Whether or not you have ever ridden a horse before, there are many places that now offer horseback riding experiences in some of the most beautiful places in America. This list will also be helpful for those who own their own horses and wish to learn of new destinations to trailer and ride at their leisure.
Asheville, North Carolina
Western North Carolina has a plethora of horseback riding experiences that you will cherish and never forget. The year-round, mild weather is perfect for scheduling your vacation whenever is convenient for you and your family, but the fall is the busiest time of the year, attracting millions of tourists to see the blanket of colorful leaves as they travel on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Asheville is home to the Biltmore Estate, the largest, privately owned home in America. You are welcome to trailer in your own horse, or take a guided tour on one of the stable’s horses and ride on the same trails George Vanderbilt rode on in the early 1900’s. Asheville is also close to the Great Smoky Mountains as well as Pisgah National Forest and less than an hour away is DuPont State Forest. DuPont is home to some of the most gorgeous waterfalls, and the trails are very equestrian friendly – offering permanent horse ties at each waterfall lookout as well as hundreds of miles of groomed trails with good footing and unbelievable views. Local stables offer guided tours and horse rentals at most of the national parks including the Smokies and DuPont.
Amelia Island, Florida
You know you’ve thought about it – galloping along the beach, bareback, the salty air blowing through your hair and the sound of hoof beats hitting the ocean water and wet sand. Although you might not be able to gallop along the beach, you can still enjoy an afternoon taking a nice stroll on horseback along one of the only beaches that allows it. Amelia Island is located on the northernmost section of the east coast of Florida and offers some beautiful riding on its white, sandy beaches bordering the cobalt blue ocean. There is a state-endorsed working ranch located on Amelia Island that offers guided rides for all ages.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Not just a place to gamble and stay up all night, but Las Vegas also offers some great horseback riding adventures just outside the neon lights and casinos. Nevada is also famous for its gorges and canyons, and you’ll get a chance to marvel at the beauty first hand. Steep trails along the ridges close you into the canyon while boulders jut out of the sandstone walls and enormous cliffs tower above you. Much of the land appears just as it had to settlers long ago, but atop of many of the ridges, you can view the famous strip, Lake Mead, and on clear days, the Grand Canyon.
One of the largest states with one of the smallest populations, Wyoming is surely one of the best places to horseback ride on vacation. Located 50 miles away from Yellowstone National Park, Dubois offers miles of unspoiled terrain with ever changing views and endless opportunities to enjoy nature at its finest. If you have visions of the Old West, Wyoming is certainly the place to go as dude ranches scatter the area and offer visitors a chance to experience the life of a cowboy by participating in cattle round-ups, horseback riding, and living the life of a working rancher.
Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado
Not just one of the best places in the United States to go skiing, Vail offers some of the best scenery to horseback ride as well. See the Rockies the way they were meant to be seen, from the back of horse! Vail has incredible weather, boasting over 300 days of sunshine, endless ridges and ranges, aspen forests, rolling meadows and open fields – there’s enough variety in terrain to please the most discriminating rider.
Jeff writes on travel topics for the Travel Insurance Blog where people can find information to help them get the best deal, and coverage, on travel insurance.