Battle Ground — In early April, the Washington Trail Riders Association was presented with the Outstanding Group Contribution award from Washington State Parks for its work maintaining the trails at Battle Ground Lake.
Founded in 1979 by the leader of the Back Country Horsemen, WTRA members have been working on the trails at Battle Ground Lake for more than 20 years. Roughly 15 years ago, several members of WTRA and the Battle Ground Lake staff received a grant to harden the trails and make the multiuser trails usable year round. Battle Ground Lake is one of the few trails in the area where riders can come in the winter.
Five years ago, WTRA leader Barbara Thomas noticed that she kept crossing paths two members of Back Country Horsemen at the same trail work parties. They started organizing joint work parties at Battle Ground Lake, Rock Creek and Kalama horse camp. Like-minded people from the Back Country Horsemen, Pacific Northwest Endurance Riders, Chinook Trails Association and the Washington Trails Association came together to keep the trails at Battle Ground Lake user friendly.
“While the WTRA is honored to receive this award, it truly is a combined effort of these groups that have kept our local trails in good usable condition,” Thomas said.