One of the many reasons horse properties are so popular in Western North Carolina is the convenient access to riding trails throughout the region. Weather you are an experienced rider or a beginner the region offers a plethora of options. Our National Parks and Forests are a true treasure and we have been blessed with more than our fair share of them in Western North Carolina.
With over 550 miles of trails open to horses The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an ideal destination for spending an afternoon or a week with your four legged friends. Experiencing The Park from horseback is arguably the best way to soak in the beautiful scenery.
The Park has five Drive In Horse Camps which provide access to the equestrian trails of The Park. The Park requires current Coggins papers for every horse you bring.
The Nantahala National Forest has over twenty trails for horses as well as a several horse campgrounds.
The Tsali Recreation Area provides trailer parking and access to four trails in the Nantahala National Forest close to Robbinsville in Macon County. With trails ranging from seven miles up to fourteen miles this area is perfect for both full day and half day rides. The trails at Tsali have designated days for horses which are offset from the days open to mountain bikers.
For the more adventurous rider there is Hurricane Creek Horse & Primitive Campground in the Nantahala National Forest south west of Franklin. The horse camp area has stalls available to keep horses overnight and is an ideal setting to spend a night or two under the stars.
Wine Springs Horse Camp in the Nantahala National Forest is another primitive camp site with access to a paved road and fifteen miles of horse trails.
Panthertown Valley Backcountry Area in Nantahala National Forest close to Cashiers consists of over six thousand acres and twentyfive miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Camping is permitted but limited to groups of twelve or less.
Bristol Fields Horse Camp is located between Andrews and Hayesville in the Nantahala National Forest and offers one double and eight single campsites with tethering posts.
Pisgah National Forest has almost forty trails for horses as well as several campgrounds with equestrian amenities.
Big Ivy, Coleman Boundary located near Barnardsville in the Pisgah National Forest features over thirty miles of equine accessible trails.
The Harmon Den area of Pisgah National Forest offers fourteen miles of equine accessible trails and includes the 10-site Harmon Den Horse Camp. This camp site features stalls and a hand operated water pump as well as gravel tent pads, fire rings, and picnic tables.
The Bent Creek Experimental Forest area of the Pisgah National Forest contains eight trials with equine access.
Wash Creek Horse Camp and Wolf Ford Horse Camp in the Pisgah National Forest are 13-site campgrounds that provide access to the equestrian trails of the South Mills River area.
Gorges State Park is located near Cashiers and Lake Toxaway, and allows equestrian access to it’s Auger Hole Trail. With two shallow water crossings this trail is recommended for experienced riders.
The world renowned Biltmore Estate in Asheville offers five different trails that wind their way through the 8,000 acres of the estate.
DuPont Forest south of Hendersonville in Transylvania County is another great location for a day of riding. With most of their trails open to horses this is likely to be a repeat destination with hours of riding and breathtaking views. Be aware that DuPont Forest requires current Coggins papers for every horse you bring.