Feeling a little penned in by your arenas? It’s time for a new adventure! Why not put a whole new kind of ride in the planner? As the National Park Service celebrates one hundred years of protecting and sharing the country’s most treasured landscapes, saddle up for the trail ride of a lifetime with one of these amazing national park riding experiences. Here are three very different ways to explore our national parks with horsepower.
Glacier National Park in Montana offers stunning views, diverse wildlife and geologic history, and a variety of options to see it all from horseback, from an hour trail-ride to camping. Rides from the park’s licensed concessionaire, Swan Mountain Outfitters, start at just $45 and depart from different locations around the park, offering you the challenge of discovering your favorite view in this scenic park. See waterfalls, wildlife, and the sites of forgotten mining towns; discover the turquoise-colored glacial lakes and admire snow-capped mountains rising over the Many Glaciers Valley. In the summer months, you can retreat to a historic National Park Lodge, Many Glacier Hotel, which overlooks the stunning lake and mountains with old-world charm.
Sticking to the east coast? You can still have a mountain riding experience! Acadia National Park, on the southeast coast of Maine, has a unique offering for horseplay: the 57 miles of carriage roads financed by John D. Rockefeller, who donated 11,000 acres for the national park. Arching stone bridges accent the woodland beauty, and the gravel-paved roads provide a stable surface for horse’s hooves. Wildwood Stables, located at the national park, offers carriage rides through the park. Check out this article at HorseNation for more details.
Maybe mountains aren’t exactly your thing. Head to Florida (not a bad idea in winter, right?) and visit the Everglades. Yes, you can ride horses through the Everglades region! Although it sounds pretty swampy (and it can be) the Florida Everglades includes high pine ridges and plenty of graded trails that give trail riders incredible views over the sawgrass, plus wildlife sightings that include exotic wading birds, majestic raptors, and migrating songbirds. Green Glades Ranch, in Weston, Florida offers trail rides through the Everglades, plus overnight excursions to Big Cypress Swamp.
Whether you live out Old West fantasies from horseback in Glacier National Park, slip into a Victorian carriage for a tour of the Maine Coast in Acadia National Park, or explore Florida’s exotic wilderness on hidden trails through the Everglades, you’ll find a whole new experience waiting for you outside of the arena. Where will you ride next?