Nature enthusiasts will have a new way to enjoy Santa Barbara this summer with the introduction of wildlife cruises at Cachuma Lake.

Located roughly 20 miles north of UC Santa Barbara, the lake is home to a variety of animals, including the bald eagle and great blue heron. From now until October, the county will offer boat tours of the lake, allowing visitors to observe native plants and birds.

County Communications Director William Boyer said the Cachuma Lake cruise is unique to Santa Barbara.

“It is the only lake in the county that provides nature cruises,” Boyer said. “It is just awesome and amazing to be lucky enough to be there when you see one of the majestic bald eagles.”
County Parks naturalist Liz Gaspar said she hopes participants will develop a new appreciation for the natural beauty of Santa Barbara County. Gaspar, who has worked as a naturalist in the county for 15 years, said the cruise is an effective way for people to become involved with the beauty of nature without harming it.

“I really love demonstrating to people what is in their backyard and where their water source comes from,” Gaspar said. “Wildlife viewing from a boat makes nature accessible without disturbing it.”

Reservations are necessary to take the cruise and can be made by calling the County Parks Dept. Naturalists suggest passengers arrive at least 30 minutes before their cruise’s scheduled departure.

The cruise costs $15 for adults and $7 for children ages 4 to 12.