Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park
Carpinteria Salt Marsh
Trailhead: The most level entrance is at the intersection of Ash Avenue and Sandyland Drive.
Length: Under one mile total
Typical Width: 4 ft. & above
Typical Grade: GentleOne short, steep approach is before the bridge.
Terrain: FirmParts of the trail may be impassible in wet weather.
DescriptionThe tall vegetation and abundant birdsong along the first part of this trail may trick you into thinking you've been transported far into the countryside, yet the city of Carpinteria lies just beyond the park’s boundaries. A few yards in from the entrance is a raised area where large boulders serve as seats and interpretive panels tell about the marsh restoration and birds. From here you can also look out on the wide marsh, which often teems with birds. At the trail’s first junction, veer left onto a loop trail to the amphitheater, where views over the marsh offer prime bird-watching opportunities. Back on the main trail, a second spur in less than 100 feet leads gently uphill to another bird-watching area, though if you are seated the view is obscured by plants. As you continue along the main trail, the tall vegetation diminishes, revealing an extensive estuary. You pass a mobile home community and hear noise from Highway 1, but that didn’t dampen my enjoyment. Just past the mobile homes, a short, steep hill leads up to an accessible bridge across Franklin Creek. Follow the trail along the creek’s other side for less than an eighth of a mile to its end, where during my visit in October I lingered on a lovely flagstone landing, watching hummingbirds drink from late-blooming California fuchsia.
The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking: Limited AccessibilityStreet parking only along Ash Avenue; no designated accessible spaces
Accessible Restroom: YesBy trailhead at Ash Avenue and Sandyland Road
Other Things of Interest
Features icon key
- wildlife viewing
Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, September 24, 2008
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