Trail Riding in Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania

Author Elizabeth Dore and her Husband, Barry, take a trail break in the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth rode her new 8-year-old Paint Horse, Chief. Barry rode his 18-year-old Quarter Horse, Sonny.
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Northeast Region
Our last trail ride of 2004 was in the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania. My husband and I agree that it was the most spectacular camping/trail-riding trip we've ever had!

On this trip were my husband, Barry, and his horse, Sonny, a muscled, gentle, 18-year-old Quarter Horse who's been one of those "treasures" that come into your life. I was on my new horse, Chief, an easygoing 8-year-old overo Paint Horse who's become my "blessing in disguise."

The first week of October, we arrived at our secluded, scenic destination - Kelly Pines. We learned of the site through word-of-mouth from a previous camping trip. I initially thought Kelly Pines was named so because of its pine trees - but after seeing several "porcu-pines," I began to think differently.

Barry and I had the camping area to ourselves. There were no electric or water hookups, but there was a pump so we could provide water to our horses.

On one of our exploratory rides, we passed a forest sign that read "Buzzard Swamp." I thought it would make for interesting conversation when friends inquire, "Sooooo, where did you go on vacation?"

"Well, Buzzard Swamp of course."

When one rides off to find a swamp, one will become immersed in muck up to one's horse's belly. We never made it all the way to the swamp - but hey, we gave it a good try. And in the process, I learned how patient and trusting Chief's nature is. I also learned that a global positioning system can make for a more relaxing ride.

A campfire, a glass of merlot, and a Jeff Foxworthy CD in the Allegheny National Forest - I'd say we were in heaven. TTR

For more information, contact the Allegheny National Forest, (814) 723-5150; www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/allegheny

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