Vaycay With Your Horse in Tow

West Virginia has a variety of horse-friendly trails.
West Virginia has a variety of horse-friendly trails. GabboT
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The following article is a paid collaboration with Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.

Hop on horseback and hit the mountain trails!

Saddle up your favorite steed and head out on these horse-friendly trails and getaways in West Virginia:

Mountwood Park Lodging Horse Camp

Head to Mountwood Park’s horse trails for just about anything that you and your equine friend could need: 30 miles of dedicated horseback riding trails, 8-x-10-foot horse stalls for your pal and showers for you. Visit anytime between April and October, and spend a night or 2.

There are plenty of camping options alongside the stalls, so overnight accommodations for both you and your horse are no problem. Camping spaces are primitive or electric, at $10 and $12 per night respectively, and a horse stall will run you $5 per night.

But, if you’ve got a portable corral, you can absolutely bring it with you to the park so your horse will have a little extra room to roam.

Allegheny Highlands Trail

A typical view from the Allegheny Highlands Trail.
A typical view from the Allegheny Highlands Trail. Adam Fagen

The Allegheny Highlands Trail, like many rail trails in the Mountain State, was originally a railroad route. This one was designed to connect central West Virginia to Pittsburgh, and clocks in at 24.5 miles one-way— a nice long stretch that is easy for you and your horse. It is out-and-back, so you can turn around whenever you want, or go for the whole ride.

Along the way, keep your camera ready to capture the scenery— rolling countryside hills, scenic farmland, and small towns chock full of that authentic American vibe.

Start in Elkins at the Highland Park trailhead, and expect a gradual climb for about 15 miles before leveling off and switching to a descent around Parsons. Stop in Parsons for a break, then continue on to the next section, where you’ll cross a bridge and finish up around Hendricks, WV.

Barnum Rail Trail

This 4.2-mile trail follows the North Branch Potomac River into the dense woods and through northern West Virginia. The first mile is technically open to vehicles, so even though there usually isn’t much traffic, keep an eye and an ear out for cars. After that, the rest is non-motorized, so just sit back and enjoy the amazing views and the sounds of the flowing river.

Greenbrier River Trail

The trees along the Greenbrier River Trail burst into color in the fall.
The trees along the Greenbrier River Trail burst into color in the fall. Patrick Mueller

If 24 miles isn’t quite long enough for you, then the 77-mile Greenbrier River Trail certainly will be. With a light and super manageable 1% grade on a packed crushed surface, this is an easy trek for you and your horse. Follow the trail along the Greenbrier River for most of the way, and plan some time to take breaks for swimming or fishing. You can also camp along the trail.

Find more horseback riding adventures.

*A small section of the trail was washed out in recent flooding, so check the trail’s Facebook page for updates as volunteers clear the area.

Originally written for West Virginia .

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