EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The El Paso County wagon train is back for its annual two day event to celebrate the history and heritage of early settlers and promote quality horsemanship.

“It’s just something I enjoy. And I like to share to the world of how we take care of our animals. And this is the way you can use a horse,” said Don Bailey, El Paso County wagon train organizer.

Participants try and keep their wagons authentic to the period.

The El Paso County Wagon Train is an event in coordination with the El Paso County Fair that runs almost entirely across the open ranch land of eastern Colorado.

“Back in the olden days they used to bring their wagons and go across country,” said wagon train participant, Terry Snuggs. “And they used to go into the fair on wagons and, years ago when this started, the last day before the fair they would always take the wagons and ride in to bring the dignitaries and things like that in.”

The two day event will have a short three hour round trip ride on Saturday and a five hour wagon train ride starting from Ramah State Wildlife Area on Sunday. Trail ride participants may arrive on Friday to camp out before the ride.

A pair of mules came from Montrose for the wagon train festivities.

“Everybody needs to come and experience that we’ve got mules, we’ve got big draft teams, we’ve got Haflingers, we’ve got all kinds of horses… everybody’s welcome,” Snuggs said.

Guests may choose to only ride on Saturday for three hours, on Sunday for a five hour ride, or choose to ride three hours on Saturday and five hours on Sunday.

Registration includes breakfast (doughnuts and coffee) and dinner on Saturday. Saturday’s dinner will also include musical entertainment and dancing. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on Sunday.

The El Paso County fair will Saturday, July 16th. A full schedule can be found here.