Montecito Magazine 2020

Mother Nature can be tenacious, but those who love to escape to her beauty can be a formidable match. Now, thanks to a powerful collaboration of dedicated community groups, two scenic local trails have been reclaimed from nature’s grasp and are restored, reopened and ripe for adventure. Lovingly christened the “Hundred Acre Wood” after the adventure-filled forest in the Winnie the Pooh children’s books, Montecito’s magical Ennisbrook Preserve has undergone an almost miraculous transformation. After the 2018 debris flow devastated the trail, a collaboration of community groups mounted a massive cleanup. Today, hikers can once again stroll under ancient oaks and sycamores through soft, dappled light and retreat to its cool embrace on a hot summer’s day. Community groups were also the force behind the reopening of Carpinteria’s historic Franklin Trail after more than 40 years. Climbing from the heart of the Carpinteria Valley to the summit of the mighty coastal range and beyond, the 7.9-mile Franklin Trail is a hike to Carpinteria’s wild side. Bears, bobcats and mountain lions still thrive in this rugged backcountry, and the views are breathtaking. This is the land where the native Chumash roamed, and where early hunters and homesteaders first ventured more than 100 years ago. Now trail users can follow in their footsteps. Together these trails provide the perfect complement of adventures for outdoor lovers — one is petite and picturesque; the other wild and rugged. But both these trails provide a place to relax, recharge and reconnect with nature. Around each bend, hikers can feel the love poured into the restoration of these trails by communities united for a common cause. H appy T rails By Karen Hastings Art by Karen Schroeder & Kimberly Atkins Day Hikes — Recharge & Reconnect 37 “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs WOODBLOCK PRINT © KIMBERLY ATKINS WOODBLOCK PRINTS © KAREN SCHROEDER