If you love riding at the coast (and who doesn’t?), it’s tough to beat Bullards Beach State Park, near Bandon, Oregon. You can stay in the park’s well-appointed horse camp, ride for miles on the wide, sandy beach, follow the loop trails through the dunes, and ride to the historic lighthouse. You’ll find plenty of trails at Bullard’s Beach to fill a long weekend!
You can ride on the lovely Bullards Beach, of course.
And Bullards offers a variety of trails through the dunes.
The Cut Creek Trail parallels the beach as it runs through the dunes. The North Loop Trail connects to the Cut Creek Trail on both ends, and the Three Mares Loop connects with the North Loop Trail on both ends.
These trails are ideal for days when the beach is windy, or the tide is high, plus they can be linked to the beach for even more miles of riding.
An additional trail at Bullards Beach runs across an open stretch of dunes from the horse camp to the tiny, picturesque Coquille River Lighthouse. You can tie your horse at the lighthouse and take a short tour, or enjoy the view and then make a loop back to the horse camp via the beach.
The trails through the dunes feature varied vegetation, from dune grasses to dense stands of shore pine. In season, the gorse and Scotch broom have vibrant yellow flowers. You’ll want to give the gorse a wide berth, though: this invasive species creates dense thickets covered with nasty thorns. (If you picture the impenetrable thorns that grew up around Sleeping Beauty’s castle, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what gorse is like.) In some stretches, the footing is loose sand, and in others, its hard-packed sand held in place by vegetation.
Bullards Beach State Park also offers a well-appointed horse camp, with widely-spaced campsites, corrals, garbage cans, toilet, manure bin, and potable water from spigots. Reservations are available at reserveamerica.com.
With excellent riding, a nice horse camp, and hot showers in the family campground just down the road, Bullards Beach State Park has just about everything you need for a great horse camping vacation any time of year.