Elkins Creek is one of our favorite places to ride! Six years ago, I made my first venture to Elkins Creek and enjoyed the place so much that I encouraged Vickie to host a Holmes County OHC Elkins Creek ride with me the following year in 2016! Since then, it’s been a yearly tradition with Wayne County OHC joining in!
This year, Vickie, Sue, Leigh, Trudy and Dave arriving on Saturday. A few of them rode the Kimble Loop and afterward all enjoyed listening to the Poverty String Band playing music in the evening air. Sunday, the group rode the Lookout Point trail because the pipeline workers weren’t working that day. What a sight! They saw how the pipeline was progressing and was glad they made the trip when all was quiet.
I arrived Sunday. Rick and Jill, the camp owners, are always very friendly and helpful. Rick helped me find my parking spot and a stall for Zane. After setting up camp, I enjoyed spending some time working with Zane in the arena.
Monday morning’s ride started at 9am. Trudy, Dave, Sue, Jim, Leigh, Vickie, and I rode the Kimble trail to the Main Loop. We stopped at the watering hole for lunch. This beautiful place with stone formations along the water is always on our list of places to visit and offers a nice area to get off and rest.
After finishing the 16-mile ride, we relaxed the rest of the afternoon and evening. Some of us let our horses out for a roll in the round pen while we waited on our turn at the horse washstand. Marlene, Dave, Ernie, and Jenny arrived, and we welcomed them!
On Tuesday, Trudy, Dave, Sue, Jim, Leigh, Vickie, Marline, Dave, Ernie, Jenny and I rode the Kimble Loop and enjoyed the beautiful caves along the way!
Yesterday we had noticed and appreciated the work done on the trails but today we were even more impressed at the work and expertise that transformed these muddy areas into safe and pleasant trails to ride! Thank you, Rick and Jill, for all of the work you do to allow us to see this lovely forest on horseback. This 8-mile ride is one of the most beautiful trails there. The rest of the day gave us time to visit the tack shop (only 2 people in the shop at a time with face masks) and time for visiting with each other (following the 6’ rule). We sat by the campfire in the evening.
Wednesday’s 8-mile ride included Trudy, Dave, Sue, Jim, Leigh, Vickie, Marline, Dave, Ernie, Jenny, and I on the Wild Berry Trail then on to Paddle Creek. Often as we ride along, someone will holler out “turtle!” It’s not unusual to see box turtles on the trail and we even saw one laying her eggs. Deer are often spotted and colorful butterflies flutter about the wildflowers in the grassy areas. There’s a horse camp at Paddle Creek with a bathroom, picnic tables, a watering hole, and lots of grass for the horses to munch on. We stopped there for a break. Usually, on the way back, we’re on the lookout for a landmark or trail marker that is “just around the next curve”.
Our afternoons always include time with the dogs. Reno, a labradoodle, and Alina, a yellow lab, were so fun to watch. Both were friendly and liked to play. At times, Reno would very quietly take one of Alina’s toys and
sneak away with it. When caught in the act, he would look sad as the toy was returned to its rightful owner. He had worked so hard at being stealthy!
On Wednesday afternoon, Pam arrived with her horse and 2 standard poodles.
Thursday was a beautiful day! We split into 2 groups for our ride. Marline, Dave, Dave, Pam, and I went on a 12-hour ride past the caves to the watering hole. Vickie, Jenny, and Trudy took the 5-mile Wild Berry trail. While we were out, Sue, Jim, and Leigh packed up for home.
On Friday, Ernie, Marline, Dave, Trudy, Dave, Pam, Vickie, and Jenny rode the Paddle Creek Trail. Trudy and Jenny broke off to go back to camp to put the crockpot on. That evening, we had the pleasure of listening to the Poverty String Band. They’re awesome! I really enjoyed the fiddle player! It was so nice to listen to them in the open night air by the campfire!
On Saturday, after saying goodbye to Dave, Marline, Ernie, and Jenny who were heading home, we hit the Kimble Loop Trail. We all wanted to see the caves again. Dave, Trudy, Vickie, Pam, and I enjoyed a leisurely ride and laughed at all the times we stopped to take photos!
Pam and I said goodbye to the others who were headed home then hit the trail for a short ride to lookout point. From the point, you can see Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. Afterwards, Pam and I packed up for the trip home.
It was a wonderful week. The hospitality was awesome, the trails were beautiful, and memories will be cherished as everyone had a good time. We know we’ll plan our annual ride at Elkins Creek again next year and hope to be able to get another trip in this year. What a great place to ride!