Los Padres National ForestLocate the trailhead.
Knapp's Castle is actually a little piece of private property that will one day be rebuilt (I may be being optimistic here), but for now is an elaborate stone ruin of a large house that the public may walk around. One should not climb around on it as it would be rude to cause further damage to something someone wants to rebuild. It really is a castle only for those who have no reference point for what a castle actually is, but it has impressive features. The trail is actually a gated fire road that heads out quickly and rather flatly on the way to the ruins. The road forks and we pass a gate on the right side and find ourselves quite obviously on the property. We get down to the serious business of poking around.
|This must have been the main room of the house and quite a jewel of a room.|
|In a more utilitarian area of the house, a tall chimney stands without visible cracks, although erosion seems to be getting the bigger stones.|
|Paradise Road and the Santa Ynez River below.|
|The view of the mountains to the north.|
After poking around the building, we head down because we have a geocache point that claims to be near some more ruins. Knapp built servant quarters and something down near the waterfall, so more are expected. Unfortunately, the point is well off the road and even well off the paths. There are a few that lead off from where the road is closest, but they just get to viewpoints or power poles, then dissolve into low animal trails. We head down the road and around to find an abandoned BBQ and small stages and water tank, but no route back up the hill. Maybe I will return with gardening gloves and other preparations, but for now it is a bust and we climb back to the road the way we came down.
©2014 Valerie Norton
Posted 29 June 2014