Where To Go Horseback Riding In North Carolina?

So, where can you go horseback riding in North Carolina, and how can you find them? Perhaps you would want to book to swim in the waterfalls for the summer. However, NC has a hidden gem you probably missed.

With many outdoor activities and museums rich in exciting history, you wouldn’t have a second thought for your next tour in North Carolina.

What could be more beautiful than exploring one of America’s most magnificent landscapes on horseback?

NC offers stunning rivers and waterfalls, lush forests, and beautiful green sloping hills for horseback riding.

There are also numerous parks with adventure tours to visit in this area with horseback riding services. 

How To Find The Best Horseback Riding In North Carolina

Horseback riding stables and trails abound in North Carolina. If you are a resident, it would be as easy as searching “horseback riding near me” and getting on with what suits you.

But if you are a total new tourist, probably the first time in the States, this article will be your guide. The best trails in NC are listed, what to expect of each, and contact information. You can always inquire with a local, to find which suits you.

Where To Horseback Riding In North Carolina

NC boasts breathtaking waterfalls, level fields, lakes, hills, and forests as an equestrian paradise. Plus, riders of all skill levels can participate in the horseback trail rides.

The most popular destinations are state and national forests, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are numerous stables to opt for, but we have narrowed them to the most popular. 

Equine Adventures

Equine Adventures offers a real coastal horseback ride with the outstanding Outer Banks and an experienced guide.

The rides are fun and exciting you can’t afford to miss. The stunning natural environment on the Hatteras Island as you interact with guests from all corners of the earth will give you a sense of liberation experience. 

While the beautiful beaches and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse are the most adored tourist sceneries on the Hatteras Island, Equine Adventures has received the most visits in recent years. 

What To Know Before Your First Bookings

At Equine Adventures, only riders 4’78” tall and ages ten years and above can participate in the horseback rides to keep the young riders safe.

Helmets are required and are mandatory for riders below 16 years. In addition, it’s forbidden for parents to double ride with their kids. 

Riders are limited to 225 lb weight for the horses’ comfortability. Equine Adventures recommends that riders ranging between 200 lb and 225 lb make early reservations to allow the staff to arrange suitable horses for each rider. 

Prior riding experience doesn’t matter. The horses are friendly to first-time riders and accommodate all levels of riding experience.

The staff at the stables will match your ability details with the right horse so that you have a fun ride.

Riders should be healthy before booking. Before booking, people with hip replacements, circulation, knee, and back issues should consult their physicians. Also, Equine Adventures doesn’t allow pregnant women, or at least not heavy pregnancy. 

Tipping the guides is at your discretion. Note that guides and staff at Equine Adventures don’t expect tips.

While you are enjoying the ride, your guide keeps you informed with histories about the place, picking things as you drop, adjusting the horse’s tack, taking photographs, and getting rid of potential beach and trail hazards on your way.

If they lighten your adventure, your gratuities are always welcome. 


  • Two rides per day (morning and afternoon)
  • Charges $135 per rider

Address: 52193 Piney Ridge Rd, Frisco, NC 27936, United States

Website: https://www.equineadventures.com/

Phone: +1 252-995-4897

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides offers not-to-miss mountain meadows and high country sceneries like the Equine Adventures.

Plus, they have highly experienced guides for the safest and most relaxed rides. Its located on a family-owned ranch for four generations.

So, if you are the kind that loves private rides away from the crowded trails, Sandy Bottom has got you covered. 

Available Horseback Rides

  • One Hour Rides 

This ride is suitable for riders who need a relaxing ride while viewing the scenic mountains of North Carolina uniquely. A gentle ride from a gentle horse for $55 per rider and $65 for online reservations.

  • Two Hours Rides

For this one, you will spend an hour more on the saddles. You will ride on the same beautiful trail rides as in the one-hour rides and explore further to the hillside.

Please carry your camera to capture the moment. Reservations are required for $85 per rider and $95 if online. 

  • Three Hours Rides

This ride is the most popular horseback tour. One advantage of choosing a more extended stay on the saddles, you will visit all the most visited sites for a considerable time each.

The guides will lead you to the hilltops trail from the stables for at least an hour. Next will be a visit to the Little Pine Gem Mine, where the guide will help you hunt for some gems. Any gem or garnets you find, you are allowed to keep them. 

After the long search full of fun, there is a little break before trailing up the mountains. Here, you will get a scenic view of Tennessee and Big Ball Mountain.

After having enough of the spectacular views and having so much fun while interacting with the guests, the trails head back to the stables. All this fun is worth $120 in cash and $130 online per rider. 

Recently, Sandy Bottom added more hours for the horseback rides. So, if you want to saddle for four hours or all day, they will have it arranged for you. 

Why Choose Sandy Bottom?

  • The secluded ranch’s location offers a complete view of the high country on horse-drawn wagons or horseback.
  • There are many trails to choose from
  • Longer horseback rides, up to a full day ride
  • The Belgian horses are well trained for a safe and relaxing ride on the mountain trails.
  • Gem Hunting in the cave is a rare activity in North Carolina adventure sites.
  • No limitation to weight and age
  • Double riding is allowed, where kids pay half the price
  • The Pavilion Shed and the clean facilities will ensure you enjoy your picnic lunch. It is also perfect for special events.
  • You are welcome to invite a large group as you can 

Address: 1459 Caney Fork Rd, Marshall, NC 28753, United States

Website: https://sandybottomtrailrides.net/

Phone: +1 800-959-3513

Panther Creek Outfitters

Panther Creek Outfitters has several horseback rides for you for rocky mountain adventures.

They include:

Mountain View

You will ride with one of the experienced guides up to the mountain. The rides last two hours, where you get the unforgettable beautiful views of the still Kline Lake and the Panther Valley Gap. 

  • $65 per rider
  • 2-hour ride
  • All rider levels allowed

Kline View

Explore all the famous sites on the mountain and Panther Valley Gap. The guide will lead you around Kline Lake and explore the rare tall trees.

  • $85 per rider
  • 3-hour ride
  • All rider levels allowed

Honey Moon River Ride

The experienced guides will ride you up the river, through the Mountain Meadows and the Honeymoon Flats. You will ride back through the high trail and for the best sceneries, especially when the sun shines brightly through the trees. 

  • $125 per rider
  • 4-hour ride
  • All rider levels allowed
  • Availability depends on the weather

What To Expect

  • Several adventures to choose from
  • Rides last for one hour to one day
  • Reservations are required
  • Dress appropriately. Check out the weather conditions following your bookings. Some experiences depend on the weather.

Address: 63 Broken Wheel Road Clyde, North Carolina 28721

Website: https://appalachianhorsebackrides.com/

Phone: +1 828-593-7763

Cedar Island Resort

Cedar Island Resort offers the most spectacular horseback ride 3 miles through Cedar Island Beach. Another thing that makes this resort outstanding is horseback riding from island to island twice.

The resort offers an exceptional ride that lasts approximately 1½ hours to cross the Ship Local Island and back to Cedar Island. The former has no housing but large water masses.

For the horses’ safety, especially riding on the beach, riders should be strictly below 250 pounds. There is a scale available if the guide has to confirm your weight. Cedar Resort does not refund any rider who books a ride over the weight limit. 

Unlike most stables on the North Carolina beach, Cedar Resort allows horse owners to ride throughout the beach.

They offer outdoor boarding services, but only for a short-term period. Campgrounds are available, which can be arranged closer to your horse. 

Now you can schedule a private ride with the resort by appointment. The resort is available year-round for four groups and up at $70 for 1-hour rides and $100 for 1½ hour rides.

Groups of less than four riders are twice as expensive for each ride duration. Most guests look forward to seeing the wild Spanish horses in their natural habitat.

There are 21 wild horses on the four islands of the Outer Banks, and they mostly roam on the two islands that the resort hosts for horseback rides. So, there is a high percentage of spotting the herds, but it’s not guaranteed. 

Cancellation Policies

Sometimes the weather may be too harsh to continue with the ride. If that happens, and you haven’t completed 755 or more of what you paid for, the resort will reschedule your adventure.

However, rainy seasons are not as often in Cedar Islands as in other parts of North Carolina since it’s covered with large water bodies. 

The adventure continues for instances with favorable weather like sprinkling or mild rain. But not when it’s lightning or thundering.

Cedar resort charges $10 for cancellations more than 24 hours before the event. Cancellations less than 24 hours call for a no refund. It takes much time and preparation for your arrival. That’s why the resort charges for late cancellations and no-show-ups. 

Address: 3557 Cedar Island Rd, cedar Island, NC 28520, United States

Website: https://www.cedarislandresort.com/

Phone: +1 252-515-0201

Bottom Line

Horseback riding is one of the most popular activities in North Carolina. As a result, many trails are available, and the number of camping areas grows.

The Equine Adventures, Sandy Bottom Trail Rides, Panther Creek Outfitters, and Cedar Island Resort are some of my favorite ones. You may encounter people hiking on the trails and sunbathing on the beaches. Thus, if you bring your horse, ensure it does not spook on people