Beneath the towering Foothill Road Bridge lies Stevens Park, a popular twenty-five-acre recreation area at the entrance to the foothills. Because it is nestled in San Roque Canyon it feels like you've left the city. The neighborhood park offers on site parking, a large grass field, restrooms, barbecues, shaded picnic tables, and a playground with swings and 2 play structures - one for toddlers and the other for "big" kids. The playground also includes a replica of the state of Utah's famous Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. San Roque Creek at Stevens Park is a huge attraction for kids who love to boulder hop and explore the area that runs the length of the park. A sturdy bridge spanning the creek connects the recreation side of Stevens Park with an open space.
- Features: Alcohol Allowed, Hiking Trail, Parking On Site, Picnic Site, Playground, Pool, Reservable Areas, Restrooms
- Dog Policy: Dogs Allowed On Leash
Stevens park serves as a trailhead for several local hiking trails that meander miles into the hills. You will find the Stevens Park Trail at the northern/mountain side of the park under the large Foothill Road Bridge. Many people use Stevens Park Trail for a 1.6 mile roundtrip hike to the Jesusita Trail trailhead at the Lauro Canyon Reservoir. The easy and picturesque Stevens Park Trail hike is fun for children and is filled with great views of sycamore trees, oak trees, and flowering meadows. Along the way you will find a cutoff trail leading up to the historic Arroyo Burro Trail. Dogs are able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Portable barbecues and camp stoves that are self-contained, enclosed with a lid, and raised at least six inches off a surface may be used on any permanent picnic tables at this park or by permit such as a rental or special event. If there are no permanent picnic tables available at this park and it is not a permitted event then no barbecues are allowed at this park. Barbecue users must remove hot coals and ash from the park, unless a hot coal-disposal receptacle is provided.
A rural farming area until the 20th century, the San Roque residential area was developed in 1917 by Stephen Rutherford, and called Rutherford Park. In 1926, plans were approved for the San Roque Country Club and golf course to occupy much of the area next to Rutherford Park, but development stalled due to the Great Depression and in 1939 portions of the land were donated to the city of Santa Barbara to later become San Roque Park and Stevens Park. In 1957 Stevens Park was named in honor of Ralph T. Stevens (1882-1958) as a tribute to his years of service to the landscape of Santa Barbara. The son of a California nurseryman, Stevens was born in Montecito. Between 1919 and 1921 he worked as Superintendent of the Parks Department and then as Parks Commissioner and consultant. Throughout his long career the landscape architect's notable area projects include the Biltmore Hotel, the Peabody estate, the 1949-50 Master Plan for UC Santa Barbara, Franceschi Park, Lotusland, Casa del Herrero, and the Tremaine House.
Stevens Park has a large parking lot but it can fill up during birthday parties and other events, and there is a scarcity of parking in the area immediately outside the park entrance. There is unlimited parking, however, on near by San Roque Road, on north side of Foothill Road ( Map). 150 feet up San Roque Road from Foothill Road you will find a trail on your left that takes you down to the creek and Stevens Park Trail. Turn left/south on Stevens Park Trail and walk under the Foothill Road Bridge to the park. The total distance from the overflow parking area to Stevens Park is about 2,000 feet.