For a great view of the expensive homes and landscapes of Montecito, take a climb up the McMenemy Trail. Supposedly you can even see Oprah’s house… although to be honest, I don’t know which one it is.
The McMenemy Trail starts out down the Eucalyptus lined street of Park Lane, itself a lovely view. The well-maintained path climbs slowly during the first half mile and rejoins upper stretches of Park Lane (with prominent No Trespassing signs glaring at you) until it hits a gate. Continue to the left around the gate as the trail parallels the creek through the woods. Once you reach another fork, stay left again and hop over the easy creek crossing.
At this point, the trail climbs more quickly as it rises out of the forest, giving you views of Montecito and the Pacific Ocean beyond. In just under a mile and a half, you’ll reach McMenemy Bench, named after Col. Logan T. McMenemy. The bench serves as a resting stop before heading back down to the trailhead.
Directions: From Highway 101, take the Hot Springs Road exit north toward the mountains. Continue on Hot Springs Road to its T-intersection and turn left. Turn right at Highway 192 (East Valley Road). Continue about 1.5 miles and turn right on Park Lane. Veer left when the road forks and the trail is at the end of the dead-end. Park along the street where available.