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Places to Ride


 

The Virginia Horse Council in conjunction with local clubs and jurisdictions has updated their Directory of Primary Horse Trails and Trail Heads. The directory is online and is broken down by geographic region. Check it out on the Virginia Outdoors website .

The Virginia Horse Council has also released a brochure called "Keep the Ride Alive" the highlights riding trails in Virginia and other useful trail riding info.  A useful resource to keep in your truck or trailer.  Download the brochure through VHC's website.

Below are informational links to parks in our area available for trail riding.  They are organized by "who owns it".  If you plan on utilizing any of the facilities or parks below, we encourage you to confirm availability and familiarize yourself with any regulations prior to making the drive.  

Don't have a horse but want to trail ride?  Some of the Park authorities listed below, hire concessioners that offer trail riding for those without a horse.   Check out their websites below to find a park near you and see what they have to offer.

Pilot Trail off Evergreen Mills Road, Leesburg, VA - there is no official site for this trail and sadly, the Loudoun County Parks and Recs people answering the telephone, have no knowledge of it.  It does exist, however.  Parking and trailhead are at the intersection of Woods Road and Evergreen Mills Road north of Leesburg.

Northern Virginia Park Authority  (Bull Run, Fountainhead, W&OD)

Virginia State Parks  (Sky Meadows, Shenandoah River, Lake Anna) Parks are organized into regions.  Click on the park you want to visit to determine if riding is allowed.

Virginia Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries  (Thompson, Phelps) Many of the wildlife managment areas (WMA's) allow horseback riding.  Again, check before you go.

Virginia Dept of Forestry (Conway Robinson is located close-by in Prince William County.)

Prince William County has a couple of parks with equestrian facilities and trails.  James Long Park and Nokesville Park are two.  Their website is not very robust or informational, so call ahead and see what's available.

The next 3 properties are within about 40 minutes of each other.  The first is about a 2 1/2 drive from Leesburg, VA and offers primitive camping so a weekend trip exploring these trails is definately worthwhile.

Fulfillment Farm is located in Esmont, Virginia, approximately 6 miles west of the town of Scottsville and south of Charlottesville. This 2000 acre tract is owned by the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia (WFV). It is managed for hunting activities but riding allowed on non-hunting days. The terrain varies from vast open fields, to steep wooded slopes and there are many beautiful creek crossings. Equestrians can apply for a special use permit. For more information visit the website http://www.vawildlife.org/fulfillment_farms.htm

The Belmead Saddle and Riding Club is located in Powhatan, Va. This membership based riding club operates on the historic Belmead plantation on the James River, just West of Richmond. Members and their guests have access to about 2,265 acres of riding with more trails under development. For more information contact Bill Catlett at billcatlett@earthlink.net. Belmead is owned by the Roman Catholic Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and is a state and national historic landmark. Much of the property has been placed in a conservation easement.

The Heritage Trail at Pleasant Grove, Fluvanna Co. in Central Va. The Fluvanna Parks and Recreation department opened the Heritage Trail at Pleasant Grove to the public on May 5, 2007. Historically, the trails had only been opened to country residents and their guests. The trails will be open everyday including hunting season as hunting is not permitted within Pleasant Grove. The fee is $8.00 per day, per rider for non-county residents. Pleasant Grove is located on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains and borders the Rivanna River. It includes approximately 15 miles of trail on the 969 acre property. Trails are a mix of wooded single track and open fields.

National Park Service  This will link you to a form where you can choose horseback riding along with a state and the search will return all the parks in that area that allow riding.   National Parks close to this area currenlty allowing horseback riding include:  C&O Canal, Catoctin Mountain Park, Great Falls, Manassas Battlefield, Shenandoah National Park, and Rock Creek Park. 

US Department of Forestry  pick your state and find a park.  Virginia is host to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

There are also a couple of privately owned guided trail riding facilities in the Northern Virginia area, where you basically pay by the hour.   

Chase Run Stables    This privately owned trail riding and lesson facility is located in the Waterford / Hamilton areas of Loudoun County, VA

Serene Acres  located in Bluemont, VA in Loudoun County is offering trail rides on their horses.  Another great resource!

Kellys Ford Equestrian Center   Offers trail riding and lessons in Remington, VA 

Marriot Ranch   This property is owned by the Marriot Corporation and is located in Hume, VA.  They offer guided trail rides through some really pretty areas

Graves Mountain Resort in Syria, VA offers trail rides on their horses or bring your own!  If you go to www.rideourtrails.com you will find maps of some of the area trails.