“A popular destination, Franklin Trail begins in an urban setting and takes runners to a remote overlook with great views.
— Kristen Arendt
As of December 2017, this trail is closed as part of the Thomas Fire Closure. Violating this closure is a federal crime that can result in hefty fines or jail time.
Franklin Trail is one of the oldest trails in the area, with its history beggining before San Marcos Pass was created to bring visitors over the mountains into the backcountry. A popular destination, the Franklin Trail begins in an urban setting, taking you from lot-to-vista in 2 miles with a great lookout over Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands. Franklin Trail, a historic 100-year old trail, is one of the “newest” trails in the area, being created only after agreements were made, allowing runners to gain access to the trail for multi-use purposes.
Within 2 miles of the trailhead area, you'll arrive at a prime spot (with a bench) with spectacular vistas of Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, and the Channel Islands. This is a good front country, moderate, singletrack, well-maintained trail that is very popular for families and individuals alike.
Los Padres National Forest hosted a trail maintenance project along the backcountry portion of the Franklin Trail for 2016 National Public Trails Day. There are three phases of Franklin Trail (Phase 3 is closed), with Phase 1 being the first 2 miles of trail. Phase 2 provides three more miles of hiking fire roads, ranch roads, with the trail moving up-and-down into wild areas. There is no water or shade in Phase 2 section. Phase 3 is closed, but will eventually take you to the area where Jameson Lake is located, deep in Los Padres National Forest. Visit the trail's website
for more information.