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Nature Hike With Assemblymember Gregg Hart


We will meet in Carpinteria at the Tomol Interpretive Play Area on Carpinteria State Beach grounds to hike to the Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and rookery. In addition to enjoying the stunning views of the ocean and the Channel Islands, Assemblymember Hart will share highlights of his nascent experience as a member of several legislative committees, including the recreation-focused Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife.

Our route starts at the play area and follows Linden Avenue to the beach, where we will take a boardwalk across dunes before turning inland and following a path around the State Park campgrounds and across the bluffs of Tar Pits Park. The trail is well-maintained and offers stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding mountains. After about 1.3 miles, the trail reaches the Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve. The preserve is home to a large colony of harbor seals, which can be seen sunbathing on the rocks or swimming in the ocean. The rookery is also home to a variety of other birds, including pelicans, gulls, and cormorants. After exploring the preserve, we will return to the Tomol Interpretive Play Area.


  • Date: April 23, 2023
  • Time: 10 am – 12 pm
  • Distance: 2.8 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Tomol Interpretive Play Area, Carpinteria State Beach, 389 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA (across from The Spot diner) 
  • Parking: Use the parking lot for the train station on Linden Avenue.
  • Maps: A trail map is available online.
  • Restrooms: There are restrooms in Carpinteria State Beach.
  • Bring water, sturdy shoes, and sun protection.

History Note

In 1769, the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola led an expedition through California and met the local Chumash people at the village of ‘Mishopshnow’ near what we now call Carpinteria Creek. Portola observed several of their plank “Tomol” canoes being constructed and incorporating the naturally-occurring asphalt (tar) into their design. As a result, members of the Spanish expedition referred to the area as La Carpinteria or ‘The Carpenter Shop,’ later to become Carpinteria.


Mark Wilkinson


Santa Barbara County Trails Council


386 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013
386 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 United States Get Directions

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