Monday 21 May 2018

Three Hour, Three Lake Tour

Even though I am home most days of the week, I'm still finding it hard to find the time to connect wth my local friends. Luckily, the stars aligned and both myself and two great friends were free this past Saturday!

Both were willing to trailer down near my barn for a trail ride, which was perfect. I board in an area where there are unlimited trail networks - we could literally head out for weeks and travel incredible distances without ever crossing our tracks. The isolation here admittedly gets to me sometimes, but on the other hand, it is pretty cool to have so much outdoor space, and the ocean and mountains at our doorstep.

So many options, my barn is located pretty much dead centre of this trail map.

So off we went, with no real plan beyond catching up on all things horses and enjoying the beautiful trails. We all commented that it was a little reminiscent of when we were kids...just hopping on our ponies with no real plan, and seeing what adventures the day would bring.
Happy Bridget ears. I was so happy that she was totally fine barefoot on all the different terrain

A 30 min slog up some pretty steep old forestry roads got us to the top of the hill behind my barn.
Sadly, not much of a view today. The clouds are blocking our views across to Vancouver Island.

From there, we turned off into the forest onto some mountain biking trails

This one is about 15min up a hill and back down. It's narrow and twisty and fun to canter.

Those trails connected us to the main parking and trailhead for a local rec site at Haslam Lake, and a provincial protected area at Duck Lake. After much pondering, we opted to continue along towards Duck Lake, simply following the main Forest Service Rd.
Deciding where to go

Another 30 minutes or so took us past the lake and along the river flowing out of it, where we saw a trail marker heading in the direction we thought we needed to go. While all of us have ridden in the area for years, it's admittedly been a long time since we ventured to this area, so we were a little worried about whether the trails would be horse safe. Back in the day, they were...adventurous...on horseback ;)

This seemingly friendly trail used to have a puddle so big blocking it that my friend's horse ended up swimming!

We were all pleasantly surprised - there have been a lot of volunteers hard at work! The area has really been discovered in the last few years by the mountain biking community. There are a couple of big races with riders coming from all over the world, so the trail network has really grown and improved. Add in the local groups and clubs, and it's really incredible what's been done. I was super impressed with some of the infrastructure...there are brand new horse safe bridges!

I didn't think to take pictures, so here's one of the local ATV club building one of the bridges.

That lovely trail took us back to our favorite trail, an old logging railway grade that goes for miles through the foresr. We enjoyed the shade and lovely old trees for a good part of that trail, before turning off and taking the trail back down the hill to West Lake - the one about a 30 min hack from my barn, and the lake featured in pretty much all my "we rode to the lake" posts :)

From there, a short hack back the the ring. We had a fantastic day, the company was super, and the horses were all happy and really well behaved. Bridget was go, go, go all day and never tired. She's way fitter than I thought!

My friends and I were all saying it's been far too long since we just hopped on our horses without an agenda or time constraints. This ride made me fall in love with our area all over again, and super excited to plan some more trail adventures (though we may have to bring lunch next time, lol)



  1. Those kinds of rides are the best - no agenda, no time pressure... just enjoying your ponies <3

    1. It's been far too long since we've got together without some sort of day planned!

  2. Wow I am so jealous of your trail system! What a great day. :)

    1. The trail system is amazing! Such a waste that I don't use more of it!

  3. Ooooh that looks awesome!! What a cool ride and even better that you were finally able to hook up with your friends for it!!

    1. It took having another event we were all attending being cancelled, but hey, we had even more fun hitting the trails!

  4. Amazing trails! Sounds like you have some good trail buddies too. :)

    1. I'm so lucky that Bridget can basically head out with anyone's horses, anywhere. But yeah, those two I rode with last are extra special awesome trail buddies :)