tips before you hit the trails.
Remember some areas of the Front Country do not have good cellular access and these maps may not work in these areas.  Feedback welcome.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Franklin Trail Interactive Map Available Now

New map available to explore the Franklin Trail! 
This one of a kind interactive map contains photos, mileage,
and other info you need to know about this historic trail.
*Google Earth Required to View This Map

Friday, November 1, 2013

Franklin Trail Re-Opened! What you need to know before hitting the trail

One of last major trail projects forest supervisor Willis M. Slosson undertook before his retirement in 1914 was the Franklin Trail in Carpinteria.  Always looking for ways to improve his rangers ability to patrol and fight fires, this trail would provide an route to an area that previously had been nearly inaccessible.  In January of 1913 Slosson outlined his plan to build this new trail through Franklin Canyon over the Santa Ynez Range to the Santa Ynez River in the area known as Juncal.  The Morning Press described Franklin Canyon as "one the most attractive bits of landscape of the entire coast section".  This new trail was to be built with easy grades knowing that hikers and equestrians would also enjoy recreation available in the Carpinteria backcountry.
Work was soon under way with rangers Henry W. Muzzall, Carl Stoddard, and Tom Dinsmore amongst others leading the construction on this historic trail, then known as the Carpinteria-Juncal Trail.  Slosson decided this name was the most descriptive although is had been more commonly referred to as the Franklin Canyon Trail.  It was completed in June of 1913 after months of backbreaking work cutting through thick chaparral and blasting past seemingly unsurpassable sandstone formations. The Juncal area was now reachable in an 8-10 hour trip which previously took 2-3 days.  The Franklin Trail was an immediate hit providing access to the backcountry for hunters, fishermen, campers, or those just out for a scenic ride wanting to see the panoramic views of the Carpinteria Valley and Santa Barbara Coast.
Within years of being built, in 1915 the canyon was closed to public entry.  C.B. Franklin, owner of the Franklin canyon, was upset by the motorists who would picnic on his property and picked his walnut trees bare.  Picnicking had been long a popular practice in Franklin Canyon.  The canyon eventually re-opened, but would close again in the 1930's due to a fire thought to be caused by picnickers.  The Franklin Trail became part of the trail system for and was enjoyed for decades, allowing a direct route from Carpinteria to the backcountry.  In the 1970s land owners whose property the Franklin Trail crossed, closed their lands to public access fearing root rot on their avocado trees from hikers feet and horse hooves.
The trail had been closed since the 70's but people never gave up working on trying to re-open it.  After years of persistent work to get this trail re-opened by various organizations, the Friends of Franklin Trail finally were able to get past the final stumbling blocks.  The trail is open in it's first phase, which covers the lower 2 miles, with two more phases that will eventually take this trail to the top of the Santa Ynez Range along Divide Peak Road.  Phase two will cross through Rancho Monte Alegre along the fire roads, and the final phase will be across forest service lands to the summit where the old trail is long overgrown and badly damaged.
To access this great trail, parking is available in several locations.  During school hours parking is only allowed along Sterling Avenue by Franklin Park or along Meadow View Lane off Linden Ave.
Signs and a bike path provide easy access to the trailhead, located on Carpinteria High School Property.  When students are not present at Carpinteria High School, parking is allowed in the school parking lot. 
The trailhead begins at the western end of the parking lot where plenty of signs and a kiosk are at the start.  From there the trail heads north along the western edge of campus before turning east and heading between athletic fields and orchards.  Tall fences guide the trail user past these agriculture areas to the first glimpse of single track, roughly 1 mile from the parking areas.  The single track climbs through dense chaparral for about 3/4 mile before popping out again on fire road.  The road continues to head north until reaching a locked gait 1/3 of a mile ahead.  This is the end of Phase 1.
Find out how you can help get phases 2 and 3 open by visiting the Friends of Franklin Trail website.
The view of the mountains and trail ascending behind Carpinteria High School 

Map of the 3 phases of the Franklin Trail
Parking Restrictions @ Carpinteria High School
No Mountain Bikes or Equestrians until January

Kiosk Tiles - Back

 Kiosk - Front

Kind of hard to wander off the trail in this section

The single track section

The views

Access restricted beyond this gate into Rancho Monte Alegre

Monday, September 9, 2013

National Public Lands Day, Sept 28th - On The Historic Arroyo Burro Trail....

Come out and help us repair the historic Arroyo Burro Trail, along Santa Barbara's Front Country.
Work will include brushing and repairing this long overdue project.
See the flyer below for RSVP and other details.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

State Trails Day 2013, Jesusita and Tunnel Trails

The City and County of SB, USFS, along with groups such and Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers, Multiuse Trails Coalition, and SB Trails Council came out numbering around 30 in total to repair some of Santa Barbara's finest and most historic trails.  Tunnel and Jesusita Trails were targeted to repair damaged trail sections, cut brush, and open waterbars.
In addition to others working on Jesusita, a dedicated crew of six people hiked to the upper part of Tunnel Trail where no repairs had been done in several years.  The worst places were repaired and the crew did incredibly fine and fast work while hiking 4 miles round trip and gaining 1300 vertical feet to reach the work sites.
Nicole and Steve open a water drainage feature on Tunnel Trail

Parts of Tunnel Trail were narrowed due to brush
Steve from city parks and Corey working on the tread
Aaron from county parks and Joe re-establishing the narrowed tread
After brushing and removing slough, the trail is visable again
Stu, Steve, and Aaron repairing a section of trail that has been long neglected
Newly improved trail
Corey and Aaron taking a brief rest before heading to upper Tunnel Trail
Upper Tunnel Trail has been damaged and dangerous in the section for years.  This neglected area is extremely narrow, often times with no visible trail at all and has a steep drop off of
several hundred feet.
Stu repairing the trail
The newly repaired trail

Example of narrow trail

Aaron and Stu uncovering the trail

Steve and Corey at work
How the trail should look
Corey, Steve and, Joe with heads down
The Upper Tunnel Crew: (L to R) Aaron, Corey, Steve, Joe, Stu

Big thanks to the Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch for feeding all the workers at the end of the event!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Wall Climbing Rattlesnake

This adult rattler was hanging out on the paved part of Tunnel Trail yesterday catching some sun.  After I arrived this 3+ footer decided to show off his wall climbing abilities by going over a short wall and disappeared into the brush.