Cape Blanco State Park, located in southwestern Oregon, is a haven for horseback riding enthusiasts. Nestled on the dramatic coastline, this stunning state park offers breathtaking views, diverse terrain, and a variety of trails suitable for riders of all skill levels. If you're looking for an unforgettable horseback riding experience, here are the best horse trails at Cape Blanco State Park.
1. Cape Blanco Loop Trail:
The Cape Blanco Loop Trail is a popular choice among riders due to its magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean and the historic Cape Blanco Lighthouse. This trail, spanning about two miles, takes you through a mixture of open meadows, lush forests, and picturesque coastal bluffs. Not only will you enjoy the dramatic scenery, but you'll also get a chance to spot wildlife such as deer, elk, and various bird species. This trail can be ridden in about an hour, making it perfect for a quick but rewarding ride.
2. Sixes River Trail:
For a longer adventure, the Sixes River Trail is a must-try. This ten-mile trail winds along the picturesque Sixes River, providing ample opportunities for scenic stops and wildlife sightings. The trail meanders through a lush coastal forest, crossing several wooden bridges and passing by cascading waterfalls. With its varied terrain and serene surroundings, this trail offers a peaceful and rejuvenating experience for both horse and rider.
3. Horse Camp Loop Trail:
Located within Cape Blanco State Park, the Horse Camp Loop Trail is a popular choice for those looking to combine horseback riding with camping. This five-mile loop trail starts and ends at the horse campgrounds within the park and takes you through forests and meadows, allowing you to appreciate the park's natural beauty. After a long day of riding, you can easily settle down your horse in one of the park's equestrian-friendly campsites and enjoy a night under the stars.
4. Old Coast Road Trail:
For an exhilarating ride with breathtaking coastal vistas, the Old Coast Road Trail is a top pick. This seven-mile trail follows an old road parallel to the coastline, offering unparalleled views of sandy beaches, towering cliffs, and crashing waves. As you traverse the trail, you might spot abundant marine life, such as seals and whales, depending on the time of year. However, it's important to note that this trail can be challenging due to its steep terrain, so it is better suited for experienced riders and confident horses.
5. Short Sands Beach to Cape Blanco Trail:
For riders seeking a day-long adventure, the trail from Short Sands Beach to Cape Blanco should be on your list. This 15-mile route takes you through forests, open meadows, and along the sandy shoreline. With the rhythmic sound of waves crashing in the background, you’ll navigate gentle slopes, peaceful streams, and rolling hills. This trail offers a perfect balance between tranquility and adventure, making it a memorable horseback riding experience.
Before embarking on any of these trails, it's important to ensure you and your horse are adequately prepared with proper equipment, including saddles, helmets, and suitable riding attire. Additionally, always check trail conditions and any required permits or passes before riding.
Cape Blanco State Park offers a diverse range of horse trails that cater to all levels of riders, from beginners to experienced equestrians. Whether you're seeking coastal panoramas, peaceful forest trails, or a combination of both, this state park has it all. So saddle up, take in the awe-inspiring vistas, and explore the best horse trails that Cape Blanco has to offer.