Ridgetop views and rugged backcountry make El Capitan a great place to get out on the trails. Join the Trails Council as we explore the Bill Wallace trail April 11.
Ray Ford

SB hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians and trail runners are invited to Santa Barbara Trails Council’s 1st annual BBQ and concert at El Capitan Canyon, Sunday April 11.

“This will be a first-ever opportunity to explore some of the Gaviota coast’s finest backcountry and to share an afternoon of good food and great music afterward,” says Trails Council President Otis Calef.

Tickets for the afternoon of trail activities, food and music are $35 (or $50 with an SBTC membership included). Those attending may pay on site or send checks to SBTC BBQ, Box 22352, SB CA 93121. Please RSVP to info@sbtrails.org or call (805) 886-5776 to help us plan for food or for additional information.

Ray Ford

Proceeds from the event will go to supporting the Council’s Trail Program. “Currently SBTC is working with both El Capitan Canyon and California State Parks to improve public access to the Bill Wallace Trail,” says Calef, “and the money we raise will go a long ways to improving access to the trail.”

Though the Bill Wallace Trail originally was opened to the public in 2004 on a limited basis after 2,500 acres of the El Capitan Ranch was sold to the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and then transferred to state park ownership. However, because of a state budget crisis (sound familiar?) only docent-led hikes were offered, and as a result, access to the backcountry portions of El Capitan Ranch was restricted quite a bit.

Ray Ford

“Recent changes in state park management have signaled a change in attitude,” Calef says. “They are very open to the idea of opening the entire ranch to public use, but both State Parks and the privately-held ranch need help in doing what’s needed to sign and maintain the trails. That’s where the Trails Council can be of great help.”

To share some of the spectacular vistas and backcountry beauty, the Trails Council will offer a selection of hikes, mountain bike and equestrian rides, as well as a first-ever trail run on the Bill Wallace Trail to kick off the day’s activities. Those interested in joining one of these should meet at noon at the parking area on the west side of El Capitan. The hikes and rides will leave promptly at 12:30pm and will last about 2 hours each.

Ray Ford

Those who join the mountain bike and trail runs will have the opportunity of completing the entire 12 mile circuit of the Bill Wallace Trail. “Though challenging, the route offers the opportunity to experience some of Gaviota’s finest scenery,” Calef says.

The BBQ, thanks to the Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch, will begin at 3pm at the picnic area in the canyon near the market, followed by music at 4pm. The concert will feature Kalinka, a local band that plays high-stepping French and gypsy-style music.


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