If you’re an equestrian living on the east side of Portland, or in Gresham, Clackamas, or Molalla, you have it pretty good. You can enjoy excellent winter riding on trails at several nearby parks and recreation areas.
Milo McIver State Park
Milo McIver State Park in Estacada has 10 miles of year-round trails, including several loop options. The park has training stations scattered along the trail, so if you like, you can school your horse on various types of trail obstacles as you ride. Be sure to check out the new Lake Clackamas Trail.
Molalla River Recreation Site (Hardy Creek)
The Molalla River Recreation Site in Molalla has over 50 miles of trails that explore the ridge above the Molalla River. While most of the Recreation Site’s trails are closed in winter, the Huckleberry Trail is open year round. It runs almost the entire length of the Recreation Site, offers interesting views from several vantage points, and has excellent footing for winter riding.
Powell Butte Nature Park
You’ll find Powell Butte Nature Park near the boundary between Southeast Portland and Gresham. It features nearly 10 miles of trails that go up, down, and around its namesake butte. The trails are open year-round, but to prevent damage they are closed when the trails are muddy. Be sure to ride here on a clear day, as the butte’s summit boasts stunning views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Jefferson.
Sandy River Delta
The Sandy River Delta, just off I-84 in Troutdale, offers about 8 miles of easy, flat loop trails through pretty woodlands and meadows. The trails are open year round. Parking is limited, so arrive early on weekends. Dogs are allowed off-leash at the Delta.
Tryon Creek State Natural Area
The Tryon Creek State Natural Area has only 5 miles of trails, but they’re real gems. The footing is great for year-round riding (no slipping and sliding here!), and the forest you’ll travel through is beautiful. Don’t miss the new Paget Creek Trail, which creates a lollipop loop off of the Englewood Horse Trail.
You’ll find more information about these riding areas in Riding Northwest Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2017), available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.