Teacher, trailblazer, and journalist Ray Ford’s mark on the Santa Barbara outdoors scene is already indelible. He’s reopened previously closed trails, assisted in fire-protection efforts, and took generations of Dos Pueblos High students into the wilderness. So great are his contributions that one backcountry camp even carries his name, an honor usually reserved only for the departed.
Now SBOutdoors.com offers one place to tap Ford’s decades of knowledge. Featuring backcountry destinations, mountain- and dirt-biking trails, beach walks, park descriptions, and essays, the site is one of the most comprehensive resources on Santa Barbara outdoor recreation, online or off. Said Ford, “I wanted to create something lasting and powerful that was out there for the community to use.”
The site includes an interactive and printable KML map with route groupings and destination descriptions, built specially for route planning. Equally enticing are Ford’s beautiful writings on natural history, which he hopes to update with the writings of other backcountry wordsmiths like Bob Burgess and Jim Blakeley. Though a few kinks are being worked out still, it’s an excellent new addition to the growing number of Santa Barbara outdoor web resources from a man who knows the backcountry like few others.