“Enjoy this urban run with its remote feel and sweeping views of Santa Barbara, Montecito, and the Channel Islands.
— Kristen Arendt
Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Parma Park is a designated open space city park area with six miles of family-friendly trails, located between Santa Barbara and Montecito. Well-maintained and available for walking, hiking and riding horses, Parma Park is an urban setting that doesn’t feel urban, and runners are sure to enjoy the great views and feeling of solitude along this loop.
Parma Park is a place where families can recreate and feel like they’re in a not-so-urban area, with sweeping views of Santa Barbara, Montecito, and the Channel Islands. Foothill-softened meadows, shaded canyons, rolling oaks, and flowers will rejuvenate your senses just minutes from the city off Highway 192.
Parma Park has five entrances, with the Fire Access Road
available for use by mountain bikers. Starting from the trailhead off of Stanwood Drive, head north for a short ways before taking a left onto the Creek Trail Connector
and another left on the Creek Trail
, a rolling trail that heads through a rolling landscape of chaparral and oak woodland, and passes through the shaded setting of Sycamore Creek.
From the Creek Trail
, connect back with the Fire Access Road
for a brief climb to the northeast corner of the park. Once the fire road turns back to the south, runners will enjoy a mile-long descent, taking a right onto the Stanwood Trail
The Stanwood Trail
roughly parallels Stanwood Drive, with a couple steep sections to give your legs a workout. Standwood connects back to the trailhead where you started to complete your loop.
This loop offers several great vistas of the vastness of Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands rising from the blue Pacific Ocean; it’s home away from home for locals and adventurers alike.
Flora & Fauna
Parma Park contains three major creeks and a diverse array of native plant communities including chaparral, oak woodland, riparian forest, coastal sage scrub, and remnant patches of native grassland; its vegetation and creeks provide habitat for wildlife and wildlife viewing.
History & Background
This 200-acre park is the largest for Santa Barbara, dedicated as open space to the city in 1973 by John and Harold Parma, who’s family had an olive grove planted on the property back in the 1890s.