Camp Wilkerson, a Columbia County park located in the heart of Oregon’s Coast Range, features one of the nicest horse camps in Oregon plus fun trails that showcase the area’s lush forest.
Staying at Camp Wilkerson is a real delight. The horse camp's six campsites have pull-through parking with room for two trailers, plus 4-horse corrals, picnic tables, fire rings, and stock water spigots at every site.
Not only that, but the camp also has free hot showers, flush toilets, a manure bin, garbage cans, a covered group shelter, and a spacious day-use parking area. And all this is right in the horse camp, not a mile down the road in the people campground.
The riding at Camp Wilkerson is a lot of fun, too:
The LIAHONA TRAIL is a 3.5-mile loop that explores the forested hills within the park. The route is well signed, so you can’t get lost. In summer, it’s a fabulous trail, though in winter it can be muddy and slick. Wooden directional signs and pink horseshoe-and-arrow trailblazers mark the route. The pink trailblazers have sunbleached to a peach color, but even so, they make it easy to follow the trail.
The FIVE-MILE LOOP used to run entirely on gravel forest roads. However, volunteers from Oregon Equestrian Trails’ Columbia County Chapter have worked hard to move large sections of the trail onto single-track trails that offer up-close views of the verdant forest. Orange trailblazers imprinted with horseshoes and arrows point the way around the loop.
The FISH POND LOOP is a 6.5-mile trail that starts on the Liahona Trail, then veers off and crosses Apiary Road to explore the spectacular stands of Douglas-fir on the north side of the highway. When you see the old trees standing arrow-straight and as tall as a 12-story building, you understand why the logging industry loves Doug-firs. They’re truly impressive. This trail runs mostly on forest roads and is signed with white horseshoe-and-arrow trailblazers on the trees.
What’s more, there are oodles of forest roads nearby that you can explore when the weather is wet and the single-track trails are muddy and slick.
Camp Wilkerson Horse Camp is covered in Riding Northwest Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, available at www.NWhorsetrails.com.