Find a Chapter Near You
Back Country Horsemen of Washington has many chapters to choose from. No matter where you live in this great state you can find a group of trail riders to have fun with. Over the next few months we’ll be introducing you to many of our chapters and the wonderful trail riding opportunities in Washington State.
Our name says a lot. We ride out of the Kalama H.C. on the southwest side of Mount St. Helens. There’s about 50 miles of trail around the south side of the mountain with some great vistas. We also have the Rock Creek camp in the Yacolt Burn State Forest. It has a large 25-mile loop with lots of old logging roads. Soon, we will have new connector trails to shorten up the loop into several smaller ones. We also have Battle Ground Lake State Park, Beacon Rock State Park and Whipple Creek County Park. All have trails that are shared with hikers and bicycles. Come and enjoy.
Riding in the Okanogan has so much variety that it’s hard to describe in a short paragraph. We have low elevation high desert riding, shrub-steppe riding, mixed conifer area riding and also high elevation wilderness/alpine riding. Add to that more miles of National Scenic Trail than any other county in the nation and it should be obvious that the Okanogan is a super place to ride.
Spokane, located on the eastern edge of Washington, provides a variety of trails. They are primarily managed by State Parks, BLM and Spokane County. Mt. Spokane State Park provides good cooler, summer riding. Riverside State Park, adjacent to Spokane, provides camping, arena and round pen with seven trailheads. BLM land provides two large open parcels of scab ground with valleys and bluffs at Escure Ranch and Fishtrap Lake. Each of these properties has about 12,000–13,000 acres. The county provides many smaller parcels for day rides within minutes of Spokane. See www.pbchw.com for more information.
We ride the 32 miles of trails in the Putney Woods County Park. Our chapter maintains those trails through the “Adopt-A-Park” program. Expect lots of up and down through the trees (and, yes, over some new turnpikes across the mud holes) and be prepared for multi-use. We also ride on the beach at Rocky Point. Plan your ride to bracket a minus tide, however, or you’ll get stuck on the north side of Rocky Point on the Navy base.
There are many levels of riding at Kennedy Creek, easy and difficult trails, but no cliffhangers. It’s a great place to get your horse in condition (especially for endurance riders) all year long. There are many hours’ worth of trails to ride and you don’t have to ride the same loop over and over again. You can go out for 2, 4, or 6 hours and still not ride all the trails. You also don’t have to share the trails with bikers; if there are bikers, they will be on the roads. Occasionally you might run into hikers. Motorized vehicles are not supposed to be in the area. There are numerous trails with views of Summit Lake, Oyster Bay, the Olympics and Mount Rainier. Kennedy Falls is also a wonderful must-see ride as well as the Rock Quarry. Each trail is unique!
The Methow Valley with BCHW is sponsoring a Statewide Work Party June 29–July 4. We will be based out of the Twisp River horse camp and will work on numerous trails in the area. It’s a great opportunity to help out and learn about this area. Find out more at www.mvbch.com or mvbch.blogspot.com.
Nisqually Chapter is located in Southeast Thurston County. Meetings are held at the Yelm Moose Lodge at 7 pm on the first Tuesday of each month. Members spend time riding on Joint-Base Lewis McChord, for which a permit is required. Permits are issued from JBLM Range Control, located on-base. We also ride at Nisqually Mashel State Park. A Discover Pass is required to park there. Pack Forest and several rail trails, such as the Yelm-Tenino Trail, are also nearby.
Our chapter is located in Snohomish County with members from Duvall to the Mount Vernon area. Our area encompasses a diverse area of riding. We have several local tree farms in the Arlington and Sultan areas that we utilize. Lord Hill Park between Snohomish and Monroe is a good place for a two to three-hour ride. Trails originating in the Darrington and Skykomish area lead to the Pacific Crest Trail and give us excellent back country experiences.