We are hosting a regional work party in partnership with other chapters in the region to get LeBar Horse Camp and the Lower S. Fork Skokomish River trail ready for the season. Winter storm damage is extensive – there is a lot of work to do! We need volunteers for camp and trail work. Tasks include: brushing/swamping (a lot of swamping!), blowdown removal (sawyers needed!) and cleanup of campsites. We will also be removing the rotten roof on the vault toilet and (hopefully) installing the new roof. Something for everyone! Bring gloves, appropriate attire. Tools, PPE’s provided (Sawyers need to bring their own saw/PPE)
Join us for viewing the film, produced by chapter member Wren Winfield, of Bernice Ende’s epic story about riding 30,000 miles across our country. In Lady Long Rider, Bernice shares the miles of insight she gained on the horseback ride that ultimately became a journey of self-discovery. Question/Answer session with Wren to follow.
Come and enjoy all that LeBar Horse Camp has to offer along with other members of our chapter.
Whether this is your first time (kind assistance offered) or one of many times camping with your equine partner, you’re sure to enjoy this weekend full of camaraderie and riding. More information and directions available.
Please RSVP so we have an idea if we need to organize meals, riding etc. We also plan to do some camp improvements as well as trail maintenance to extend access to the upper portion of the trail.
I would like to thank all those that made the LeBar work party successful and fun. It was one of those planned events that could either have worked or not worked. We had 44 yards of gravel being delivered to a locked gated campground in the mountains (LeBar) so it could have been a true disaster if everything didn’t happen like clockwork. For example, the USFS staff needed to make it to the campground just ahead of us to unlock the gate, which did in fact happen. It was a welcomed sight for USFS staff Jai and James to be at the gates Friday morning ahead of Juelie and I with the gravel truck (first load) following us.
Between Friday and Saturday, we filled the camp up with volunteers. Most all the gravel was spread (except about 5 yards piled saved for later) with Nancy Scott on her Kubota. We had a plan to replace 6 highline cables. In fact, Larry (and crew Kris and Pat) replaced 8. The campground was completely brushed and all sites were spruced up. Campground trails were opened up and graveled. Picnic tables were repaired.
A few volunteers came with horses for the purpose of scouting the trail and identifying blocking logs. This was done along with some additional help from local riders. Not only did they identify the blocking logs, but Bob, Jim H (with chain saw), Donna H, and Terry Monroe (with pack horse) went in afterwards on Sunday to cut them out. They opened up the main loop from the horse camp to Camp Comfort and back. (One hanging log was too low to ride under – Bob went back the following Saturday and lowered the tread so a horse can safely pass until it can be removed). Now there is a reason to go back with riding horses to camp.
Karma and Rick came up to make everyone dinner Saturday night as well as breakfast and lunch on Sunday. I just hope they got out of there Sunday before the gate gets locked, or they may be there for the rest of the month!!!
This was a grant project that Buckhorn Range committed to, and we met most of that commitment. There is still some funds to spend, and we may spend it spreading more gravel. It was a highly successful weekend other than one rider finger smash and one lost cell phone.
LeBar Horse Camp officially opened the same week.. While we showed our willingness to invest in the horse camp, the effort to keep it open for stock is just beginning. It is important for folks to use the camp when it officially opens.
On a somewhat similar note, the next drainage north, the North Fork Skokomish (Cushman/Staircase) was closed last year because of crowding and irresponsible dispersed campers. The USFS just imposed an alcohol ban on dispersed camping in that drainage for 2 years.
The may drive some partying campers to the South Fork Skok where LeBar is. Horse use at LeBar will help us with “staking our turf” preserving the campground, so make sure you come or come back if you were with our work party!! Jeff
We had a dry if not terribly sunny day on Saturday, although someone invited the mosquitoes to the party as well. Since the pandemic blew into our lives there have been solo and household work parties, and a couple of small gatherings to work at the Horse Park, but this was the first group work party I had hosted in over a year, and it was wonderful to see those orange vests and hard hats again.
Ever since we built the bridge on Silent Alder Trail at Gibbs Lake County Park there was a problem with traction when the deck was wet. I tried anti-skid tape on the running planks, but it wasn’t durable and some riders still thought it was slippery when wet, so I came up with a more solid solution – extend the trail tread over the bridge itself.
Five of us met on Saturday morning at Beausite Lake Rd. Larry, Kris, Judith and I would work on resurfacing the bridge while Helen cleared the trail of low-hanging branches. First, we cleaned the bridge deck and put down fabric and curb rails to hold the gravel in place. Then we used our power gravel toter to move the material down to the bridge surface. After crowning and tamping it down and building up the approaches the bridge is ready for many future uneventful equine crossings.
No more clopping of hooves on the wooden deck, but perhaps Ichabod will appreciate the quiet.
It’s a strikingly beautiful camp with 13 sites – pull through and back in. There’s no water in camp so you need to bring water for you and your stock. The trail meanders through giant firs with some views of the Skokomish River with a pleasant river lunch spot.
We need to use this camp otherwise we run the risk of closure or having it be opened to non-stock campers. Additional information gladly provided through our Buckhorn Range chapter website or Facebook.
Thank you to the volunteers who came out to the horse park yesterday to cut scotch broom on the Mustang and Boundary Trails!! We had 7 in attendance plus 2 horses and a dog. All the targeted work was completed. The trails are all opened, and we were able to park in the parking area (among the log decks). Work, conversation, and riding – that’s a good day. Even time for packing and highlining.
The Forest Service has reached out to us about our Title II Grant for LeBar, offering to just let the USFS acquire the gravel with the grant fund and have it moved to LeBar where we can spread it. They will also purchase the highline cable if we tell them what we want. This cuts out all of the grant administration work on our end. We are excited by this renewed spirit of cooperation and partnership with Olympic National Forest and look forward to when we are able to get back to work to restore this beautiful Horse Camp.
LeBar Horse Camp Work Party May 20, 2022 – May 22, 2022
Lebar Horse Camp, Hoodsport, WA 98548, USA
Regional work party hosted by Buckhorn Range Chapter to get LeBar Horse Camp cleaned up and ready to open for the season. We will also be working on the Lower S. Fork Skokomish River Trail, clearing logs and debris and brushing the trail.
Chapter Meeting July 8, 2022 at 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Lebar Horse Camp, Hoodsport, WA 98548, USA
Buckhorn Range Chapter – BCHW * P.O. Box 845 * Chimacum * WA * 98325