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Andree Clark Bird Refuge

Lush vegetation, views of the coastal range, a 29-acre freshwater lake, and an abundance of birds make this refuge a scenic and relaxing spot, though traffic noise from nearby Highway 101 can intrude. The refuge also includes a 42-acre brackish marsh. You’re likely to see herons, egrets, ducks, and geese. In summer, cormorants fly back and forth between the lake and nearby Santa Barbara Harbor. The heavily used Cabrillo Beachway follows the lake’s southern and eastern shores, with a grassy area rising above it, then continues along the coast for two miles, past Chase Palm Park and Stearns Wharf, to Santa Barbara Harbor. A short trail with interpretive signs runs along the north side of the refuge. 

Trail/Pathway Details

Andre Clark Bird Refuge

Trailhead: Opposite end of parking lot from the disabled parking space

Length: Less than .5 mile

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Gentle

Terrain: Soft

A thick layer of wood chips on the surface of this trail makes it difficult for both wheelchair riders and bicyclists to navigate. I managed to plow through it in a motorized wheelchair and it was well worth the effort, but I don’t recommend this trail for manual wheelchair riders.

Obstacles: Trail may be impassible in wet weather and after a new layer of wood chips has been laid.


Along the path from the parking lot to the trailhead, ducks congregate on the sandy shoreline. During my visit, in summer, rabbits darted across the trail while dragonflies hovered overhead, and the highway noise faded behind sounds of ducks and birdsong. Interpretive signs along the trail identify resident and migratory birds. Down the narrower spur trails, three wooden viewing platforms overlook the lake. The first two are wheelchair-accessible; a wooden bridge with a step impedes access to the third. 

Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Accessible Parking: Yes

At Los Patos Way

Accessible Restroom:

No restrooms. Nearest one is at Cabrillo Pavilion Bathhouse, 1119 East Cabrillo Boulevard. 
Viewing platform along trail
Viewing platform along trail (Bonnie Lewkowicz )

Features icon key

  • hiking
  • wildlife viewing

Additional Information

View Map  
Managing Agency: City of Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 963-0611
Hours: Sunrise to 10 pm
Fees: None
Dogs: Not allowed
Public Transportation:  MTD Santa Barbara
Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, September 23, 2008
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

Accessible Restrooms Icon looks like a women and men restroom signBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
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