Horse Riding

Got a horse? You can explore miles of forest roads and trails in North Carolina’s national forests. If you like camping with your horse, several places offer camps with trails nearby.

Badin Lake vicinity: In Uwharrie National Forest, the 40-mile Badin Lake trail system offers multi-day horseback-riding opportunities. You can park for day rides in the field beside Badin Horse Camp off Mullinix Road. Just off the trail system, Canebrake Horse Camp provides overnight facilities for you and your horse. The most developed horse camp in the North Carolina’s national forests, Canebrake offers showers, restrooms, electrical hookups and a horse-washing station.

Barnardsville vicinity: In Pisgah National Forest’s Big Ivy area, high-elevation trails form 16 miles of interconnecting loops. Spend the night at one of 10 designated dispersed campsites along Forest Road 74.

Brevard vicinity: The Trace Ridge area of Pisgah National Forest, located between North Mills River and the Cradle of Forestry, offers numerous designated horse trails and forest roads for multi-day rides.

Wolf Ford Horse Camp is located off Yellow Gap Road about three miles northeast of the Cradle of Forestry in America Visitor Center. This 14-site camp provides access to many miles of equestrian trails in the South Mills River area.

Wash Creek Horse Camp is a group reservation site located five miles northeast of North Mills River Recreation area. It offers access to equestrian trails in the North Mills River, Trace Ridge and Wash Creek areas. For information about reservations, call Pisgah District at 828-877-3265.

Bryson City vicinity: Try Tsali Recreation Area, in Nantahala National Forest for an easy, scenic day ride. Each day, half of the 42 designated trail miles are open to horses and half are open to mountain bikes.

Franklin vicinity: Two horse-trail complexes in Nantahala National Forest offer riding experiences at elevations above 4,000 feet. Southwest of Franklin, more than 20 miles of designated horse trails are located in the Standing Indian area. You can set up camp at Hurricane Creek for nightly fee. Fifteen miles west of Franklin, you can ride 15 miles in the scenic Wine Spring area on designated horse trails. The adjacent Wine Spring Campground offers five sites equipped with horse-tethering areas. Reservations are required; for information, contact Nantahala Ranger District.

Hayesville vicinity: Ride right out of Bristol Horse Camp onto a network of forest roads and 19 miles of horse trails in the Fires Creek area north of Hayesville.

Harmon Den vicinity: The 10 campsites at Harmon Den Horse Camp, accommodate up to four horses and eight people each. Each site has a horse stall, and water and vault toilets are available

Horse Riding Areas

  • Croatan National Forest
  • Pine Cliff Equestrian Trailhead
  • Nantahala National Forest
  • Cheoah Ranger District
  • Tsali Recreation Area
  • Mouse Branch Loop #152A
  • Thompson Loop #152
  • Tsali Left Loop #38A
  • Tsali Right Loop #38
  • Nantahala Ranger District
  • Big Indian Loop TR34
  • Blackrock TR447
  • Blackwell Gap Loop TR366
  • Camp Shortcut TR 36b
  • Deep Gap TR 449
  • Devils Elbow TR448
  • Great Wall TR489
  • Hurricane Creek Horse & Primitive Campground
  • Hurricane Creek Loop TR36
  • Mountain Waters Scenic Byway
  • North Road TR 453
  • Panthertown Valley Backcountry Area
  • Panthertown Valley TR474
  • Powerline Road TR451
  • Rattlesnake Knob TR452
  • Riding Ford TR 450
  • Rocky Bald Loop TR 379B
  • Thomas Branch TR375
  • Turkey Knob TR 469
  • Wine Spring Horse Camp
  • Wine Springs Loop TR 379A
  • Tusquitee Ranger District
  • Bristol Fields Horse Camp
  • Fires Creek Recreation Area
  • Pisgah National Forest
  • Appalachian Ranger District
  • Big Ivy Area, Coleman Boundary
  • Bear Pen TR 176
  • Elk Pen TR 166
  • Laurel Gap TR 184
  • Little Andy TR 174
  • Perkins TR 175
  • Staire Creek TR 183
  • Upper Corner Rock TR 173
  • Walker Creek TR 165
  • Black Mountain / South Toe River Area
  • Buncombe Horse Range TR 191
  • Shinbone TR 187
  • Harmon Den Area
  • Buckeye Ridge TR 304
  • Cherry Ridge TR 301
  • Cold Springs TR 302
  • Harmon Den Horsecamp
  • Robert Gap TR 303
  • Grandfather Ranger District
  • Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River Area
  • Schoolhouse Ridge FSR 4068
  • Pisgah Ranger District
  • Bear Branch Trail #328
  • Bent Creek Experimental Forest
  • Deer Lake Lodge Trail #664
  • Hardtimes Connector Trail #661
  • Ingles Field Connector #150A
  • Little Hickory Top Trail #136
  • Lower Sidehill Trail #137A
  • North Boundary Trail #135
  • Sidehill Connector Trail #145A
  • Sidehill Trail #145
  • Buckhorn Gap Trail #103
  • Flat Laurel Creek Trail #346
  • Fletcher Creek Trail #350
  • Graveyard Ridge Trail #356
  • Horse Cove Gap Trail #325
  • Laurel Creek Trail #348
  • Mullinax Trail #326
  • North Boundary Trail #135
  • Riverside Trail #115
  • Shining Rock Wilderness
  • Little East Fork Trail #107
  • South Mills River Trail #133
  • Trace Ridge Trail #354
  • Wash Creek Horse Camp
  • Wash Creek Trail #606
  • Wolf Ford Horse Camp
  • Yellow Gap Trail #611
  • Uwharrie National Forest
  • Badin Lake Recreation Area
  • Canebrake Horse Camp

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities