Western North Carolina is well-known for its outdoorsy adventures and horseback riding is one of them. As leaf season looms upon the area, now is a fantastic time to get on a horse and see the colorful mountains up close and personal. Here are our top picks on the stables that offer fantastic views and an excellent service.
The Biltmore Estate
The Biltmore Estate offers a wide range of activities, aside from seeing the country’s largest private home. It should be of no surprise that they have an amazing selection of horses and trails to bring you a little bit closer to nature. On these trails, you will see parts of the estate that you can’t access by car and allowing you to see why the Vanderbilts loved their home so much. You can opt between a one-hour tour or one of their private tours. Children as young as 8 years old are able to participate and cost ranges from $65-$160 per person.
Sandy Bottom Trail Rides
Located in scenic Marshall, North Carolina, Sandy Bottom Trail Rides is a family-owned operation that is one of the more flexible services around. They have no age or weight limits, open to all varying riding skills, and trail rides can run from one to four hours. Have someone in your group that has no desire or physically can’t ride a horse? No worries! They have an ATV for those folks so they can enjoy the gorgeous views as well. Rates begin at $40 and reservations are highly recommended as their rides fill up quickly.
Saddle Up Trail Rides
If you love to hike the Pisgah National Forest, you will love riding the trails with Saddle Up Trail Rides. Offering rides from one hour to all day, these folks are going to show you the best in mountain riding that is just minutes away from the Asheville Regional Airport. The one-hour trail ride is a dry ride, meaning no water crossing at all. The rest of the trail rides will encounter some water crossing. Rates range from $35 to $90 per person. All day trail rides will require a phone call to discuss with the stable manager. Reservations must also be made in advance, they do not take walk-ins.
Cedar Creek Stables
If you are staying near the Lake Lure area, we highly suggest you talk to Cedar Creek Stables! Perfect for the family, they offer specific trail rides at reasonable rates. Expect to pay about $40-$70 per person. If you have children younger than eight years old, there are pony rides available. All riders under the age of 16 years old must wear a helmet during the trail rides and they do have weight limits for their horses. Aside from horseback riding, they have a gem mine onsite and you are welcome to engage in catch and release fishing from their lake (no license necessary!).
Smokemont Riding Stable
If you are planning a day trip to Cherokee, North Carolina then you should make Smokemont Riding Stable one of your activities for the day. They offer specific trail rides or one-hour rides throughout the day. Might we suggest the Waterfall Ride that will take you by a gorgeous waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Rides range from $35-$140 per person. Riders as young as five years old are able to ride and they do have weight limits. Not in the mood for horseback riding? They also offer wagon rides that offer the same gorgeous views along the Oconaluftee River for $15 per person and open to all ages.
No matter where you are or where you stay in Western North Carolina, it’s easy to find a stable and spend a day on a horse. We recommend calling a stable ahead of time to ensure you can make reservations if they are necessary and find out what their rules of the trails are. Happy horseback riding!