Santa Maria River Levee Trail


7 Reviews

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Santa Maria River Levee Trail Facts

States: California
Counties: San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara
Length: 3.2 miles
Trail end points: N Blosser Rd. (Santa Maria) and Bull Canyon Rd. (Santa Maria)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Sand
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 7769418

Santa Maria River Levee Trail Description


The Santa Maria River Levee Trail offers wide open views of distant mountains and the rugged landscape of the Santa Maria Valley for 3.2 miles. The partially paved trail follows a levee built by the Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1960s and rehabilitated between 2009 and 2011.

About the Route

The Santa Maria River Levee Trail follows the path of the levee for its entire 3.2 mile length. It is a stone dust, sandy surface for most of the route, with some asphalt patches, thanks to the arid climate of the region.

Four kiosks along the trail provide information about the area's plants and wildlife, and two short side trips connect trail-goers with parks. On the west side of US 101, head south from the trail on a quiet residential street—Preisker Lane—to reach Preisker Park, which, at 40 acres, is Santa Maria's largest park. It offers a large grassy area for sports, a pond and creek, playgrounds, picnic areas with barbecue pits, and restrooms.

Near the trail's eastern end, a connection to Jim May Park is possible by crossing Seaward Drive and taking the sidewalk along Carlotti Drive. The park is a relaxing, natural oasis with a large lake, which makes a popular spot for bird watching.

Parking and Trail Access

The Santa Maria River Levee Trail runs between N Blosser Rd. (Santa Maria) and Bull Canyon Rd. (Santa Maria).

A trail parking lot is available off the Exit 173 (Broadway) on US 101.

This is an approximate address only, please see TrailLink Map for more detailed directions.


Santa Maria River Levee Trail Reviews


Not a good trail for recumbent bikes! All entrances are either impossible to enter or the ride is too short before entering confusing pathways and blocked off areas. This is really a walking path for locals, and should be removed from this app?

Caution, gates locked

I accessed the trail from Nipomo as a means to bicycle over the river. All the gates were padlocked. I wasn’t able to exit. Thankfully a guy helped me lift my bike over the fence while I crawled under.

Nothing Great About this One

Jan 2022: Parked at the Broadway (exit 173) access. Tight entrance gate to get bike through. The levee is very wide with a gravel surface. We only rode from our access point to the West end of the trail where the levee is fenced and signs indicate end of access. Returned to our access point and called it quits. Saw no reason to go further. Nothing special about this trail, flat and wide.

Trail gated off at N. Blosser Rd.

I just rode the entire trail and found that the western end of the trail is gated off at N. Blosser Rd. A sign on the gate shows "No trespassing" on the levee. Trail is mostly hard packed gravel.


Beautiful View

I walk this trail on the weekends with my dog, and I see so many people out there. The view of the land is BEAUTIFUL and so worth the walk. It's peaceful and safe. I am so glad I walked this trail. It's good for bikers too with more than enough room for everyone. Come out and enjoy this trail!!

Restricted Entrances!

I drove to Santa Marie from Buelton just to ride my Tri-Cruiser on the Trail. I found all the east entrances had very tight turns that would not let my Tri-Cruiser through. Noel Keller 28 Nov 2015

Santa Maria River Levee Trail

I rode a section of the trail from Bull Canyon Rd to Preisker Park. Since this trail also serves as route for levee maintenance vehicles, it was a wide, compacted gravel surface with minimal slope. I rode a MTB but a road bike would do OK on this trail. My biggest problem with the trail was, as a visitor, I could not find trail heads with easy access to the trail. I ended up lifting my bike over a fence along Panther Drive. I am confident locals have no problems once they explore the trails in the region. I must admit I was frustrated with getting lost. Signage would improve the trail experiences for destination riders from other areas of the country.

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