If you need a place to get away, to find a touch of magic after a hard week, you don’t have to go far. Just under 30 miles east of I-5 on Highway 12, is a gorgeous spot to horseback ride – Peterman Ridge.

This amazing trail is near Riffe Lake, just west of Morton. Ten miles of trails wind gradually upward through second growth forest, grass, ferns and wildflowers, all carpeted with emerald green shamrocks. Along the second half of the red trail, slender birch trees rustle their leaves in the quiet breeze.

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” C.S. Lewis

The gorgeous scenery at Peterman Hill makes this a place for you to get away from it all, even if it’s just for a few hours. Best time of day is by far early morning, when the sun is streaming through the fir and birch tree leaves, shooting rays of pale yellow light onto the forest floor. (This time of day also allows you to miss the bees, which seem to come out when the weather warms up toward noon).

The trail is open year round, but it’s part of the 6,855-acre Cowlitz Wildlife Area where they allow hunting, so you may want to avoid this trail in the fall. There is a red and blue trail, giving you a few routes to explore. It’s open to walkers and bikers as well, so anyone can enjoy the beautiful trek. Logging trucks use the roads, so watch for them at crossings. A Discover Pass is required. For more information, visit the Peterman Ridge webpage.

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