Actions That Affect Where You Can Ride
Live Oak Trail Is Open To Hikers
Live Oak Trail was opened to hikers as of Wednesday, April 15, 2021.
SYVR is working to keep Live Oak Trail SAFE for equestrian trial riders.
What Can You do NOW?
To the Live Oak Equestrian Trails Fund
(Through our Partner the Santa Barbara Trails Council)
Check Out our NEW
The most recent updates on:
Live Oak Trail
Meeting Notices and Board/Committee Decisions
Santa Barbara County-wide Recreation Master Plan
Santa Ynez Valley Trail News
Live Oak Trail Volunteer Patrol
We know some of you have been waiting a long time for this program at Live Oak so now's your chance!
Join the Live Oak Trail's Volunteer Patrol!
Hike and ride at Cachuma Lake and Live Oak trails for free while assisting County Parks in managing the park’s resources.
Why not commit some of your time each week or month to ride the trail and patrol for a good cause? Do it with a friend! It’s a good way to have a set time to ride your horse!
SB County Recreational Master Plan
And speaking of the Recreation Master Plan…You can make your voice heard!!!
Over the past year we’ve been letting folks know that the County of Santa Barbara Parks Division is developing a Countywide Recreation Master Plan to plan for new and improved parks and recreation in communities throughout Santa Barbara County. This Master Plan is an unprecedented project in Santa Barbara County to plan for new recreational facilities to meet the needs of future generations, including in disadvantaged communities.
The more equestrians who take the survey and ask for the Live Oak Trail to remain an equestrian/hiker trail only; no mountain bikes/dogs and a horse camp at Live Oak Camp, the better! Let’s show them our numbers. Ask your family and friends to take the survey too!!
It’s available in English and Spanish, and there’s a kid’s version as well to get the whole family involved.
Main survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/sbcrecplan
Kid’s survey (just 4 questions): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/sbcrecplankids
Please visit www.sbcrecplan.com to learn more.
A Brief History of the Live Oak Trail
(aka Cachuma Equestrian Trail)
The Santa Ynez Valley Riders (SYVR) is the oldest equestrian riding group in the Santa Ynez Valley. SYVR was, at one time, part of Equestrian Trails International (established in 1944), but split from that group in the 1960’s, although SYVR still shares the mission: “Dedicated to Equine Legislation, Good Horsemanship, and the Acquisition and Preservation of Trails, Open Space and Public Lands”
Our member Mr. Bob Crowe, who has since passed away, was instrumental in securing the Live Oak trails for equestrian riders in the 1980’s. Recently, his widow, Donna Crowe, gave all the documentation of that process and the original maps of the trail system to SYVR. Our history with the Live Oak Trail (or Cachuma Equestrian Trail, as it was named back then), goes back over 30 years.
Bob became President of the Santa Barbara Trails Council and worked tirelessly with the Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) - the Federal agency that manages the land around Cachuma Lake and in particular, the Lake’s water management) and County of Santa Barbara (the local agency that leases the land from the USBR for recreational purposes) to accomplish all relevant environmental studies, develop a Management Plan and fund and install the gates and a kiosk at the trailhead. Through Bob’s work the Live Oak Trail was established by the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors as Cachuma Equestrian Trail in 1988.
Just over a year ago, the kiosk at the Live Oak Trailhead, which served to alert riders of potential trail hazards, provided a map of the trail system, and even had a brass plate identifying that the SYVR had donated the kiosk, had gone missing. The SYVR followed up with the staff at Cachuma Lake with the intent of replacing the kiosk this winter. The staff said they had removed the kiosk because it was old but are amenable to replacing the kiosk, BUT at that time County staff also informed us of the proposed changes in users on Live Oak Trail via a “Pilot Program” to open the trail to hikers, then later bikes.
SYVR and indeed, no one, knew of the “Pilot Program” (Pilot), but to develop or change users on trails (or any recreational use for that matter), the County must develop plans, and public review and comment provided for.
In February 2021, the SYVR and SYVEA joined up to work with the County Team to consider equestrians concerns and suggestions to improve and maintain equestrian safety and provide an enjoyable recreational experience for trail riders at Live Oka Trail. The suggestion of a horse camp at Live Oak Camp is also now on the table and is part of the discussions.