Spring is here, but it can be a challenge to find places where the trails are dry enough to ride on the west side of the Cascades, even on a sunny spring day. Never fear! The trails at McIver State Park offer nice year-round riding, plus some excellent trail obstacles you can practice your skills on.
Milo McIver State Park is located 25 miles southeast of Portland and 3 miles south of Estacada, on the bank of the Clackamas River. The park’s main equestrian trail runs in a lopsided figure-8 from the parking area, with several connector trails that offer additional riding options.
The northern loops run through beautiful forest and down into the valley carved by the Clackamas River. The larger of these loops follow the park’s Perimeter Trail and take you along the river shore. The southern loops run through the forest and along open meadows. Both sets of trails are open year-round, though the hilly stretches of the northern trails may be slippery after rain. The southern trails have good footing year-round.
Bonus: Training Stations!
The Rivermill Trail that runs south of the parking area offers trail obstacles, or “training stations,” along the trail.
The training stations are beside the trail, so you can ride past them if you choose. Or you can stop and do a little trail-obstacle training with your horse, exposing him in a controlled environment to the types of challenges you may encounter on any trail. The training stations feature step-over logs, a back-through gate, a step-up platform, a teeter-totter bridge, a pass-through gate, cavaletti poles, a balance beam, and a suspension bridge.
The training stations are designed to be safe for novice trail riders while still challenging for more experienced riders and their horses. The obstacles offer excellent opportunities to improve your horse’s skill and confidence on the trail while adding some variety to your riding. And if you’re interested in participating in competitive trail events, the training stations offer an excellent way to hone your skills.
Dedicated volunteers from Oregon Equestrian Trails' North Valley Chapter maintain the equestrian trails and training stations at McIver State Park. These volunteers also built the Park’s training stations with a financial donation from the Territorial Riders Chapter of Back Country Horsemen. Thank you, OET and BCH!
The trails at McIver State Park are open year-round unless high water makes a section of the Perimeter Trail impassible.
McIver State Park has a vast gravel equestrian parking area with portable toilets, garbage cans, picnic tables, an outdoor arena, hitching rail, ADA mounting ramp, and stock water from a spigot. A fee is charged for day use. Overnight camping is not permitted.
The equestrian trails at Milo McIver State Park are featured in Riding Northwest Oregon Horse Trails by Kim McCarrel, available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.