Thursday, December 5, 2019

Washington: At Bridle Trails park, equestrians feeling the impact of growth — and two-legged visitors — on their Eastside ‘horse heaven’ - Full Article

December 3 2019
By Paige Cornwell
Seattle Times staff reporter

KIRKLAND – All around Bridle Trails State Park are reminders of the horse community that’s centered there — and the booming Eastside growth that surrounds it.

Traffic whizzes past “horse crossing” signs on roads that once guided equestrians from one town to another. Teslas are parked alongside trucks with horse trailers at the park’s main entrance. New developments woo potential buyers with descriptions of neighborhoods that were “formerly occupied by equestrian stables.”

For decades, Bridle Trails has served as a haven for the horse community even as the area around the 489-acre park transformed. Deep in the forest, the sound of the cars and development construction fades, and new riders trot their horses alongside experienced equestrians.

But on the trails is yet another reminder of growth, this one relatively new and increasingly frequent: pedestrians.

“There’s a lot more density, lot more traffic, lot more use of the park,” said Jennifer Duncan, president of the Lake Washington Saddle Club, based at Bridle Trails. “It’s busier than it’s ever been...”

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