Developing the Horse Camp at Santa Margarita Lake Hits a Little Snag

Developing the Horse Camp at Santa Margarita Lake Hits a Little Snag | SLO Horse News

Enthusiasm among the horse community for seeing a horse camp near Santa Margarita Lake come to fruition has not dwindled. In fact, much support has been received. However, the progress of developing the primitive horse camp has hit a little snag.

Generous Support for the Horse Camp Received

Developers of the horse camp rejoice in the provisions so far. Kathy Redden, of Atascadero Horsemen’s Club, is one of the spearheads of the project. She updates us on the support received to date: “Just under $10,000 has been raised.  Wow!  Two gates have been installed at the trail head.  Six horse corrals have been purchased and are waiting to be installed.  Three picnic tables recently arrived.” The project is off to a good start, but is facing a bump in the road. Kathy continues, “We’ve now hit a bit of a snag – which is creating a delay for completing the equipment installation and opening the horse camp.”

What is the Snag?

“We’ve now hit a bit of a snag – which is creating a delay for completing the equipment installation and opening the horse camp.”

Kathy Redden

Kathy relays the issue with developing the horse camp is as follows: “County Parks, along with the Parks Planning and General Planning Departments, have determined that the horse camp location is zoned Open Space.  This is likely a carryover from when the property was owned by BLM as that agency had zoned it Open Space.  Only limited use is allowed in Open Space, such as minimal tent camping but no group camping.”

Thankfully, this issue is being worked out, but the Santa Margarita Horse Camp is looking at a 60-90 day delay as the new zoning a approval from the Planning Commission takes place. This means no work can be done until this issue is resolved.

Looking for other places to go horse camping in SLO County? Get the SLO County Horse Camping Guide. < click this link for the e-book.

Developing the Horse Camp at Santa Margarita Lake Hits a Little Snag  | SLO Horse News

When Might the Santa Margarita Lake Horse Camp Open?

The hope is for a summer 2020 opening. Kathy shares in the disappointment, yet is moving forward with what needs to be done. She relays, “While the wait is very disappointing, thankfully we have the support of County staff to get past this zoning hurdle.”

So hang on while the zoning gets resolved. Once the zoning is approved and changed work will begin to bring the primitive horse camp at Santa Margarita Lake to fruition.


Go Horse Camping! Explore the wonder and beauty of the SLO County trails from the best place on earth; the back of a horse. You, together with your friends and family plus your horses can camp right next to the trails! To help you get packing, you can use this FREE Horse Camping packing checklist. We’ll continue to post horse camping stories on the SLO Horse News website. You can stay up-to-date by becoming a SLO Horse News herd member. Already a member? No problem. Your info will not be duplicated. Get your Horse Camping Checklist here >.

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Former Pony Clubber, Eventer and Dressage rider who balanced training and showing with getting a college degree (from Cal Poly SLO), becoming a wife and raising a family. Presently she is enjoying riding a Rocky Mounted Gaited horse and exploring Mounted Archery. Her new baby is Whisper, a Connemara filly.

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