Bridle Trails


We had a nice turnout for the Trillium Walk on April 7. We had people from age 3 months to 89. The weather was nice and the trilliums were absolutely beautiful - we timed the walk just right and saw them at their peak.

We were lucky to have Ranger Mary with us who knows so much about the Park and forest. We learned that as the trilliums age they turn from white to a dusky pink color - very pretty. The native bleeding heart were just beginning to bloom along with a number of other flowering bushes. The blooms are beginning to fade now but we will look forward to their return next year.

If you missed the Trillium Walk, you have another chance to get a guided tour of the park - this time from an expert. Join botanist and plant ecologist Clay Antieau for a nature walk in Bridle Trails State Park. Learn about the natural history of the park from a popular field trip leader and local authority. Learn how to identify plants, how forest ecosystems work, and the role of plants in overall biological diversity. Meet at the parking lot for Ben Franklin Elementary School, 12434 N.E. 60th Street. The walk is sponsored by the Bridle Trails Park Foundation and will be limited to 20 people. There is no cost for the walk. Please sign up in advance by contacting Jim Erckmann at or 827-6595.


The sale held at the Acheson property to raise funds to get the indoor arena up and running was very successful. The sale brought in more than $4,700 which will be used to refurbish the arena base and hopefully provide footing.

Many thanks to Sue Shecket and Amy Supple, who organized the sale, and also Linda and Larry, camp hosts living in their RV on the property, who enthusiastically supported the event and spent numerous hours getting things set up. A few days after the sale the state began leveling the base and creating a spot for the round pen outside. We still have a long way to go before the facility is operational but we are making great progress, thanks to all those who generously donated items and those who purchased them.

The Lake Washington Saddle Club show season begins on May 20 with a play day. These are my (Jennifer's) favorite club events with games on horseback, a trail obstacle course and a whole lot of fun. Even if you don't have a horse, come down and watch the fun. To see the entire park calendar, go to


Bridle Trails Park Foundation's annual fund-raising event will be held June 23 this year and it just keeps getting better and better. This year the kids' activities area will include a bouncy slide in addition to the pony rides, face painting and other kids' games.

The fun run this year is expanding to include a 30K race, in addition to the usual 5K and 10K. The demonstrations will include Frisbee dogs in addition to the popular flyball dogs. There will be miniature horses and three equestrian drill teams (instead of the usual two).

And don't forget the delicious pancake breakfast. This has become a not-to-be-missed event, so mark your calendar for June 23. Events begin around 9 a.m. and end around 12:30 p.m. Be sure to use the shuttle at Houghton Park 'n Ride that leaves every 10 minutes.


Here are some fun facts about our pig-farm past: If you've resided in Bridle Trails for more than five years (and read the Courier), you are aware that most of the land in the neighborhoods of Silver Spurs, Bridleview and adjoining South Rose Hill was a very large hog ranch. Janet Wainwright - who has resided in Silver Spurs almost as long as I (Lorraine) have - found an interesting old newspaper article on the subject. We are both in the process of trying to get rid of stuff and when we find something of special interest we share.

I knew that Moffett's Pacific Hog Ranch covered several hundred acres, and food for the 9,000 - l0,000 hogs was provided by Seattle's restaurants (one can still find bits of plates and silver in our gardens). But, I never thought about how the garbage got here - this was before bridges. Garbage trucks apparently came across the lake daily on the 6 a.m. ferry to deliver their waste food.

I also chatted with Gloria Sferra recently - she used to ride those ferries and said she remembers large flocks of gulls following the boats - hoping for a meal. Sferra was such fun to talk to; she grew up on Overlake Farms (on l32nd Avenue N.E.) - and has some wonderful stories, one of which she recently wrote for the Bridle Trails Foundation's Advocate on the history of the Acheson property (now a part of our state park).

Gloria said she and a boy (who lived on the other side of what is now Ben Franklin) would get on their horses and jump over the fences that enclosed the hog farm. They would ride through the pigs and the coyotes who were getting a free lunch - a great many coyotes lived in the woods which is now the Central Park Tennis Club and Flying Horseshoe neighborhood.

In 1945, Kirkland even staged a pig derby as part of its summer festival, competing over a 78-foot course along the lake shore - 18 hogs participated. Those were the good old days! Most of the ranches had been sold by l960.


Don't miss the next South Rose Hill/Bridle Trails Neighborhood meeting on May 8 - it will be the last general meeting until next fall. Topics on the agenda include:

❚ Debbie Pinney, a representative from D.A.R.T. (Domestic Abuse Response Team) who will speak about their program and the need for community volunteers.

❚ City Manager Dave Ramsay, on the "state of the city" - always an interesting topic and speaker.

❚ Elections of the board officers and directors.

❚ A favorite in recent meetings - "hot list" items, new and old.

❚ Plans for our Neighborhood Association summer picnic.

❚ And last on the agenda: Bridle Trails' Party in the Park plans.

As usual, we meet at the Lake Washington United Methodist Church, from 7-9 p.m. And there will be our wonderful cookie ladies serving free Starbucks coffee and cookies during a mid-meeting break, providing a chance to visit with neighbors and chat with city officials.[[In-content Ad]]