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Roanoke, VA
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Horseback Riding

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Looking to spend the day exploring the trails with your friends?
From the trails on Mill Mountain (less than 5 minutes from downtown Roanoke) to the more than 60 miles of trails at Carvins Cove, the equestrian trails you'll find in the Roanoke area offer great opportunities to saddle up and hit the trail.

Virginia state law requires that horses coming into this state must have a health certificate and a negative Coggins test. Virginia also requires other certificates depending on which state you are bringing your animals from. Call your local vet to find out what is needed or call the Regional Vet at (540) 434-3897.

Greenfield Equestrian Trail
The trail begins at the entrance to the Recreation Park at Greenfield just off of Etzler Road. The trail follows the perimeter of the 125-acre recreation park and is open to foot and horseback traffic and is 3.18 miles in length.  To obtain a parking pass and permit to ride contact the Botetourt County Parks and Recreation Department at 540.473.8326. (map it).

Green Hill Park Equestrian Center
The Green Hill Park Equestrian Center is a public facility owned by Roanoke County and operated by a private board of directors exclusively for the equine enthusiast. The facility is open year round for members with three show rings and a cross country course offering opportunities for all disciplines. The park is available for rent for horse shows and related events.

Carvins Cove Nature Reserve
Carvins Cove is the second largest municipal park in the nation. It holds a major water source within its 12,700 acres and overflowing recreational opportunities including hiking, biking, fishing, and boat rentals. 11,363 acres of Carvins Cove is protected by the largest conservation easement in Virginia's history. There are miles of multi-use trails.

Glenwood Horse Trail
The 65 mile Glenwood Horse Trail provides outstanding riding on terrain varying from gravel roads to difficult single track trails through mountainous terrain. Trails are well kept, well signed and easy to follow.  These paths lead to beautiful waterfalls, wild trout streams, unusual topography and spectacular scenery.

Roanoke Valley Horse Trail
The Roanoke Valley Horse Trail has two separate parts. The first section begins at milepost 121.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway (just off Highway 220). It travels in a loop around Roanoke Campground then parallel to the Parkway ending around milepost 116. The total distance is approximately 12 miles. The second section of this horse trail is located at milepost 111 on the Blue Ridge Parkway and can be traveled to milepost 114.5. Access for this section of the trail can be found at the Stewarts Knob Overlook. These two trails make up the Roanoke Valley Horse Trail but are not connected because there is no horse access across the Roanoke River. Together they total approximately 16 miles in distance.

The Pines
The Pines is a rustic campground located in an uncrowded atmosphere at the base of Potts Mountain. Miles of trails to ride and Barbours Creek to fish. (map it)

Fairy Stone State Park
Fairy Stone State Park, the largest of Virginia's six original state parks, is home to its namesake "fairy stones." These rare mineral crosses and the park's scenic beauty, rich history and ample recreational opportunities make it a local and regional favorite. More than 9 miles of multi-use trails and a lake will keep you busy. (map it)

Slocum's Color Haven Appaloosa Ranch
Slocum's Appaloosa Ranch is located on 118 beautiful rolling acres in Moneta. The ranch is home to Appaloosa and Draft Cross horses from newborn to retired seniors, some of which are over 40 years old. Trail rides, English and Western riding lessons, summer camps, and pasture board. Email for more.

O.A.T.S. is the only guide service offering public trail rides along the Blue Ridge Parkway equine trails for ages 12 and up. Located in Hardy (map it)



  • Pond water is not recommended for human or horse consumption.
  • Prevent erosion by using rocky areas to cross streams and wet areas.
  • Avoid cutting switchbacks. Riding on the trails prevents damage to the area.
  • Wear blaze orange and tie orange flagging to saddles and tails during hunting season.
  • Use tree saver straps. Please don't tie horses directly to the trees.
  • Organized rides of 25 animals or more require a special use permit, available at the applicable District Ranger's office.
  • Be careful - watch for vehicles when crossing roads.
  • Stay on trails to avoid stump holes in the woods.
  • Pack it in - Pack it out. Carry your trash and someone else's to a refuse container.
  • Camping is permitted along the trail, and is subject to general Forest regulations.
  • Plan your trip carefully. Carry a compass and map.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Carry matches and flashlights in case of an emergency.

Your interest and level of experience will often determine which trails will be suitable for you to use. Some of the trails are steep or rocky making travel difficult. Pre-trip planning is essential to get the most from the forest experience.

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