5 horseback riding trails where 4 legs are better than 2
Horseback riding is a great way to travel in nature. Not only do you get to interact with nature, you connect with your horse and get a great workout.
There are equestrian trails in West Virginia for all levels of riders, from beginner to advanced. Trail riding in West Virginia will test your skills and abilities as you navigate your 4-legged trail companion across streams, rolling hills or steep mountains all against the backdrop of spectacular Mountain State scenery.
Here are a few of the best trails to trek on horseback:
1. Greenbrier River Trail
This 78-mile trail runs along the Greenbrier River and traverses some of the most remote terrain in the state. The trail is packed gravel, and boasts an easy 1% grade so it’s a fun trail for all abilities, with outstanding views of the Greenbrier River and Valley.
2. Meadow River Trail
The 16.7-mile Meadow River Trail travels from Rainelle to Nallen following the course of the Meadow River, and connects to trails in the Gauley River National Recreation Area at its northern end. The trail features river access, great views and 2 trestle bridge crossings over the Meadow River.
3. North Bend Trail
The 72-mile North Bend Trail is part of the 5,500 mile coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail. The trail features varied terrain, from farmland and communities to wild and natural areas. Along the way, you’ll cross 36 bridges and pass through 13 tunnels. Of special interest is tunnel #10, a 337-foot-long natural tunnel through the mountain.
4. West Fork Trail
The remote, rolling 22-mile West Fork Trail starts in the town of Glady and follows the West Fork River downstream to Durbin. The terrain is varied, and you’ll ride through meadows, a conifer forest and along the ridge above the River. The trail features 180 degree turns, a waterfall and vast views of the valley and the river.
5. Allegheny Highlands Trail
The 24-mile Allegheny Highlands Trail has steep terrain and exceptional scenery from Pheasant and Polecat Knob Mountains. Following the original route of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway through Randolph and Tucker counties, this mountainous trail has panoramic views of farmland and the countryside.
If you are new to horseback riding or need instruction, you can spend an afternoon or a day on the trail with one of these experienced outfitters.
Home to the Bethany College Equestrian team, Oglebay Stables offers group and private lessons, therapeutic rides for individuals with disabilities, as well as trail and pony rides. Kids as young as 2 can ride a pony, while trail rides are for kids ages 12 and up. The Oglebay Stables also offers a variety of horse summer camps for varying ages and abilities.
Located in the New River Gorge, Equestrian Adventures has more than 25 years of guided horseback riding experience. They offer private rides on more than 6,000 acres of trails in the New River Gorge National Park, on trails for all ages and abilities.
Triple C Outfitters
This family-owned riding stable is located within Cacapon Resort State Park near Berkeley Springs. They feature experienced guides and gentle, well-mannered horses on guided rides through the state park.
Which trails do you like to trek horseback?