Feb. 10, 2005 - Ed Takes a Walk
The bridge pictured on the right is located in Stevens Park in San Roque. It is a kid-friendly park hidden away at the end of Canon Drive. The bridge crosses San Roque Creek, connecting a large grassy field to an oak shaded picnic area. Long ago, the area along the creek from the foothills to the ocean was called Arroyo Burro. Now, only the beach where the creek meets the ocean is called that. However, most people refer to that beach as Hendry’s.
In the 1920’s, The San Roque Country Club planned to build a golf course along the creek, but the great Depression foiled the idea.
Today, the southern boundary of the proposed golf course is San Roque Park, that funky stretch of grass between Canon Drive and Chuparosa. The northern region of the proposed course is Stevens Park.
The park was named for Ralph Stevens, a prominent county Parks Superintendent. Just think, some day there could be a Romero Park.
The play structure, the picnic area, and the lawn area are all fine and dandy, but what makes Stevens Park extra-ordinary is the hiking trail that starts at the end of the park. Winding along the river and oak groves through lands once occupied by Chumash, the trail allows San Roque residents a great outdoor retreat within walking distance of their houses.
Yesterday, the dedicated staff of edhat.com, still reeling from the stressful late-night parties and galas of last week’s Film Festival, took a short walk on the Steven’s Park trail. It’s a good time of year to be hiking in Santa Barbara.
The creeks are full of water, the plants are lush and green, the flowers are budding, and the trails are no longer muddy, but not dusty either.
The Steven’s Park parking lot was filled with SUVs, the playground was crowded with moms and toddlers, but the trail was pretty much empty. We only saw four people on our walk. Two friendly guys with walking sticks, one not-so-friendly guy with a walking stick, and an older guy with a dog named Lumpy (no walking stick). The owner told us that lumpy means something like rascal in German.
The trail crosses over the creek a couple of times. There is no bridge, but some well-placed rocks were quite helpful. After the first crossing, the trail opens into a clearing where the dedicated staff found a nice seat on a big rock overlooking the creek.
It was peaceful; a good place to have a picnic, write poetry, or talk about business models. This day, we did the latter.
The trail ends at a crossroads. A left turn takes you up into the hills somewhere toward Inspiration Point and points beyond. A right turn takes you to the Water Treatment Plant trailhead – just a few yards ahead. We turned around and went back. The whole hike took less than an hour.
The number one guess in yesterday’s contest was Oak Park. Steven’s Park was a close second. Other parks receiving more than a couple of votes were the Botanic Gardens, Rocky Nook Park, and Tuckers Grove. Sadly for the Edhat dog, there were way too many winners to for her to pick the prize recipient. She woulda gotten sick eating of those chicken strips! A simple computer generated random selection process was used. Nilpahczil was chosen as the winner of the Edhat tshirt. Nilpahczil probably means something in German, too.
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By the way ... many of the trails in Santa Barbara were hurt by the recent rains. This weekend there is a ... trail building class put on the the IMBA