Part 1: Trails, Trails and More Trails!
Over the next two months we’ll be introducing you to many of our chapters and the wonderful trail riding opportunities in Washington State.
Mount St. Helens Chapter
Our name says a lot. We ride out of the Kalama H.C. on the Southwest side of Mt. St. Helens. There’s about fifty 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 Cr. County Park. All have trails that are shared trails with hikers and bicycles. Come and enjoy.
Riding in the Okanogan has a lot of variety and is 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 miles 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.
Island County Chapter
We ride the 32 miles of trails in the Putney Woods County Park. Our chapter maintains those trails through the “Adopt-A-Park” program. 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. There are easy trails and there are more difficult trails, but no cliffhangers. It’s a great place to get your horse in great 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 change it up lots of different ways, 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 (which offers great photo opportunities). Each trail is unique!
Back Country Horsemen of Washington (BCHW), is a 501 (c) (3) organization with 32 chapters across the state dedicated to: keeping trails open for all users; educating horse users in Leave-No-Trace practices; and providing volunteer service to resource agencies.