Horseback Riding

Hoofin' it Trails to blaze under saddle

Your parks provide numerous scenic trails to enjoy under saddle.

Please enjoy perusing the resources below, including a map of parks with equine trails, rules for riding, trailer parking addresses, mileage and trail notes, and any available naturalist-led horseback riding opportunities.

Be Safe Rules for Riding

  1. Horseback riding is permitted only along designated horse trails and on park roadways. Off-trail riding is prohibited.
  2. You are responsible for cleaning up after your horse in parking lots and roadways.
  3. Please don’t ride through streams or enter any body of water other than at trail crossings.
  4. Never leave your horse unattended except at a designated hitching rail or horse shelter. An overnight picket line is available at Headwaters Park Campsite B.
  5. Be aware of other traffic that you may encounter on trails such as hikers, dog walkers, cross country skiers and bicyclists. All users are responsible for sharing the trails.

Trailer Parking & Total Trail Mileage

Beartown Lakes Reservation

The Whitetail Trail makes a loop through woodland, meadow and overlooking wetlands. This gravel trail has gently sloping terrain and a small bridge.


Tupelo Pond in Big Creek Park

The Creek Trail is a well-drained gravel trail for riding and includes hills and streams with breathtaking views of Big Creek and its valley surrounded by mature forest, wildflowers and wildlife. The Highline Trail, east to Robinson Road, has portions that are primitive with a challenging stream crossing, steep hill and ruts.

Headwaters Park

The Buckeye Trail is a 2-mile gravel trail with a bridge crossing and views of the East Branch Reservoir shared by horseback riders, hikers, bicyclists and Amish buggies. During dry weather, visitors can add variety to their ride by also traveling the primitive 1.4 mile Maple Bridle Trail west of the Buckeye Trail.


The Maple Highlands Trail – South Section

The surface of The Maple Highlands Trail is asphalt; horses may use the unpaved berm on either side of the pavement. Bicyclists and Amish buggies also frequent this section, with bicyclists and walkers instructed to yield to horses. Access is best made through Headwaters Park in Huntsburg, but can also be made through the sugarbush side of Swine Creek Reservation in Middlefield. However, riders from Swine Creek must ride Bridge Road for 1.1 miles of the trail, and further north ride through the Village of Middlefield.

Observatory Park

Open to riders are the gravel, nearly level Woodland Loop and Nassau Connector Trails, which travel through young forest past Nassau Astronomical Station.


Swine Creek Reservation

The gravel Wagon Trail and more primitive Gray Fox Trail and Meadowlark Trails travel mature woodland ravines and meadows with wildflowers, birds, butterflies and maple sugaring in season.


The West Woods

Horse trails here are well-drained gravel with hills, bridge and stream crossings through mature forests, wetlands and ledges. The Pioneer Bridle Trail is a 2.7-mile loop, with Affelder, Music Street and Ansel’s Cave trails radiating out from the main loop. Riding out and back on all the trails open to horses can provide approximately 8 miles under saddle with habitat diversity that is home to a wide variety of wildlife.