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Parma Park has been on my list of areas to hike in for some time. Here’s a chance to join me on what should be a new area for most of us to explore in Santa Barbara.
INFO I FOUND ABOUT PARMA PARK
Parma Park is enormous and a fabulous open space, which makes it a popular place with hikers, bikers, and dog walkers. It is snuggled into the foothills, where you will find live oaks and sage, peace and quite and refuge from the sound of the highway. This is a very rustic park that has a couple of picnic tables and that’s it. There are no other creature comforts.
Features: Alcohol Allowed, Biking, Hiking Trail, Horseback Riding, Parking On Street, Passive Open Spaces, Views, Wildlife and Birding
Dog Policy: Dogs Allowed On Leash
Residents seeking a large open space park close to town may want to visit this park. It is the largest City open space park, encompassing 200 acres of oak woodland and chaparral along Sycamore and Coyote Creeks. It is known for its history, habitat, and recreational uses including its popularity as a landing spot for paragliders and hang gliders.
The park provides passive recreation opportunities for hikers, dogs on leash, and equestrians. Mountain bike riders may use the park only on the fire/access road. Hang gliders and paragliders use the open grassland between the El Cielito and Mountain Drive entrance as a landing site. The main entrance along Stanwood Road includes a picnic area and equestrian staging area.
There are approximately six miles of trails including the Plateau Trail, Creek Trail, Stanwood Trail, Ridge Trail, and dirt fire/access road. A public trail easement also provides access via the Mountain Drive North entrance. For sweeping views of the City of Santa Barbara, Montecito, and the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, take the Ridge Trail to Rowe’s table. Named for Rowe McMullen, a long-time volunteer who helped establish trails in the park, Rowe’s table is the highest point in the park at 775 feet.
Parma Park contains three major creeks and a diverse array of native plant communities including chaparral, oak woodland, riparian forest, coastal sage scrub, and remnant patches of native grassland. Park vegetation and creeks provide habitat for wildlife and excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing, especially birds.
Because of the limited street parking at the trailhead, most of us should car pool with others from the Thousand Oaks Park & Ride at 7:30 a.m.
After the hike, I will be debriefing at The Siam Elephant in Carpinteria or
The Rincon Brewery Carpinteria
INITIAL MEETUP LOCATION, DIRECTIONS AND TIME: The Thousand Oaks Park and Ride at the corner of Rancho Rd. and Haaland Dr. NO LATER THAN 7:30 a.m. It’s just south of the 101 Fwy and 23 Fwy interchange. Have a full tank of gas and be willing to drive if needed. Those that don’t drive can help pay for gas. It’s about an hour’s drive to the trailhead.
FINAL MEETUP LOCATION AND TIME: Stanwood Drive at Parma Park entrance no later than 9:00 am:
The entrance may be closed to vehicles. If so park on Stanwood Drive.
DISTANCE: 6+ miles
ELEVATION GAIN/LOSS: 1100’/1100′
THE PACE: As fast as the slowest Trekker
DURATION: 4 hours
TERRAIN: Single, double track trails
LEVEL: Intermediate Trekker
MY CELL# IS: 805-358-5972