Two Washington Regions Remain Active in Trail Projects – Updates from Ponderosa Chapter and Mt. St. Helens Chapter

Riverside State Park Equestrian Area   

By Ken Carmichael

The equestrian area at Riverside State Park near Spokane, Washington provides a wonderful venue for horsemen. Many of us take advantage of the campground, arena, round pen, and trail obstacle course. Groups use it for events, individuals use it for training and exercising their horses, campers come for a visit, and travelers use it as a stopover to rest horses as they come through Spokane. The equestrian area is connected to about 80 miles of trails in the park. It serves many equestrian needs of our community.

Now the Ponderosa Chapter of BCHW is developing plans to do maintenance and additions to the features. Here is a quick summary of what we want to do:

  • Trail obstacle course – perform maintenance on current obstacles and create new obstacles
  • Arena – new stain on the rails
  • Campground – add more corrals to the existing campsites
  • Trails – limb some trees that have grown out over the trails

We have committees established to work on each project. The process includes:

  • Identifying the work to be done
  • Cost estimates
  • Parks approval and assistance where required
  • Materials/tools
  • Funding
  • Work parties

As you can see a lot goes into the projects prior to the work parties. We hope to do the maintenance on the trail course and stain the arena this year. Additional trail course obstacles will probably be in the spring. Other work will be done as labor and funding is available.


Where can you help?

Funding for projects like this is always important. In this case the Ponderosa BCH and the Riverside State Park Foundation are taking the lead. However, we always need cash donations for materials, and in-kind donations of materials can reduce the costs. Individuals and organizations can make “restricted donations” to Ponderosa Back Country Horsemen. Contact me for ideas on specific materials needed.

Work parties are really the fun part of the project. This is where we get together and see the final results of our hard work. If you or your organization would like to help, we would love to have you.


How can you express your interest?

Contact me, Ken Carmichael at 509-466-2225 or [email protected]. I’m always ready to talk about the project, provide more information, or accept your contributions and labor. Ponderosa Back Country Horsemen, PO BOX 1184, Airway Heights, WA 99001. PayPal donations can be made through the PBCH website,


Thank you for your support. We want everyone to enjoy this great equestrian venue. Come join us.


Groups and Chapters Join Together in Southwest Region

By Barb Thomas

WTRA after. Photo by BCHW.

For those who are curious what BCHW is about and what we do (besides making friends, finding new places to ride, and potlucks!) here’s just one important volunteer work contribution we made. This is in the DNR Southwest Region Yacolt Burn trail system (Rock Creek). This spring, a total of 29 volunteers consisting of 17 horse people from Mt. St. Helens Chapter of BCHW and the Vancouver based Washington Trail Riders Association and 12 members of the Chinook Trails Association hiking club worked together on a wet, slippery muddy section of the trail. The horse people came with tractors, not pack stock this time, and the hikers brought motorized wheelbarrows. The teamwork between the two user groups created a sustainable high and dry trail that is now tennis shoe friendly. And as usual with most work parties, the finished work was celebrated with food afterwards.


Winery Ride Update

The BCHW 2020 Winery and Halloween Costume contest has been canceled due to Washington State restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people. We are preparing a virtual winery ride with discounts on multiple wines, free delivery on orders of 6 or more bottles, and a costume contest a valuable prize for the winner. Stay tuned and visit in the next few weeks for further updates!


Join Back Country Horsemen of Washington after October 1 and your dues are good until the end of 2021. This also includes membership in Back Country Horsemen of America.

BCHW is a 501c3 organization with 31 chapters across the state. We are dedicated to keeping trails open for all users; educating stock users in Leave-No-Trace practices; and providing volunteer service to resource agencies. To find out more about BCHW go to Keep up with BCHW and the issues and events we are following on our state Facebook page

Please help support BCHW when you shop on Amazon (it doesn’t cost you extra!) by using our Amazon Smile link:


See this article in the 2020 October online edition:

October 2020



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