Like the pony express, us horseback riders do not shirk from our favorite sport no matter the weather, be it rain or even snow. In fact a snowy ride is by far one of the most beautiful to many riders. However, our rainy season in Lewis County can by long, and with many outdoor trails closed, it can be hard to find places to ride unless you are blessed with your own arena. I know there are days that I want to ride, but that cold rain makes it hard to actually get out the door. Here is a list of Lewis County trails and arenas that are open to horse riders year round that can help us stay in the saddle.
Located off Jackson Highway in Chehalis, Saddle Pals Arena has gaming and trails equipment available, along with a nice dry arena. They are open for riding any day or night except Tuesday evenings when they have roping and Thursday evenings when the equestrian team practices. They charge $3 for youth, $5 for adults. You can buy a monthly pass for unlimited riding for $50. Call Denise Yearian for information at 360-748-6808.
#2 – Acres of Pride Arabians
Acres of Pride Arabians is a boarding, training and lesson facility in Chehalis that also offers open riding. They have a full enclosed 70 x 100 arena. Contact them via their website for more information about open riding availability.
#3 – Bolender Horse Park
Located in Silver Creek, Bolender Horse Park is a great place to get some trail practice in during the rainy months when most of the real trails are closed. They offers lessons, clinics, challenges and schooling challenges practically year round.
#4 – Stick Horse Ranch
Just a bit north of Lewis County is Stick Horse Ranch, located outside Littlerock. It’s worth the drive, especially for those living in north Lewis County, because it has a great facility. They hold many events including gaming, shows and clinics. They also have team roping, sorting and breakaway calf roping so you can stay on top of your game and out of the rain. And they have open ride. Check their website for times. Cost is $5 for youth and $10 for adult. They also accept outside trainers who want to teach lessons.
#5 – A Fairytail House
This private indoor arena sometimes has free open rides. You must RSVP for them and space is limited, but free is good. Other events are charged a per rider fee. Follow them on Facebook to watch for events, or join the group page.
#6 – Scatter Creek Trails
If you still want to get out and don’t mind the rain, the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area has old logging/service roads that are open year-round. They do ask that you do not go down any of the wooded paths if the mud is deep to avoid creating deep holes.
#7 – Willapa Trails (a.k.a Rails to Trails)
The Rails to Trials ride has good footing almost the entire way, making it a nice place to ride on a rain-free winter’s day. There are a few trailheads including one in Chehalis, one at Rainbow Falls and an access point in Doty as well.
#8 – Rainbow Falls Horse Camp
The Rainbow Falls Horse Camp and trails are open year round. Here you can access the Willapa Trails or ride around the park. Be sure to pay attention to signs – they do not allow you to stray into the non-horse campsites.
You have plenty of options when it comes to keeping your horse in shape during the cold and wet season. Braving the outdoors, you will get to enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons or perhaps a snow ride. If you are looking to stay a bit warmer and dryer, the arenas listed not only have open ride times, but also practices, clinics and lessons so you and your horse can continue to learn no matter the weather. So wipe down your saddle, hitch the trailer and get out there. Maybe I will even see you at an event!