There is something immensely rewarding about settling into your campground in the evening, listening to the low whiny of your horse while you feed them their well-earned dinner. A long day of trail riding behind you, you and your fellow riders swap stories about the rivers you crossed, the sights you loved, and the unique joy that only the trails can bring.
For those who love trail riding and equestrian camping grounds, this list is for you. Pack your bags, load up the horse trailer, and take a journey across the US by visiting these top horse-friendly camping grounds.
Brown County State Park, Indiana
Deep in the heart of the Midwest is Brown County State Park. Located just outside of the charming Indiana town of Nashville, this area has been nicknamed the “Little Smokies” due to the region’s resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains.
Brown County features nearly 16,000 acres of rugged terrain. Visitors will enjoy taking in the sights of rugged hills, jagged ridges, and narrow ravines. During the fall months, the park is a hot spot for soaking in the fall colors. Trails give way to scenic vistas that showcase uninterrupted forestland.
This park features a unique amenity for those traveling with their horses — a separated equestrian-only campground with 70 miles of dedicated horse trails.
Reservations can be made through the state’s online reservation system. Equestrian visitors can choose between Equestrian Electric and Equestrian Primitive sites, but horses are required to be present to reserve these special sites.
Riverside State Park, Washington
Near the charming town of Spokane, Washington is a recreational enthusiast’s dream — Riverside State Park. This beautiful park rests along the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers. With more than 9,000 acres of wilderness, visitors can enjoy time spent exploring under the towering Ponderosa pines and gazing upon the nearby mountain peaks. Lakes, marshes, and a wide variety of wildlife will add to the natural splendor of the day.
The park is home to an equestrian campground with 21 horse-friendly campsites complete with corrals. You can make reservations for the equestrian campground online or by calling 1-(888)-CAMPOUT.
In addition to the campground, equestrians will enjoy the 25 miles of dedicated horse riding trails, an obstacle course, and a 60-foot round pen. Horseback riders are also welcome to share the 40-mile, mixed-use Spokane River Centennial State Park Trail with fellow visitors. This stunning trail extends from the Nine Mile Recreation Area east to the Idaho border.
Hermit Park Open Space, Colorado
Located only two miles from Estes Park, Colorado, in the high country of the Rocky Mountains, is Hermit Park Open Space. This open space features an abundant habitat of mountain wildlife and fauna. Ponderosa pine forests lead into wetland meadows, burgeoning with wildflowers throughout the summer and spring.
From the park, visitors can quickly access a network of horse-friendly trails. From meandering across the Limber Pine Trail to following the Moose Meadow Trail, each ride will showcase the stunning beauty of Colorado’s high country.
The park is open March 1 through December 20, and certain trails are closed seasonally due to snow and ice.
Once evening falls, the Kruger Equestrian Campground provides the perfect place for you and your sure-footed companion to rest. You can make a campground reservation at www.larimercamping.com or by calling the reservation call center at 1-800-397-7795. Make sure to book well in advance, as this popular park fills up quickly during the peak summer months.
Shangri-La Trailhead and Campground, Florida
Throughout the history of Florida, a project to design a sea-level Cross Florida Ship Canal was started and stopped again and again. Throughout the project’s history, funding issues continually bottlenecked the project, and finally, in 1990, the project was officially deauthorized by Congress due to environmental concerns. At this point, the land was turned back over to the state of Florida and became what is known as the Cross Florida Greenway.
To explore the site of this historical project today, visit the Shangri-La Trailhead and Campground, a horse-friendly campsite located along the boundaries of the greenway.
Here, equestrian visitors can take to horseback and explore a network of well-marked trails that cover the unique landscape of hills, scrub, and scrubby Flatwoods left behind from the project’s scars. Keep your eyes peeled for white-tailed deer, fox squirrels, and wild turkey as you traverse the area.
The equestrian campground sites are primitive, but there is an on-site bathhouse, horse wash racks, horse tie-outs, and a dump station. Reservations for these sites can be made online.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Located in the far north of the US is the stunning Acadia National Park. This national park is the perfect place to bring your horse with miles and miles of horse-friendly trails. Of particular interest for those on horseback are the park’s Carriage Roads. The Carriage Roads feature over forty miles of rustic carriageways, gifted to the park by John D. Rockefeller Jr. The roads weave through the mountains and valleys of the national park and offer equestrians a path to enjoy the park’s stunning scenery.
After a long day on the trails, camp at the Wildwood Stables Campground, where there are ten equestrian-friendly sites complete with box stalls for your horse.
Kings Mountain State Park, South Carolina
Load up the horses and head to Kings Mountain State Park in South Carolina for the perfect blend of nature and history. Here, you’ll find a horse-friendly camping ground with easy access to the park’s trails.
Be sure to plan for a ride on the Kings Mountain Horse Trail, an easy to moderate difficulty 30-mile loop trail. This trail begins inside the state park and leads riders through the Kings Mountain National Military Park. Here you can soak in the area’s history, viewing the famous Revolutionary War battle site.
During November, living history demonstrations are also held at the park’s replica 19th century Piedmont farm.
Be sure to book reservations for equestrian sites well in advance by either calling the park’s toll-free number at 1-866-345-PARK or by visiting their online reservation system.
Upgrade Your Horse Trailer to Include Living Quarters
If you enjoy equestrian adventures spent exploring the great outdoors, consider investing in a new horse trailer equipped with living quarters. These trailers are designed in conjunction with leading RV manufacturers to create a living space that is comfortable and spacious. This allows you to relax in comfort after a long day of riding the trails.
To find a new living quarters horse trailer near you, stop by a Transwest location today.
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