Exploring the great outdoors on horseback is an exhilarating experience, and the Umpqua National Forest in Oregon offers a plethora of stunning horse trails for riders of all levels. Home to lush forests, sparkling rivers, and majestic mountains, the Umpqua National Forest is a horse enthusiast's paradise. In this article, we will explore some of the top horse trails in the Umpqua National Forest that promise unforgettable rides and breathtaking views.
1. Twin Lakes Trail:
Begin your equestrian adventure at the Twin Lakes Trail, which offers a moderate 8-mile loop through the heart of the forest. This trail boasts stunning views of Twin Peaks and lush meadows as it winds its way through towering trees. You'll also have the opportunity to pass by the crystal-clear Twin Lakes, providing a perfect spot for a picturesque picnic and a dip for your horse.
2. North Umpqua Trail
For those seeking a longer equestrian adventure, the North Umpqua Trail is a must-ride. With over 79 miles of diverse terrain, this trail offers something for riders of all abilities. The trail meanders along the scenic North Umpqua River, showcasing beautiful waterfalls, moss-covered canyons, and old-growth forests. Riders can choose to tackle the entire trail or explore shorter sections, all while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.
3. Old Growth Ridge Trail
For a more challenging horseback riding experience, the Old Growth Ridge Trail is an excellent choice. This 10-mile trail takes riders through ancient Douglas fir forests and offers panoramic views of the forest and surrounding mountains. The diverse ecosystem along the trail provides an opportunity to spot wildlife, including deer, elk, and various bird species. Be prepared for steep climbs and descents, as this trail offers an exciting and rewarding adventure for experienced riders.
4. Bluff Mountain Trail
Located in the southern part of the Umpqua National Forest, the Bluff Mountain Trail is a hidden gem for horseback riders. This 15-mile trail rewards riders with awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding valleys and distant peaks. As you traverse the trail, you'll pass through meadows filled with wildflowers and cross babbling creeks in peaceful solitude. The trail can be strenuous at times, but the breathtaking views make it well worth the effort.
5. Tioga Trail
If you're looking for a trail suitable for riders of all ages and experience levels, the Tioga Trail is an excellent choice. This family-friendly trail consists of a 10-mile loop that winds through old-growth forests and alongside the picturesque Teal Creek. The trail provides ample opportunities for wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and even fishing. The serene setting and gentle terrain make this trail a perfect option for a leisurely day ride with your equine companion.
Before embarking on any of these horse trails in the Umpqua National Forest, make sure to check trail conditions, obtain any necessary permits, and pack essential supplies such as water, food, and a first aid kit. It is also important to adhere to Leave No Trace principles, ensuring the preservation and protection of this beautiful wilderness for future generations to enjoy.
So saddle up, grab your horse, and get ready to explore the incredible horse trails that Umpqua National Forest has to offer. From sweeping mountain vistas to tranquil riverside paths, these trails will provide riders with an unforgettable equestrian adventure amidst nature's splendor.