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Horseback Trail Riding in Arkansas

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As summer draws to a close and fall promises cooler weather, a great way to get outside and experience Arkansas is on horseback. The state has a full slate of ranches and stables that provide riders of any level and age a chance to take in Arkansas’s natural beauty from close-up as you ride through woodlands, creeks and mountain trails.

Horseback Riding

Daystar Horseback Riding and More – Located in Midland, Arkansas in Sebastian County, Daystar offers miles of mountain trails, horseback riding lessons and more.

Arkansas Riding Stables – If you’re visiting Lake DeGray or Lake Catherine State Parks, Arkansas Riding Stables has you covered for trail rides. The stable out of Hot Springs has daily rides during summer and weekend rides in the fall and spring. Contact the state parks to make your reservations.

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch – Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Arkansas is a unique dude ranch experience. To ride, families must book a stay at the ranch, but with a full slate of activities, from riding to relaxing in the lodge, it’s worth a look for those who want a little time away and a ranch experience at the same time.

OK Trading Post – Nestled in Mountain View, the OK Trading post offers a variety of horseback riding experiences for great prices. From half-hour rides to half-day excursions and even overnight camping options, the OK Trading Post has a horse and an option for you. They’re open seven days a week all year long.

Summit’s Valley Shire and Sport Horses – If you’re looking for a different equine experience, this might be your best bet. Summit’s Valley, appropriately located in Horseshoe Bend, offers horse-drawn carriage lessons and horseback riding lessons in addition to trail rides. They specialize in breeding Shires and the large horses are well worth a visit.

Rimrock Cove Ranch This ranch is located in the beautiful Buffalo National River area. The ranch offers one or two hour guided trail rides by reservation in order to keep groups small and private. They also offer hayrides for groups and will build a fire to roast marshmallows and hotdogs. Finally, the ranch has a cabin available for rental, though it’s not required to book trail rides.

Rimrock Cove Ranch

Bar Fifty Guest Ranch – Find this ranch in Bismarck, Arkansas and aim to stay a day or two. The ranch has several lodging options, guided trail rides and a campground for humans and horses. They also hold events throughout the year so check the calendar for the right event for you.

Keels Creek Stable – This Eureka Springs stable offers guided trail rides along Keels Creek for riders ages seven and up and promise a fun experience and relaxing ride.

Rockin’ Z Ranch – Ranch-raised horses, over 700 acres of land and even a cave make Rockin’ Z Ranch an exciting destination. The ranch offers guided trail rides at a great price but also maintains cabins on the property for extended stays. Guests can take advantage of discounted trail rides and hike the property. The ranch also has tractor-drawn wagon rides available and stocked fish ponds.

Sunshine Acres Ranch – Sunshine Acres has mountain trail rides for all ages and abilities. They also offer riding lessons for any age and even horses for sale. Find the ranch in Romance, Arkansas.

Barnyard Friends & Stables – This special stable on Petit Jean Mountain in Morrilton not only offers horseback rides, but they also have a petting zoo and pony rides, among other family-friendly options. Group rates and birthday parties are also available.

Whiskey Ridge Ranch – If you’re near Malvern, this ranch offers trails rides, but only on the third Saturday of the month, so be sure to check your calendar and call ahead of time. The ranch also has a campground and events like chuckwagon racing and roping.

Mountain Harbor Riding Stable – Located in Mount Ida, the stable offers either guided trail rides through the Ouachita Mountains or a carriage ride around Lake Ouachita. The trail rides are shady and available for all ages with no experience necessary.

Summit’s Valley Shires and Sport Horses

Equestrian Centers

These centers don’t offer trail rides, but there are plenty of other options, including lessons, camps, birthday parties and other fun events.

Flying Q Farms – Fayetteville (Trail rides currently suspended due to Covid-19.)
Cedar Springs Equestrian Center – Farmington
Denson Training Center – Benton
Echo Valley Arabians – Centerton
Thunder Valley Ranch Riding – Maumelle
Triple P Farms – Lowell
Horse Crazy Camp – Cabot
If Wishes Were Horses – Paragould
Wofford Ranch – Vilonia

While most of Arkansas’s ranches and stables are operating through the pandemic, it’s important to call ahead. Many trail rides now require reservations and are limited in number. Some stables welcome riders of all ages but others have age requirements for children and weight limits for riders. Horses are a great way to experience Arkansas and share a fun outdoor experience with family.

 

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Kimberly S. Mitchell loves journeys, real or imagined. She has hiked the Inca Trail, walked into Panama on a rickety wooden bridge and once missed the last train of the night in Paris and walked several miles home (with friends). She believes magic can be found in life and books, loves to watch the stars appear, and still dreams of backpacking the world. Now she writes adventures to send her characters on journeys, too. Pen & Quin: International Agents of Intrigue - The Mystery of the Painted Book is her debut novel. Find out more at KSMitchell.com.

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