This pleasant, dog- and kid-friendly hike explores an impressive oak woodland nestled between several luxurious estates in the Montecito foothills. Its short distance and abundance of shade make it a good choice on hot days. Tourists traveling up the coast on Highway 101 will find this an attractive place to stop and stretch their legs.
There are a few different options for access and routes; this post describes a balloon-shaped hike originating at the trail’s south end on San Leandro Lane. Walk through the white fence and begin heading north on a wide trail leading beneath the oaks and sycamores. After crossing a seasonal stream on an attractive stone footbridge, bear left and continue deeper into the woods, soon merging with residential Jelinda Drive.
Soon after leaving the street and heading back into the woods, the trail crosses another stone bridge. Soon after you reach a junction, the start of the loop portion of the hike (0.6 miles from the start). The half-mile loop can be hiked in either direction. The left fork continues north to an alternate access point on Valley Lane which it briefly follows before heading back into the woods; the right fork dips down to a stream crossing and continues east before bending back to the north. At about the halfway point of the loop, another trail branches off to the east, allowing an option to extend the hike. After completing the loop, retrace your steps back to San Leandro Lane.
Text and photography copyright 2016 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.