By Juelie Dalzell, Buckhorn Range and Peninsula Chapters (article published in Trailhead News)
National Public Land Day saw eight members of Buckhorn Range Chapter working hard to restore LeBar Horse Camp. This lovely camp had been closed all summer in part due to Covid-19 and in part due to USFS staff shortages. What interested our members was the fact we had to negotiate with the Forest Service for over six weeks just to be permitted to hold a work party in the campground with the work needing approval before we entered. LeBar Horse Camp was built by Mason County (now Oakland Bay) and Olympic Chapters. Unwilling to give us a key, a Forest Service employee unlocked the gate for us the day we arrived.
The camp nestled between huge trees is extremely well designed with mostly pull through sites, cable high lines, picnic tables and fire rings. There is also a large picnic shelter at one end of the campground. With no use over the summer the camp looked very forlorn and overgrown. Small trees and shrubs had to be cleared from the camp road loop. Tent pads had to be replaced, brush and weeds cut off the hitch rails and sites parking areas, picnic tables wire brushed, the toilet sanitized and moss scraped off the concrete pad holding the vault toilet. A sign post had to be replaced, and fallen trees cleared from connector trails. Every fire ring was cleared of debris and creeper vines snipped away from camp sites and the road.
In addition, our crew cleared downed trees blocking the LeBar access and 140 access to the Skok River Trail.
While the work required the eight of us to spend three days at LeBar, we all had a marvelous time together. Two of our members prepared meals for all of us making it a festive occasion and those of us not cooking felt coddled. When we left, the camp looked ready for campers, but alas it will not open until next year. For those of you who have never been to LeBar, Buckhorn members would strongly suggest you do yourselves a favor and stay at this premier horse camp next summer.