There is no better time than now to be out on the trails. The temperature is moderate, streams are full and leaves are turning incredible shades of red, orange and yellow. From Utah and Colorado to the Ozarks and Vermont, trail rides are inspiring. And the best part? Returning back home or to the lodge for a chat by fireside about what you did and saw!
Here are several beautiful places to find your inspiration. And if you are looking for a trail ride in your state, the Horse Trail Directory is a great resource!
Soldier Hollow, Utah
Caption: This photo, and one above,
courtesy of Matt Gibson, xpattmatt
Soldier Hollow, located 53 miles southeast of Salt Lake City in Wasatch Mountain State Park, Utah, came into its own as the site of the 2002 US Winter Olympics cross country and biathlon events. As such, Soldier Hollow built an infrastructure that could host a wide range of events, one being year-round equestrian adventures.
The Soldier Hollow Equestrian Center offers rides from one to four hours.
Enjoy a scenic horseback ride high on the south slope of the Historic Soldier Hollow Valley. Summit the Crow’s nest, an original hunting camp of the Ute Indian tribe, or visit a pioneer cabin on a picnic lunch ride.
Colorado: Maroon Bells
Steamboat Springs – Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Breathtaking. Awe-inspiring. These are words used to describe horseback riding in Colorado. From Maroon Bells to Glacier Creek Stable, located inside Rocky Mountain National Park, there are memorable trail rides.
Rocky Mountain National Park covers 415 square miles, stretching from Estes Park across the Continental Divide to Grand Lake. The tallest mountain in the park is Longs Peak, which rises to 14,259 feet and is visible on many of the rides. The park offers more than 260 miles of trails and on horseback, you can experience them the way the settlers did long ago. From majestic mountain views to meandering streams and vast meadows, ever view is a marvel.
Here are two good resources when looking into riding in the Rocky mountain National Park:
The Ozark National Forest, or The Ozarks, is a large region located primarily in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. The area in fall is stunning in a way that differs from the terrain of Colorado and Utah. Lush with foliage and saturated in history, the Ozarks offer the rider miles and miles of riding and contemplation.
Mulberry Mountain Lodge in Arkansas (pictured above) is just one of many destinations along the way. Bring your own horse and stay in cabins or campground near trails that can be easily accessed.
The trails feature varying terrain with some hilly and rocky areas. Scenic overlooks, Ozark Mountain waterfalls and winding trails through tunnels of trees are just some of the landscapes you will encounter on your adventure. Mulberry Mountain also offers full color water- and tear-resistant topographical maps of all the nearby trails, great for guiding you through the mountain trails.
Here are two good resources:
Vermont is famous as a destination for fall foliage. The unique mix of trees covers the entire color spectrum, making for some mind-blowing, Technicolor experiences. The leaves of maples and oaks turn amazing tones of yellow, orange, red and even purple. Birch trees do so as well, yet their barks remain white, creating a visual contrast.
One interesting detail about traveling to Vermont to ride is that there are several stables that specialize in the Icelandic Horse, considered one of the world’s purest breeds and dating back to the Vikings. One such place is, not surprisingly, is called the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm where they match horse to rider and put together beautiful routes along the back roads of the Mad River Valley, across meadows and into the woods on the slopes of the Green Mountains.
No matter what trail you choose this season, any one of them is sure to be a journey that is as colorful as it is memorable. Yet another reminder, as if we need one, of why we ride!
Fall Fashions for You and Your Horse
Whether you are out on a trail or relaxing by the fire after, Pikeur Ladies Cazeta Sport boots are the finishing touch to the perfect look. Meanwhile your horse can kick up his or her heels in an Amigo Bravo Original Heavy Turnout.