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Best Horseback Riding Trails In Kentucky

author
Paul Gonzalez
• Saturday, 21 November, 2020
• 11 min read

Purple Heart Trail Tom Wallace Recreation Area Length: 1.9 mi • Est. This a nice family friendly loop located in Jefferson Memorial Forest south of Louisville KY.

alltrails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

Contents

Jefferson Memorial Forest Length: 10.6 mi • Est. This trail begins at the Welcome Center of Jefferson Memorial Forest and winds its way up a ridge to an awesome view of Louisville's skyline.

Continue on to Mitchell Hill Trail and the Horne Reservation. The trailhead starts just across the road from the parking area of the Welcome Center.

Daniel Boone National Forest Length: 8.9 mi • Est. Following the Shelter Trace will return you back to your starting point at Stone Cove.

Canal Run starts at the Stone Cove Recreation Area. This path curves and winds along the shores of Cave Run Lake, offering extensive lake views before it turns up the Canal Creek embayment, where more views await.

The Black ford Pedestrian Bridge qualifies as a rail-trail because it crosses a refurbished railroad bridge over the Trade water River, linking Black ford. In eastern Kentucky, 18 miles of the planned 36-mile Dawkins Line Rail Trail are open for use.

alltrails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

Enjoyed the signs about the history of the area, famous jockeys, and the environment around the creek. MM7 to 11 was beautiful curvy and hilly riding through fields and pastures.

After crossing Newton Pike, had a nice section along the creek to the Denmark campus. Had a nice wide green painted bike lane on 4th St through Transylvania University.

Nice, peaceful, well maintained trail. My only complaint is that there were a handful of spots where riders weren’t given clear directions which way to go.

After a barge knocked this bridge down at Lake Barkley and Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky they rebuilt it with a gorgeous new bridge with a dedicated bike path. There is currently construction underway to expand it quite a bit.

We found the Royal ton start and rode the trail to the 660-foot tunnel, about 4 miles. Crushed stone with some horse traffic, but no bikers on a Saturday in October.

alltrails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

We began on the end near river, and it was clean, sunny, and had some beautiful views. Afterwards the trail became wooded with crushed rock and was so peaceful and scenic.

I hope it generates more use once people find out about it. Such a wonderful trail to walk and also imagine the Union and Confederate troops that traversed this same area over 155 years ago.

This trail is not good for youngsters or very novice riders. We started at Pope Lick Park entrance, went to Broad Run Park, and then back, around 21 miles.

The trail was either paved asphalt or concrete slabs. This app says there are bathrooms at Broad Run, but if there were, we could not find them and there were no signs, so we went back to the silo and used the restrooms there.

For several decades, I have seen photos and heard stories about trail riding through Bryce Canyon National Park, in Utah. But in recent years, we have ended up with a pair of nice mustangs that are great on trails with a fair number of miles and experiences under their respective saddles.

(Source: www.alltrails.com)

So, we carved our four days in late September, just a few weeks away, and planned a camping trip to Bryce Canyon National Park with our mustangs, Mesa and Stellar. The park’s geology is like no other: The forces of wind, rain, erosion, and time have worked magic on the clay and sandstone deposits left from prehistoric times, when the area was once the bottom of a lake.

Iron and mineral deposits in the rocks give the cliffs their vivid palette of colors in shades of red, orange, and pink that glow in the nuances of light. Our first step was to figure out equestrian trail options in Bryce Canyon.

We called the park to learn about the process, check rules and regulations, and make ride reservations. The forest service does provide equestrian campgrounds, but these do not allow advanced reservations.

Several equestrian campgrounds and horse motels are listed online and, in the end, The 12-by-14-foot panel pens each have stock tanks for water and a long hose from the spigot to fill them. We also booked a nearby campsite for ourselves at Ruby’s Inn RV Park & Campground, also in Bryce Canyon City and just half a mile from where our horses stayed.

Because Bryce Canyon is one of the busiest national parks, reservations are recommended. Barely 10 days prior to our adventure, we scheduled a trip to the veterinarian for the required health certificates and Noggins tests.

alltrails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

(Weed-free hay is important so weed seeds don’t get carried into a pristine environment.) As we neared the start of our trip, we began organizing and packing our camping and personal gear, meals and snacks, and items we would need to keep the horses safe and comfortable.

We were especially grateful for waterproof, mid weight blankets for the horses, as the elevation gain meant cold nights (down to the mid-30s!) At our designated departure time of 12:30 p.m., with dark rain clouds overhead and low rumbles off in the distance, we cautiously set out from the staging area and headed through a pine forest to the trailhead at the canyon rim.

Tree branches rustled as the wind picked up, whipping our rain gear around and stirring up a couple of deer, which bounded across our path. Decorated in themes of red, orange, and pink, giant rock hoodoos stood like an army of timeless warriors keeping watch along canyon walls, silently guarding the valley floor below.

The beauty and strangeness of the spectacle, along with the wind howling and raindrops starting to fall, were almost too much. Verde Grove’s “Grand Canyon Suite” played in my head as we took our first tentative steps down the steep trail.

Our steady mustangs willingly put one hoof in front of another, and we descended into this beautiful, awe-inspiring world. What a gift to experience it up close and personally, examining brightly hued rocks, seeing unusual native plants, following shadows, and feeling the sun play on our faces.

alltrails trails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

If you would you like to horse camp and ride Bryce Canyon National Park, here is a step-by-step guide for planning your trip: Online advice recommends avoiding weekend crowds, but this park attracts more than 2.6 million visitors per year, so expect to deal with a lot of people no matter when you visit.

Mesa and Stellar stayed at Ruby’s Horse Motel in Bryce Canyon City, but you can find many other options in the area, including national forest equestrian campsites. We camped about five minutes from the horses at Ruby’s Inn RV Park & Campground, also in Bryce Canyon City, but there are many other options.

You will need about a week to get results back on the Noggins, but the test is valid for six months. The park rangers will accept paper or digital (cellphone, iPad, tablet) versions, but know that the staging area has no internet signal.

Consider either bringing copies of your paperwork or saving them to your cellphone so you can pull them up even without a signal. Locate a source of certified weed-free hay, and start gradually working it into your horse’s diet.

Coolers will help your horses dry out after the strenuous ride while keeping their muscles warm, and turnout blankets will protect them on cold, possibly wet nights. We had mid-70s during the days and low 40s at night, including rain after our canyon ride that lasted most of that evening.

alltrails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

From the staging area, the horse trail is approximately 10 miles long and takes 3-3.5 hours to complete. This extra half an hour gives the ranger time to go through all paperwork while still allowing you an on-time departure.

The Mixing Circle is closed to the public and is near the facility where the park concessions outfitter houses its trail horses. Whenever possible, move off the trail and let dude string riders pass by safely.

We found all the wranglers to be extremely helpful, courteous, and friendly, and their stock looked well-cared for. If you are coming from a much lower elevation, avoid altitude sickness by staying well-hydrated and getting plenty of rest.

One thing we noted was that outside the national park, many other user groups also enjoy the trails, specifically hikers, mountain bikers, and off-road vehicles. The trails were hard-packed sand and loose rock and could have been challenging footing for horses with softer feet or thin soles.

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Sources
1 dictionary.reverso.net - https://dictionary.reverso.net/english-synonyms/a+bit+more
2 dictionary.reverso.net - https://dictionary.reverso.net/english-definition/a+bit+more
3 ludwig.guru - https://ludwig.guru/s/need+a+bit+more+time
4 lightbearers.org - https://lightbearers.org/blog/a-little-bit-more/
5 www.goal.com - https://www.goal.com/en/news/its-a-bit-annoying-klopp-at-a-loss-to-explain-liverpools-lack-of-/10xue97m9ouq1htru8za277xq