One of the newest state parks in NW Oregon, L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park is only 30 miles west of Portland yet is situated in the lush, scenic Coastal Range forest. It is loaded with amenities that will make your stay comfortable and convenient. The separate horse camp, known as Hares Canyon Horse Camp, is positioned high on a hill overlooking the other camping areas and in the distance, the Coastal Range skyline.
The horse camp offers 14 full hookup sites which include electricity, water, picnic table, ringed fire pit and 4-stall corrals. Two additional sites are double-sized and have 6-stall corrals. There are handy manure bins and best of all, hot showers and flush toilets. It doesn’t get more homey than this. If you want to feel like you live there, rent one of the cabins for the non-horse friends and sit on their balcony for that sunset cup of coffee, hot chocolate or glass of wine and bask in the colors of the ending of the day as it fades behind the distant mountain range.
The trails are often short when taken individually, but you can loop them together for longer rides or connect with the Banks-Vernonia Trail which runs between the two towns. There is a wood chip horse trail paralleling the paved bike/hike trail which stretches about 20 miles to Vernonia. The sense of wilderness and the magnificent views make this destination a must-do.
Hares Canyon horse camp is open March 1 to November 1, allowing plenty of time for off-season camping and trail riding, especially in the mild Oregon autumns. There are tent and camper sites lower on the hill where groups can collect for larger outings. The day use area is furnished with toilet facilities and picnic tables and many trails intersect at this spot. The million-dollar view is worth even a day trip to check out the area and make your reservations. Take advantage of your tax dollars at work and enjoy the fantastic Northwest backcountry.
To learn more about living in Oregon with your horses, drop me a line!