If you haven't gone to Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park, you're missing out. Locals have enjoyed the excellent trails at Kanipe Park for years, and since there's now a horse camp at the park, we out-of-towners can enjoy the trails, too.
Mildred Kanipe Park, located off I-5 between Eugene and Roseburg, Oregon, features over 15 miles of horse trails that explore the hills above Bachelor Creek.
You will love the trails at Kanipe Park. Five main loop trails fan out in roughly the shape of a five-leaf clover, so you can enjoy rides of whatever length you like. The loops are all color-coded and signed with colored diamonds painted on the tree trunks along the route.
In addition, there’s an entire network of secondary trails that bisect the main loops. Though these trails are unsigned, they all connect with the five main color-coded loops, so it’s pretty tough to get lost.
As you ride along, you’ll travel through the largest oak savannah in the state, through stands of mature Douglas-firs (don’t miss the beautiful forest at the north end of the Fern Woods loop), along creeks, and up and down the low hills.
With the exception of a couple of steep spots on the Underhill Loop, the main loops are all easy trails. The secondary trails can be a little more challenging, with steeper hills and less-defined tread. Please note that Kanipe Park has poison oak, so keep a sharp eye out.
Mildred Kanipe Park is only open to horses from March 16 through October 31, to protect the trails from damage in wet weather. Hunting isn't allowed, so Mildred Kanipe Park is a great place to ride during hunting season. Or, plan ahead for next season's horseback adventure. Either way, Mildred Kanipe Park is not to be missed.
The park’s horse camp lies in an open, grassy meadow and has excellent amenities. All fifteen of the sites are pull-throughs, and all have 2- or 4-horse steel corrals.
Each site has a spigot with potable water (from a well) and another spigot next to the corral with stock water from the creek. The camp has picnic tables and fire rings, of course, plus a vault toilet, garbage cans, and manure bins. The only thing the camp lacks is shade, and that will come as the trees get taller.
The park also features a big equestrian parking area with a toilet, stock water in season, and a group shelter with picnic tables.
The trails at Mildred Kanipe Park are covered in more detail in Riding Southern Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, available at www.NWHorseTrails.com.