About 30 miles east of Medford and 40 miles northwest of Klamath Falls, Willow Prairie offers 19 miles of fantastic, relatively easy forested trails, plus some user-created trails and many forest roads to ride.
The horse camp is adjacent to Willow Prairie, a marshy meadow complete with riparian vegetation and a nightly chorus of croaking frogs.
The riding at Willow Prairie is a delight, with excellent footing and impressive views of Mt. McLoughlin from several vantage points. The trail network is a “stacked loop” system (think of the trail layout like a ladder, with some long trails and lots of cross trails connecting them), so you can tailor your rides to be as long or short as you want). In addition, every trail junction is marked with a numbered post so you can easily find your way around.
The loops on the west side of the camp are relatively easy, with lots of variety in the terrain and forest vegetation.
The east-side loops are more challenging, with rockier terrain and more elevation gain/loss. However, as compensation, the east-side trails offer more scenic views than their western counterparts.
If you have some navigation skills, you can find your way to see the tallest Western White Pine in Oregon. At 242 feet tall and 20 feet in diameter at chest height, it was already a large tree when the Declaration of Independence was signed.
There are so many fun trails at Willow Prairie and so many things to see – it’s a must-go horse camping destination!
Ten sites have 4-horse log corrals; one site has six corrals. All sites are level and back in, and several sites have room for two vehicles. All sites have picnic tables and fire rings. The campground has a vault toilet, potable water from a hand pump, a manure bin, garbage cans, and stock water tanks in several locations.
You can also rent the historic Forest Service cabin at Willow Prairie, which has a 4-horse corral.
The trails around Willow Prairie Horse Camp are covered in more detail in Riding Southern Oregon Horse Trails by Kim McCarrel, available at www.NWhorsetrails.com.