October 14, 2005 - Ed Finds The Park
It really is a great park! And, it’s an even better park because most of the time there’s no one there. In fact, it’s so obscure, that it was featured for two days on the Edhat Where Is It, and only a handful of people were able to identify it! Last Tuesday was a beautiful day. But when we were there taking pictures, we had the entire park to ourselves.
Sure, we’ll get some email from Mission Canyon residents who think that we’re blowing the whistle on this one. We got emails about the frog shrine too, but nothing is worse for wear. The name of the park is Skofield Park.
You go up Mission Canyon Road like you’re heading to the Botanical Garden, then you make a sharp right up Las Canoas Road. It’s a winding narrow road. Just past the Rattlesnake Canyon trailhead is the entrance to the park. The park itself is about as beautiful as Santa Barbara Oak Chaparral can get.
Aside from the fact that the road is winding and the park is a bit off the beaten path, another reason that folks don’t go to Skofield Park could be that you have to walk a short distance from the parking lot to get into the park area.
The dedicated staff of edhat.com was actually very surprised that so few people thought of or recognized the park.
Doesn’t everybody have a kid, nephew, niece, or neighbor who has been to Nature Camp at Skofield Park (“Nature Camp has many campers, many campers has Nature Camp …”)?
So, you want some history on the Park? Well there’s a great write-up on the park at a kiosk toward the entrance. We paraphrase ...
Skofield Park was originally private land, owned by Ray Skofield. He was one of the original founders of the elite and, dare we say, mysterious local men’s riding group called Los Rancheros Vistadores in 1930. Ray built a road and other facilities on the 35 acres, and the Rancheros first used portions of the land as a camp in 1937.
Camp use was suspended during World War II and resumed in 1946 on an annual basis. Hobart Skofield (we’re guessing, Ray’s son), a Ranchero member, sold the camp to the organization in 1950 for $15,000. Los Rancheros built more improvements to the camp and put in the parking area.
When the surrounding area started getting more developed, Los Rancheros sold the land to the City for a park. Later on, Hobart sold the rest of his land (the Rattlesnake Canyon area) to the City as well. Today, the open space is there for all to enjoy. It is the City’s only reservable camping area.
Given a second chance and a less obscure picture, 8 subscribers identified the park. There were Messanjah, Rlaw, Mr Peabody, IpHead, Hypotheticalme, Seattlite. Papalima, and of course Cyned. The Edhat dog was told to sit and stay, and eight small training treats were places around her in a circle. Once Ed gave her the go-ahead, she quickly circumnavigated the floor, eating the treats in order. Messanjah’s treat was the first to eat. Messanjah wins free bowling at Zodo’s.
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