At one time, Brooks Memorial State Park in south central Washington had an extensive network of equestrian trails, but sadly, they fell into disuse and became overgrown. Luckily for all of us, in recent years park managers have teamed up with Back Country Horsemen volunteers to re-open the park’s historic trails.
- The riding is easy to moderate
- 9+ miles of trails
- Elevation 2,700 feet
Located on Hwy. 97 north of Goldendale, Brooks Memorial State Park lies in the transition zone between the South Yakima Valley and the pine-covered slopes of the Simcoe Mountains. A network of horse trails now traverses the park’s low hills, running through a beautiful forest of ponderosa pines, oaks, and Douglas-firs. These trails have been fully reconstructed and are well signed, allowing you to create several fun, easy loop rides.
You’ll find additional riding on the 900-acre park’s hilltops, which feature stands of oak trees and grassy meadows that offer views toward the Columbia Gorge. You can even see Mt. Hood from one vantage point. On the hilltops, you can ride the forest roads, follow the indistinct trails, or go cross-country.
The equestrian parking area has a picnic table, potable water from a spigot, and parking for 6-8 trailers. You’ll find vault toilets at the group campsite 0.2 mile down the road.
A horse camp is currently in the planning stages. For now, you can arrange to primitive camp at the equestrian parking area by contacting park management. You’ll find good trees for highlining adjacent to the parking area, and coin-operated hot showers are available in the family campground across Hwy. 97. The equestrian parking area is close to Hwy. 97, so noise from the heavy truck traffic can be an issue.