Goleta Slough Ecological Reserve


Goleta Slough Ecological Reserve is a 440-acre reserve less than 10 miles west of downtown Santa Barbara. A combination estuary and wetlands, it includes tidal marshes and creeks supporting birds like Great Blue Herons and wintering Canada Geese. Goleta Slough is a designated State Marine Conservation Area (No-Take) and an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat providing protection for 13 state- and federally-endangered or threatened animals.

The reserve, as well as the adjacent Goleta Beach County Park, allow you to explore the slough by foot or bicycle. Follow the Atascadero Creek Trail to the east where it meets the paved portion or Obern Trail, a 5-mile path connecting Goleta Beach Park to Santa Barbara. Explore to the west by following the Goleta Beach/University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) Lagoon trail, a 3.3-mile loop trail taking you to and around the lagoon on the UCSB campus. On both of these trails, you are likely to see shorebirds, herons, and egrets, as well as a restored native riparian habitat.

PHOTO CREDIT: Damian Gadal