Celebrating the 34th Anniversary of Equestrian use at national park

Submitted by Theresa Simendinger.

This week is the 34th anniversary of the park’s signing into the history of horses on South Beach. For years, parking in the common lot, far side, and riding out to the beach to the left as far as anyone could go. And now parking up on Redoubt.

Another long-time favorite was Mt Finlayson Trail out to the DNR sign over-looking the lighthouse. Then back to the Nature Trail, down to the Jakals Lagoon Trail and back to the parking area.

After years of generations of islanders; equestrians and all beach lovers using South Beach; the Parks officially set it in writing,34 years ago, in late July, 1988.

Lisa Nash Lawrence and her family have lived here for many, many generations. Both Great Great Grandfathers were stationed here during the Pig Wars, one at American Camp, and one at English Camp! Lisa and her island friends and families have ridden at South Beach for over 50 years. Lisa and Jim have so many fond memories of riding trips to South Beach and out Mt Finlayson Trail to see the Cattle Point lighthouse.

Many locals who grew up here, remember how much they loved their island trails and riding at South Beach.

Others moved here 15 years ago or more only made the choice specifically after asking realtors if we could ride at South Beach and Mitchell Hill area. I personally even asked my realtor to borrow a horse for me to see the trails, and said I’ll buy the house after riding them! I was so excited by the riding here.

Finally, 34 years ago, the Parks realized they needed to recognize all usage, including horses officially. We are so lucky to live here! All of us!