With the onset of spring, visitors are coming back into our provincial parks to enjoy the amazing recreation opportunities that BC Parks have to offer.
One very popular recreation opportunity is horseback riding! Pristine wilderness, old-growth forest, secluded lakes and rivers, snow-dusted mountain peaks, these are the types of vistas visitors may encounter while in the backcountry. Horseback riding provides a unique and wonderful way to experience the incredible backcountry of BC Parks.
To ensure that you and your horse are enjoying the tail in the safest way, while leaving as slight an impact as possible, here are some tips, things to know before you go:
- Make sure you are informed about the trails you plan to ride on. Check out the BC Parks website and other resources for information about available trails for horseback riding.
- Know if there are restrictions about the type of feed that you can use for your horse while you are on the trail. Some parks restrict the type of feed to weed free pelleted feed, since import of weeds can be a concern.
- Check for water facilities available for you and the horses you will bring; ensure that you will have access to water, or plan to bring your own. If there is water available, remember to bring something to hold or gather the water. If you can’t carry enough water, bring along some form of water treatment (filter, tablets or liquid to purify)
- If planning an overnight trip, some parks have corrals or other facilities to prevent having to long-line the horse. Know what facilities are available to you (if any) before you go, so that you can prepare accordingly.
- Be aware that the number of horses and people permitted at one time may be limited on some trails – make sure you are not overloading the trail.
- Be aware that the trails you are using may be multi use. You may be sharing the trails with cyclists, ATVs or other users. Please be considerate and share the trails.
- Stay on the trails; respect private property and pay attention to trail closures/restrictions; sensitive park values or safety concerns may be the cause.
These links provide great information about horseback riding best practises and the how-to of riding in the backcountry:
- Backcountry Horsemen of British Columbia: http://www.bchorsemen.org/
- Horse Council of BC: http://www.hcbc.ca/
The following are just a few of the provincial parks that offer horseback riding. Please visit the BC Parks web pages for the individual parks for further information.
- Babine Mountains
- Churn Creek
- Cultus Lake
- E.C. Manning
- Golden Ears
- Height of the Rockies
- Kalamalka Lake
- Myra Bellevue
- Northern Rocky Mountains
- Roche Lake
- Tweedsmuir South
- Wapiti Lake
Not ready to lead your own adventure? Consider taking a tour. There are permitted trail guides who conduct tours in BC Parks. Check the BC Parks web pages for more information. For information on other types of horseback riding tours or vacations: http://www.hellobc.com/british-columbia/things-to-do/outdoor-activities/guest-ranches-horseback-riding.aspx