This is a nice 7.5-mile run with a few moderate hills that gives you beautiful views of both the coastline and the posh houses of Montecito.
What Makes It Great
From the Bird Refuge, cross Cabrillo and run up the hill (Channel Drive) along the cemetery. At the top, you'll hop on the bike path next to Ty Warner's house (yes, THAT Ty Warner, of Beanie Baby fame).
Here, you get a nice downhill with breathtaking views of the ocean and islands. That is Butterfly Beach down below. Stay on the road in front of The Biltmore. It will curve around to the left. You'll follow this across the railraod tracks and then you'll take your first right on Danielson Road. Follow this as it curves sharply left and then sharply right. You will be running alongside the 101. This part is loud and rather annoying, but it's short.
When you get to the end of the street at the stop sign, turn left to go across the highway. Go past Jameson and turn right on San Leandro Lane. This leg of the run takes you along a nice, wide, tree-lined, quiet street. When San Leandro ends, turn left. Go up the road and turn right at the stop sign. Now you are back on San Leandro! Follow this street until it ends. You will pass Crane school. At one point, you will also see a little open-space area on your left. There is a white fence, and if you want a short off-trail detour, you can meander through here. It's nice, but watch for poison oak. At the end of the street, turn around and follow your steps back home.
To add miles, you can hang a right and take the bike path at the end of Jameson, up and over the hill into Summerland. Or, you can round off to eight miles at the end by doing a loop around the Bird Refuge.
If out-and-back isn't your thing, you can change up the return a bit. When you get back to San Ysidro Road, turn right on Jameson instead of crossing back over the highway. Follow Jameson into downtown Montecito. When you get to Coast Village Circle (there's a gas station at the corner, and the street to the right is Butterfly Lane), turn left and follow the little path that takes you under the highway. Go up, cross over the railroad tracks (carefully), and you'll see the famous Pig House on your left. Across from the house, there is a gated road. That's the entrance to the Music Academy. You can cut through here, and you'll end up running back down the hill along the cemetery. Or, if you continue straight, you will be back at the bottom of the bike path that takes you up past Ty Warner's house.
If for any reason you miss the turn and end up passing Starbucks and the Von's shopping center, don't worry. You can go through the traffic circle and follow it down under the highway. You'll come up to the Bird Refuge on your right.
Who is Going to Love It
This is a great loop for someone wanting to get in some solid miles and some great ocean views! This can be done as an out-and-back, or you can turn it into more of a loop.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Start at the Andree Clark Bird Refuge at 1400 E Cabrillo Blvd in Santa Barbara.