Thursday, February 19, 2015

redemption at hidden falls

With recent naughtiness in mind, I headed out to a new location. I wanted to see some new trail, and I wanted to deal with my horse by himself.

We hadn't been to Hidden Falls since one of my very first trail rides on Major (pre-blog days)! They did a large expansion last year, which makes it a much better place for training (before there was only seven miles of trails in loops, a bit dull). Now there are lots of trails, lots of loops and everything incredibly well maintained. Compared to my usual rutted, eroded, fallen tree, duck for branches, rocky routes, this is Disneyland!

Are you sure we have to leave my hay bag behind?
We got to the normally very busy park early, and were only the second horse trailer and about 6 cars. We headed out, Major wistfully looking back at the trailer (because there was a hay bag back there, filled with crack alfalfa hay).

Our first trails were in the damp shade, but the footing was perfect, and we both warmed up quickly. Major loves to explore (me too) and just set into a fabulous working trot, up and over and around the great terrain, winding through oaks and along the creek where I could hear the waterfalls but not see them. I'd ask him to slow, and he would, but he wanted to go that nice pace, so I let him, and it was great!

cute little bridge

highly suspicious non-native rocks

lovely view

I dare you to get lost here!

At every intersection there is a sign, and at most there is a trail map too. The longest trail I did was about 2.5 miles, as they all interconnect and get a bit complicated, for a total of almost 14 miles. (For the detailed, the crazy list is: South Legacy Way to Pheasant Trail to Golden Eagle Loop to Black Rail Trail to Warbler to South Legacy Trail to Gold Finch Trail across Salmon Run Bridge to Grey Squirrel Trail to Deer Trail to River Otter Loop to North Legacy Way to Creekside Trail across Canyon View Bridge to North Legacy Way across Whiskey Diggins Bridge to Poppy Trail and back to the trailer.)

huge 34 ton capable bridge, I think we can make it

a view from the creek

suspicious rock with plaque, open potty...too many things to look at!

suspicious logs, why are they lined up along the trail?

There is a lovely creek to wade in, though at five miles in Major wasn't interested in drinking. We found one good hill climb on Deer Trail, shared trail with some nice bikers, had a kamikaze squirrel run in front of us and confronted the suspicious stacked rocks and logs. At 10 miles he drank a little and mostly splashed until I pulled him out of the water because I knew any instant he was going to lie down!

good hill on Deer Trail

oaks leafing out and stunning blue skies

this grass over HERE is better...

pretending to drink, more fun to play

love this little tête-à-tête, quite the conversation spot

Heading back we took the totally not scary (though signs would make you think otherwise) trail along the creek, and then walked the fire road to cool down. One last jaunt up Poppy Trail, where we encountered no fewer than eight groups of people coming down, and Major posed to have his sweaty picture taken by some Japanese tourists (I've had this happen twice before, I'm sure it is posted on some foreign visitor's Facebook page, so odd. But glad to be an ambassador of sorts!).

one way travel probably a good idea, a bit narrow for horses and bikes

a view down to the creek

the other big bridge

Major was hot, though not too tired, it was over 70 degrees

shaded fire break is a good place to get off and hike
at the end of Poppy Trail

Back at the trailer the staging area was now very full, packed with trailers and cars circling for spots, even the overflow lot was full. I counted 13 total trailers, too many cars and was glad everyone was out enjoying the day (but glad we were back and not sharing the trails with them). Major waited not so patiently for mash, ate some grass on the hillside, then we headed home.

I can see my mash. It's right there. I need it. Now.


everyone else was out enjoying the day too
I was so glad to explore this new-to-me place, and will be back, as long as I can go early on a weekday again! I was so happy with Major's behavior, not a spook, no fights, and know that I have to battle his at-home demons on home trails. But it's all an adventure.

back home is best


  1. Thanks for sharing the new trail! I enjoy the stories you tell with the pictures rather than just post pictures and say "here is Major back at the trailer"

    1. thanks! I figured I'd rather take you on the adventure with me that just show you I was there!

  2. Lovely lovely! Oh my gosh..
    Sounds like new scenery was just exactly what you both needed!

    1. Yeah, the weather is insanely amazing right now, and terrible with no rain. Might as well enjoy it!

  3. I've ridden at Hidden Falls, that is a nice spot! It's definitely surprising how busy it gets. Nice photos, love the one of him staring for mash