Central Coast South - Goleta - Maria Ygnacia Creek
Five miles north of Santa Barbara on U.S. 101/State Highway 1, take the State Highway 217/UCSB exit and follow this short highway toward the ocean. Take the Sandspit Road off-ramp, turn left on Moffett Road, and follow it back under the highway. Take a right onto Sandspit to cross a bridge into Goleta Beach County Park. Turn right as you enter the park and right again into the first parking lot. The inland side of the lot is right by the trail. Map: The Official Bike Map of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Summerland, and Carpenteria; available free by calling (805) 568-3232.
Ready for an adventure? The skate-rattling pavement where this route branches off from the smooth Atascadero Creek Trail should weed out all but the hardiest in-liners. But the payoff for skating two miles on rough pavement comes at the northern end near the banks of Maria Ygnacia Creek, when you roll through a tunnel of magnificent, mature eucalyptus that momentarily hides any trace of civilization. You'll also enjoy the route's two fast freeway underpasses, where excellent concrete makes up for the roughness elsewhere. Start this trip from Goleta Beach County Park. Take Sandspit Road back across the sandspit bridge and turn right. The Maria Ygnacia Creek Trail starts next to the sandspit inlet, which gradually veers off into the trees. For the first two miles, you'll be following the Atascadero Creek Trail (see the previous listing). Take the left fork to follow Maria Ygnacia Creek. The first mile after the fork has some truly awful pavement (especially compared to what you just left), but the neighborhood nearby is quiet and pretty, with good shade trees. After the first underpass, Hollister Avenue, the trail begins a slight climb next to shady oaks and pines at the creek's edge. A short way upstream, it crosses the water to pass alongside an oddly detached lawn bordered by a picket fence. Just around the corner is the U.S. 101 underpass, a fun ride that stretches under the wide freeway for a tenth of a mile. On the other side of that underpass, you'll reach a fork in the trail at a bridge. The right fork, which runs along noisy 101, is nothing more than a neighborhood connection trail. Go left to cross the bridge, and ignore another useless right fork as you begin to climb a low hill. Finally, the reward! The passage through the mature stand of eucalyptus, though all too brief, is on decent asphalt, allowing you to fully savor the splendor. At the end of the stand, the trail ascends a steep little hill to emerge at another quiet neighborhood. To continue to the absolute end, cross University Drive and skate on a narrow (five-foot-wide) asphalt path for two more blocks, to Pintura Drive. You'll know you're at the end because the sign posted there says, "No horses on sidewalk." Fine by me!
Aug 1, 1995
Aug 1, 1995