Friday, July 26, 2019

Wild Horse Island

On July 26 I visited Wild Horse Island for a little under two hours.  The only way to get to this island is by boat.

At 2,160 acres, Wild Horse Island is the largest island in a freshwater lake west of Minnesota. Wild Horse Island has been a landmark since the Kootenai Indians were reported to have used it to pasture horses to keep them from being stolen by other tribes.

I ended up hiking 2.1 miles.  My route is the blue line.

Skeeko Bay

Sailboats heading towards Skeeko Bay

Starting out clockwise on the blue loop I marked in the earlier map.

Very dry.

Old farm implement.  Why did anyone think they could farm on this island?

Starting on the right side of the first row of trees, count six or so trees towards the left.  The "dot" above the gap between two trees is a farm building pictured later.

View back to start of the loop.  (Note the hill on right side. Photo of it later below.)

Apparently the farmer even tried an orchard to make a go of farm life.

Protecting one of the orchard trees from the wildlife.

Not sure if the protection missing on one side is the cause the tree died, or they removed the one side after the tree died.

Rock fence?

Old rundown corral.

Farm buildings: barn (left) and house (right)



Hill on right side of earlier photo.

I didn't make it to the top of the hill as the white on left side of the lake is the boat arriving.

Another view of the boat arriving.  I better get a move on to get back to Skeeko Bay and the boat.

At Skeeko Bay.

After hiking on the island we circled the island by boat.   You may want to click on the photo and see an enlarged view in order to see the line of bighorn sheep.   In addition to the sheep there are a half dozen horses on the island.  And supposedly a bear and a mountain lion.   The building on the left side is one of many private residences grandfathered in when the island became a state park in 1977.   We are on the SE end of the island approximately where the earlier shown trail map has the words explaining that the circles are private properties.