Best Horseback Riding Ohio

Carole Stephens
• Wednesday, 09 December, 2020
• 14 min read

Mine was in Kentucky, on a scruffy pony named Hudson, and my life changed course forever. Fortunately, it’s a one to two-hour drive from Columbus to many of them, making trail riding a fun option to include in a day trip.

ohio riding horseback horses places domesticated humans communication between equine science
(Source: whiteoakinn.com)


Some popular trail riding stables in the area are Marion Valley in Mansfield, Uncle Buck’s in New Marsh field, The Spotted Horse Ranch in Vaudeville, and Equestrian Ridge Farm in New Plymouth. If you’re looking for a unique experience, the Wilds, in Cumberland, offers horseback safaris overlooking their open-range endangered animal areas and butterfly habitat.

Photos by Brian Kaiser safety, trail rides have age, weight, clothing, and weather limitations, all of which are shared ahead of time. That time sounds short, but trust me, balancing on a horse uses a whole different set of muscles, and you’ll likely have sore legs the next day.

For the most part, though, seasoned trail horses walk quietly in single file, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the scenery from a whole new perspective. If that level of intensity isn’t enough, there are more extreme sports like evening (a sort of triathlon) and endurance riding.

Then, there’s the fact that a half-ton animal isn’t going to scrub off the mud, saddle itself and trot around in a circle for fun. Even though horses enjoy exercise, their main priorities are usually the same as mine: friends, snacks, and naps.

A rider has to use strength, coordination and balance to manage a horse on the ground as well as control speed and direction from the saddle. Set aside the mental images of glamorous cowgirls in lip liner and cowboys showing off their 6-packs.

ohio horseback riding alltrails trails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

Beginning riders start at all levels of fitness; your instructor will help you progress through lessons at your own pace. It’s a good idea (and also fun) to start at a facility that offers a range of disciplines, so you can try out different styles of riding.

Local stables that offer cross-discipline beginner lessons are all around the Columbus area: Dare Equestrian Center in Billiard, Central Overriding Club in Marysville, Cherokee Stables in Grove City, Triple Edge Equine in Canal Winchester, and Field of Dreams in Black lick are just a few. Soon, you’ll be arriving early to get your horse ready, maybe even riding in group lessons or shows, and reaping serious exercise benefits.

With our close neighbor Lexington, Kentucky known as the “horse capital of the world”, it’s no surprise that there are quite a few horseback riding centers in the Cincinnati area! Morgan Stables offers a variety of group trail ride options ranging from beginners to advanced equestrians.

If you prefer a longer trip, opt for the 5-6 hour “All-Day Ride” which includes a stop halfway through for a picnic lunch. Each summer, Morgan Stables offers a 5-day camp (day-only and overnight options) which includes daily horseback riding, swimming, crafts, games, campfire cookouts, and a Parent’s Night where kids can show off everything they learned.

Seasonal Semi-private and private lessons 1-hour weekend trail rides Hosts events & field trips Children’s rides are available led by an instructor in an arena for younger riders who aren’t quite ready for the trails yet.

(Source: www.alltrails.com)

Appointment only January-April, November-December, weekends only end of April-May, September-October, open Thursday-Sunday in June-August Guided trail rides Hosts birthday parties and special events Nation Road Horse Rental offers trail rides for all experience levels, starting at age 8.

Four guided trail options range from 30 minutes to an hour and a half featuring different terrains (based on skill level). All ages and beginner-immediate riders can enjoy horseback riding activities at Carriage Hill Metro Park Riding Center.

The venue includes picnic tables, a petting zoo, a playground, and a small tack shop. There are also many fun horse-related events available throughout the year, including: Wild West Weekend, a Scavenger Hunt, and the Haunted Trails of Whispering Woods.

First opening in 1954, the Winston Woods Riding Center is now home to 40 horses, 3 barns, 2 outdoor arenas, an indoor hall and cross-country style field jumps. All skill levels will find something to enjoy, from beginners lessons to more advanced competitions and an equestrian team for grades 6-12.

Other offerings include: kids horse camps (all skill levels), group and private lessons, group trail rides, horse shows, and a Special Olympics Equestrian training program. Horse riding lessons are available to all experience levels, with a special “New Client Starter Package” for those new to Knapp Farm.

(Source: www.alltrails.com)

Saddle Lake Equestrian Center has two locations: Camp Springs, Kentucky and Loveland, Ohio. The Camp Springs location is a 26-acre facility with 35 spacious stalls, several turnouts, grazing pastures, a WHOA Dust (™) indoor arena, an OTTO Sport Base Mat arena, and an 1800 square foot observation lounge with dining, kitchen, office areas, and a restroom with a shower.

Horse camps are offered in the summer to teach children all about riding and horsemanship. The blue-blazed Buckeye Trail is a 1,200 mile horseback riding loop encircling the entire State Of Ohio.

North of Cincinnati near College Corner, the 3,600 acre Huston Woods State Park has 15 miles of horse trails. North of Columbus near Delaware, the Alum Creek State Park has 38 miles of trails open to horseback riding.

The horse trails wind along the lake shore through mature beech-maple forests and across deep ravines. North of Iron ton, the Bluegrass trail is a 10 mile horseback riding route that follows many ridges in a loop around Dean Hollow through oak-hickory forest and scattered pine plantations.

Northeast of Belmont, the 1200 acre Bark camp State Park has 24 miles of bridle trails through rugged hills of meadows and forests. Bark camps bridle trail meanders along the entire lake shore affording a pleasant days ride.

(Source: www.alltrails.com)

South of Columbus and north of Chillicothe, the 1,900 acre Great Seal State Park has 17 miles of trails open to horseback riding. Within the Wayne National Forest, there are three trailheads which service the three horse trails in this system.

The 4C Bicentennial Trail is one of several throughout Wilmington, OH, and runs between Southeast Neighborhood Park and Fife Avenue (CR 82), just across the road from the south end of Denver Williams... Nestled in southeast Ohio, the Athens-Belpre Line will one day stretch for 34 miles across Athens and Washington Counties up to Parkersburg, West Virginia.

DC, IA, ID, IL, IN, MD, MT, NE, OH, PA, WA, WV, WY3743.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone The Great Guernsey Trail runs for 7 miles from the eastern edge of Cambridge to Lore City.

The paved trail occupies a former CSX railroad corridor through rural wooded countryside. The bucolic Headwaters Trail is a pleasant 8-mile journey through the rural landscape between Mantra and Garrettsville.

More than half of the smooth, flat, 6.1-mile Heritage Rail-Trail has a parallel 4-mile horse trail. The equestrian corridor starts at Hayden Run Road and continues northwest to the Cemetery Pike...

horse riding snow horseback marla winter cleveland flickr tips ohio wear morri via source ihearthorses helmet onlyinyourstate
(Source: www.onlyinyourstate.com)

Findlay lies at the heart of Hancock County's 17-mile Heritage Trail. From the city center, the trail extends west to Wittenberg Memorial Woods and east to Van Horn Cemetery.

OH17.2 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel, Wood chips Holmes County, located in northeastern Ohio, is the heart of the state’s Amish country.

Visitors to this rural enclave will find meandering country roads and bucolic natural areas, as well as the... The Little Miami Scenic Trail is a jewel in the crown of Ohio rail-trails, spanning just over 78 miles from the outskirts of Cincinnati to Springfield over historical bridges and through tranquil...

The Lowe's Connector Trail parallels Lowe's Drive in Wilmington, OH, and links Roach Avenue with Prairie Road; however, this is no sidewalk once you reach Prairie Road. A majority of the trail follows an abandoned Baltimore & Ohio Railroad corridor through a mostly rural landscape, heavily wooded in places.

The Miami & Erie Canal was built between 1825 and 1845, an engineering marvel stretching from Cincinnati to Toledo. This canal was heavily used until competition from the railroad caused the decline...

(Source: www.alltrails.com)

OH36.6 mi Concrete, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel The Mohican Valley Trail runs for nearly 5 miles along a former right-of-way of the old Penn Central Railroad on the eastern edge of Knox County, between Brink haven and Danville.

The Joinville Rail Trail is planned to be a 16-mile route that utilizes the former Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad that began service in the 1850s. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is an amazing trail journey that takes users from the heart of this country’s industrial might in cities like Cleveland and Akron, to some of the most beautiful...

The Ohio Canal Greenway extends south from Heron on an old Penn Central Railroad right-of-way. Farm fields border the trail on the west, while remnants of the historic Ohio and Erie Canal are to the...

Dreamed up more than 25 years ago, this route will eventually connect the Ohio River in Cincinnati to... The Old Masking Trail parallels the Tuscaroras River and the Ohio & Erie Canal way between Cherry Street in Canal Fulton and Forty Corners Road just north of Rassilon.

The Paint Creek Recreation Trail is the flagship pathway of a planned trail network in the Ohio counties of Fayette, Ross and Highland. Nearly 35 miles of paved trail are currently open linking the...

ohio horseback riding alltrails trails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

The Williamsburg to Batavia Hike/Bike Trail connects its two namesake communities on a paved route that winds through East Fork Wildlife Area and along scenic William Harsh Lake. The Boar Valley Trail winds along the Tuscaroras River between the village of Schoenbrunn in the south and Fort Laurens State Memorial in Bolivar in the north.

The crushed limestone was a pain for my tires but other than that it was a decent trail. They are restoring the bridges, clearing fells, and adding gravel.

I had the chance to ride the whole Cit from Genoa (the newest part of trail) to Elyria. So many great restored train stops, bridges, and even railroad museum right on the trail.

Trail is in very good paved condition and cleared of leaves. Ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant steps away from the trail in Orwell.

Even offer outdoor seating if you want to keep and eye on your bike. At that time, Watson Way was only 0.6 miles long-running from Madison Road near the Rook wood Pavilion shopping plaza to Tamarack Avenue near the With row High School Athletic Fields.

(Source: www.alltrails.com)

The second phase was to feature a bridge over I-71 and to continue the trail west, to its final western destination of Xavier University. Phase 2 had been completed and I wanted to go back and check out the added length, particularly since my oldest daughter, Amanda, is a graduate of Xavier University.

Watson Way, currently is a paved rail trail that now runs from behind the Valvoline Instant Oil Change on Madison Road near Rook wood Pavilion Shopping Center to Montgomery Road across from the Xavier University campus. The trail’s course is generally flat, with a slight rolling hills feel to it.

There is a slight but noticeable climb from Interstate 71 up to the trail’s western end. To reach the center of the Xavier University campus you would have to cross Montgomery Road and ride through the Queen City Physicians University Station Internal Medicine parking lot and an additional EU parking lot to reach the buildings on the Xavier campus.

Since it was beginning to get dark, Amanda and I chose not to ride onto the Xavier Campus on this day. As currently constructed, it gives the students of Xavier University a clear unobstructed path to the restaurants and retail shops of the Rook wood Pavilion area.

However, I think that additional lighting should be added to the trail in the vicinity of Xavier University for security purposes. In addition, this current iteration of Watson Way is just the beginning of a much bigger project.

(Source: www.alltrails.com)

The Five-Mile Trail is a paved Greenway that runs from Newton Road near Turpin High School in Turpin Hills to the Anderson Town Center Mall in Anderson Township. This 2.5 mile long path is paved and the northern half is quite scenic.

I encountered a number of cyclists and pedestrians during my time on the trail and had I started earlier in the day and had the sky not been so cloudy I think I would have seen even more people out using the trail. However, I would not recommend this trail to any novice cyclist or any family with young children looking for a bike outing.

My reason for this warning is because there are a number of challenging climbs on this trail. The first one comes immediately if you decide to travel north to south on the trail.

The second challenging climb is over a hill found between Cough Pike and State Road. You have to climb 60 feet of elevation over .30 of a mile heading south, and 40 feet of elevation over .20 of a mile heading north.

Finally, I would like to suggest to the Anderson Township Trustees that they should consider trying to raise funds to connect this trail to the Little Miami Scenic Trail near Clear Creek Park. I suspect that my proposed extension would end up being as hilly as the current trail, but it would increase the utility of the trail by creating a safe cycling connection to downtown Cincinnati and to the nearby cities of Marion, Terrace Park, and Milford.

dayton riding horseback ohio try hide trail carriage hill ride caption
(Source: www.daytondailynews.com)

Biked from County line (Trumbull and Ma honing Counties) to Western Reserve in Canfield and back for a 25-mile round trip. I had ridden part of the Scott Greenway several times as it is a critical link in the Ohio to Erie Trail (Motet) route.

Confluence Park is a peninsula that is formed at the intersection of the Scott and Olen tangy Rivers. The Boat House has a large parking lot which sits at the intersection of the Scott Greenway and Olen tangy Trails.

From the Boat House, I chose to ride west first. While a good part of the trail west of Confluence Park does follow the Scott River you don’t see much of the water as the trees and undergrowth only give up small glimpses of the river.

After I peddled back to Confluence Park and then headed east toward downtown Columbus. It is definitely a park like setting with well manicured lawns, improved landscaping, picnic areas, and memorial statues.

This section of the Scott Greenway, on both sides of the river, is definitely worth a trip to check it out. When you pass under I-70 you enter into Scott Audubon Metro Park.

(Source: www.alltrails.com)

Activities such as hiking, biking, jogging, inline skating, kayaking, and fishing can be enjoyed here. I found that this was the busiest area along the route on the Saturday afternoon that I rode the trail.

When you reach the southeast corner of Scott Audubon, you find yourself at the boat (kayak/canoe) launch area to Green lawn Avenue Low Head Reservoir. At first, I thought that I had reached the end of the trail, however, the trail does continue along West Whittier St. up to the Columbus’ Brewery District, a section of German Village.

Once you reach Front Street in the Brewery District the trail leads to Green lawn Avenue and its bridge where the street and trail cross back over the river. Once you come off of the bridge you loop back underneath it, and the trail follows the Scott again for a little over 1.5 miles while it passes by the athletic fields of Berliner Park.

On the West Bank of the Scott River you will pass by and have access to COSI, the Ohio Center of Science and Industry, and the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. After passing the Veteran’s Memorial Grove, you will pass under two railroad bridges and OH-315 before you reach North Louder Avenue Bridge where the bike lane will take you back over the Scott River one more time into Confluence Park and the Boat House Restaurant and Event Center parking lot.

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