Orcutt trail detour

A map of the Rice Ranch Specific Plan area shows the section of Black Oak Trail that is temporarily closed, heavy yellow broken line, and the new temporary trail head about a quarter-mile east of the Orcutt Community Park entrance. The trailhead at the park is expected to reopen in early 2022.

Construction work starting on the Meadow South neighborhood in the Rice Ranch development has resulted in the temporary closure of a portion of a public trail, but trail access will still be available from an alternate location a short distance away.

The section of Black Oak Trail from the trailhead at the east end of Orcutt Community Park to a point about a quarter-mile east is expected to remain closed until early 2022, according to the Parks Division of the Santa Barbara County Community Services Department.

However, Black Oak Trail and Cobblestone Trail can be reached by taking Sage Crest Drive east from the Orcutt Community Park entrance to Leopard Lily Drive on the right, where the temporary trailhead is located, a County Parks Division spokesman said.

The builder is working with County Parks and the Santa Maria Valley Open Spaces nonprofit trails group to minimize the disruption, the spokesman said.

By early 2022, the trailhead at the park and a modified trail are expected to be open.

“In the meantime, the public is kindly asked to respect all signs and construction fencing as crews construct a permanent and improved trail,” the spokesman said.

Rice Ranch Specific Plan is a master-planned community of 725 residential units clustered in seven distinct neighborhoods on a 560-acre site at the end of South Bradley Road, identified as Key Site 12 in the Orcutt Community Plan.

Developers were required by the plan to dedicate approximately 326 acres of natural open space to the county, including 11 miles of public trails, and develop the 26-acre Orcutt Community Park, which is now complete.

Orcutt Hills Open Space is owned by the county and managed by the Parks Division, while the trail network is managed and maintained in cooperation with Santa Maria Valley Open Space.

For more information, visit www.smvos.org or www.sbparks.org.