|Photo by Sue Wessel
You can ride the sagebrush and juniper flats of the high
desert, the ponderosa pine
forests on the flanks of the mountains or explore High Cascade meadows, sometimes all in one ride!
Kim McCarrel, author of "Oregon Horse Trails" and "Riding Central Oregon Horse Trails," says, "(Sisters Country) is one of my favorite places to ride because you're in the ponderosa pines all the time, but you have great mountain views. Very close to town you can really feel like you're out in the woods."
McCarrel recommends that visitors base themselves at Graham Corral or Sisters Cow Camp, both of which are just off the 120-mile Metolius-Windigo Trail.
"Graham Corral or Sisters Cow Camp are really great bets," she says.
From Graham Corral you can ride out for a loop around Black Butte, or simply ride through the pine forest. The Whychus Creek watershed is easily accessible from Sisters Cow Camp.
"From there you can easily trailer over to the Peterson Ridge Trail System, which is fantastic," McCarrel says.
This new trail system
established by the volunteer efforts of the Sisters Trails Alliance starts right at the south edge of Sisters. Maps of the Sisters
Trails Alliance trail system
are available at many locations throughout Sisters, including Sisters Ranger District, the
Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce, Ray's Food Place, local bike shops and Sisters Feed & Supply.
If you're looking to take your family on guided horseback rides, consider a stay at Long Hollow Ranch, where you can ride the range east of Sisters with experienced guides.
Black Butte Stables offers a range of rides, from a 30-minute excursion to all-day rides.
An hour-and-a-half trail ride is optimal for beginners.
Horseback Riding Lessons
Contact the Sisters Park & Recreation District for information on lessons at local stables, www.sistersrecreation.com.
Long Hollow Ranch: www.lhranch.com.
Black Butte Stables: www.blackbuttestables.com.
West Coast Equestrian Center: www.westcoastequestriancenter.com.