Featured HORSE TRAILS
Southwest of Salem and south of Coos Bay, the Winchester Trail System is a 30 mile network of horseback trails and roads open to horseback riding. This area is very popular with ATV riders, dirt bikers and mountain bikers, so keep an eye out for them. The trails are maintained by the South Coast Trail Riders, along with the help of the Shutter Creek inmate work crews.
North of Baker City in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, the 23 mile Elkhorn Crest Trail is a National Recreation Trail and the highest trail in the Blue Mountains, crossing alpine and sub-alpine life zones up to 8,500 feet elevation. The Elkhorn Crest National Recreation Trail #1611 offers panoramic views of the Baker Valley and the Wallowa Mountains to the east, while the endless folds of the Blue Mountains fade away to the south and west. A total of six lakes may be viewed from the Elkhorn Crest Trail and an additional five can be reached by spur trails or cross-country travel.
Northwest of Bend and Sisters in the Deschutes National Forest, the Metolius-Windigo Trail is a 120 mile horseback riding trail the Metolius River headwaters west of Sisters and runs south to Windigo Pass near Crescent Lake. The trail was created around 1980 by linking sections of existing trails, primarily to serve long-distance horse riders seeking an alternative to the Pacific Crest Trail. Because of its lower elevation, this trail is snow-free longer and has fewer mosquitoes than the higher elevation PCT. The trail passes through a wide variety of scenic terrain and forest types.