Green Living at the Trout Club

Idyllic Mountain Living Only Minutes from Town

Credit: Roy Hathon

Address: 7 San Marcos Trout Club
Status: On the Market
Price: $1,099,000

Courtesy: San Marcos Trout Club Association

“Enter if You Dare” read the hand-painted sign hanging across the road as I wound my way toward house number 7 at San Marcos Trout Club. Orange pumpkins and black bats painted alongside were clues that the sign was a Halloween greeting, rather than a warning from the neighbors. On the contrary, as I pulled into the driveway and let my dog, Scout, out of the car, two little boys walked up and asked to pat her. “Why are so many people visiting this house?” one of them asked. His mother walked up behind him and said gently, “They’re moving, remember? People are coming to look at the house and maybe be our new neighbors.”

This warm introduction to the Trout Club gave me a glimpse into life in this idyllic mountain community. Everyone knows their neighbors, and kids play together in the picturesque setting filled with trails, swimming holes, and plenty of communal open space. 

Located off Highway 154 just12 minutes from town, The San Marcos Trout Club community was established in the 1920s as a trout fishing club, and it now consists of 36 homes on 55 acres that include a creek, natural springs, and a tranquil, tree-studded countryside overlooking Santa Barbara.

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The Craftsman-style home at number 7 was custom-built in 2008 by local firm Campanelli Construction. The solar-powered residence is a model for sustainable building materials and practices. State-of-the-art green features include a rain-harvesting system, energy-efficient appliances, a permeable driveway designed to keep rainwater on site, and fire-, insect-, and rot-resistant siding, to name just a few.

A broad staircase leads up to the stately second-floor front entrance, with the master bedroom suite and great room above and the other two bedrooms below on the first floor. 

The great room has 13-foot beamed cathedral ceilings and includes the living room, dining room, and kitchen in an open floorplan. The kitchen has LED lighting, custom cabinetry, and a broad center island. Caesar stone counters in a buttery yellow compliment the plaster walls and bamboo flooring. 

An impressive river-rock fireplace in the living room is a focal point, rivaled only by the breathtaking view. Sliding-glass pocket doors open onto a huge south-facing deck, with a view straight down the canyon to the ocean and islands. The iconic silhouette of UC Santa Barbara’s Storke Tower is framed between the treetops. 

Another set of doors opens onto a shaded barbecue zone on the other side of the house with a built-in rock bench seat that looks through the house straight out to the same serene view. Down a hallway, past an efficient office space tucked beside the kitchen lie a half bath, an office, and the master bedroom suite. One fun feature is a laundry chute from the master bath straight to the laundry room downstairs.

In addition to the laundry room, the downstairs also houses two more bedrooms, a bathroom, access to the oversized two-car garage, and a huge rec room that can be reimagined into a gym, playroom, or any number of multiple purposes. The downstairs bedrooms each enjoy private patios, and one has an oversized closet big enough to be used as a separate study or play area. The floors downstairs are colored concrete with a cut-in rug pattern, eliminating the need for carpet and helping keep the house cool in summer.

There are tons of additional green elements throughout the house that lead to natural heating and cooling. The window and doors have been oriented to maximize solar access so that the sun warms the house in winter. Conversely, the deep roof eaves are designed to shade the house and keep it cool in the summer sun. The positioning of the doors and windows creates continuous air flow from the first floor to the second, providing natural ventilation.

The house breathes both literally and figuratively. As I drove away, I waved to the kids still playing outside in the evening sun, putting finishing touches on Halloween decorations and who knows what other creative projects. I’m sure they’re hoping that their new neighbors in house number 7 will be ready to join in the fun. No matter who the new owners are, they’ll be entering into the relaxed and nurturing lifestyle at the Trout Club.

7 San Marcos Trout Club is listed for sale in Santa Barbara by Kit Peterson of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Kit at (805) 689-5535 or

Photo Credits: all are by Roy Hathon.

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