Saddle Up

Horseback Riding

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Looking to spend the day exploring the trails with your friends? From Mill Mountain to the more than 40 miles of trails at Carvins Cove, horseback riding trails in the Roanoke area offer great opportunities to saddle up.

Note: Virginia 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 animals come from. Call your local vet to find out what is needed or call the regional vet at 540-434-3897.

Trail tips

  • 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.
  • Stay on trails to avoid stump holes in the woods.
  • Pack it in – pack it out. Carry your trash to a refuse container.
  • Camping is permitted along some trails, 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 trails are steep or rocky, making travel difficult.

Find Horseback Trails

Horseback Riding

  • Fairy Stone State Park Expand Collapse

    Fairy Stone State Park, the largest of Virginia’s six original state parks (4,741 acres), 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 168-acre lake will keep you busy. The park is also just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Glenwood Horse Trail Expand Collapse

    The 65 mile Glenwood Horse Trail provides outstanding riding on terrain varying from gravel roads to difficult single track trails through mountainous terrain. The trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Natural Bridge Station to Camp Bethel are well kept, well signed and easy to follow. These paths lead to beautiful waterfalls, wild trout streams, unusual topography, and spectacular scenery.

  • Green Hill Park Equestrian Center Expand Collapse

    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.

  • Greenfield Equestrian Trail Expand Collapse

    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. The park includes the Greenfield Equestrian Trail and Cherry Blossom Trail.

    To obtain a parking pass and permit to ride, contact Botetourt County Parks and Recreation.

  • Roanoke Valley Horse Trail Expand Collapse

    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.

    Map of the horse trail.

  • Slocum’s Color Haven Appaloosa Ranch Expand Collapse

    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.

    The ranch offers trail rides, English and Western riding lessons, summer camps, and pasture board.

  • The Pines Campground Expand Collapse

    The Pines Campground  has 17 camping units, each with gravel parking spur, wooden picnic table, fireplace, lantern post, and tent pad. Most sites are designed for tents, but recreation vehicles up to 16 feet can be accommodated.

    Other features include hand pump for water, central garbage containers, vault toilets, group camping and horse area, four camping units with space for trailers, and a horse corral and unloading ramps.

  • White Cedar Horse Camp Expand Collapse

    Built in 2006, this campground is located on top of Flat Top Mountain. It is perfect for camping with horses; there is plenty of shade and every site has a metal pipe corral. White Cedar’s main attraction is its proximity to a 20 mile system of intersecting trails of varied lengths and levels. You can ride directly from your campsite to the Flat Top Trailhead.

    The camping area has 16 camping units — 13 single sites and three double sites, each with a lantern post, fire pit, tent pad, and picnic table. There are centrally located water and vault toilets, but no showers or electric hook-ups.

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