Posted on April 1, 2011
Horses have been a Peninsula tradition since its earliest days. In fact, most of the older homes on the Peninsula were built using horse-power. You may have noticed, when crossing the Astoria-Megler Bridge at low tide, old pilings in the middle of the Columbia River, left from the days when horses were housed in barns built on the pilings and were used to haul in seine nets in the fishing operations that took place on the river. Horses began this work in the mid-1890s. The Klipsan Beach Lifesaving Station reminds us of a time when horses played an integral role in rescuing people and boats stranded off shore.
One of the most popular activities for visitors to the Peninsula is taking a horseback ride along the uninterrupted stretches of beach fronting the Pacific Ocean. There are two businesses in the City of Long Beach which will provide horses and trained professionals to lead groups on tours. Unless a visitor brings his or her own steed, all horseback riding on the beach is accompanied by a guide. Following old horse wisdom in this area, local Back Country Wilderness Outfitters and Skipper’s Equestrian Center respect the unpredictability of oceanfront beaches and do not send visitors out alone.
A variety of horse adventures await you! In addition to daily guided rides along the beach, visitors can take a faster paced ride into Beard’s Hollow, a half-day trip over a hillside, a back country packing trip, a sunset ride by horseback, a wagon ride along the beach or an elegant carriage ride through historic Seaview or downtown Long Beach. And you haven’t really experienced the beach the old fashioned way unless you take part in a cowboy’s cream can dinner among the rocks at Beard’s Hollow. Pony rides are always available for youngsters, and little tykes can ride double with adults on most activities.
If you bring your own horse to ride on the beach, please observe the following rules:
- There is beach access at all the approaches and horse paths at Sid Snyder Drive and 2nd Street N.
- No riding on clam beds during low tide.
- No horses are allowed on the beach between Sid Snyder and Bolstad (north) between Memorial Day and September 15.
- You can ride south as far as Beard’s Hollow and north into Leadbetter State Park. Watch for Snowy Plover nesting area signage on the northern tip of the Peninsula. The nesting areas and the trails in Leadbetter Point State Park are closed to equestrian travel for wildlife preservation.
Take care when riding in the surf as horses can lose their footing in the shifting sand.
Ocean Beach Animal Clinic (360) 642-2223