The coastal mesas of the region and the many canyons and foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountain range provide endless opportunity for a trail run. Soak up coastal scenery and wildlife with mellow and mostly flat routes at places like Elwood Mesa or crank up the effort/reward factor and test your fitness against the steep switch-backs and stunning views of one of the mountain trails like Tunnel. Well-known options like Inspiration Point provide nice hybrids of long flat stretches with a few shorter climbs to up the ante on the views.
Further, though not technically trail running, Santa Barbara is also home to a holy host of beach run options. Make sure the tide is dropping and head out to places like More Mesa, the Gaviota Coast, or Montecito and enjoy a barefoot jog along the beach, your soul will thank you while your calves will most likely be whining with pain the next day.
Groups: SB Running
Races (or Events): Are You Tough Enough? ChallengeRunSantaBarbara.com
Retailers: Mountain Air Sports