Northeast of Mountain View and south of Norfolk in the Ozark National Forest, the Sylamore Horse Trail system consists of four loops offering 89.3 miles of the most diverse and aesthetically scenic horseback riding opportunities anywhere in the Ozarks. These horse trails are old logging roads and are blazed with carsonite posts. Note: the loops are open to both hiking and mountain biking.
All trail loops start and finish at the trailhead where parking, hitch rails and a wheelchair accessible horse ramp is supplied. The trailhead also offers a bulletin board with a map of all the loops along with trail information, rules, camping and other useful information. From this point the four loops, all diverse in terrain and scenic values, will take you across streams, ridges and along the White River. Portions of the trail are located on old logging roads, and some meander along wild mountain streams. The loops are marked with lettered carsonite posts.
The Hidden Springs Loop, marked Sylamore Horse Trail Loop A, covers a total of 10.1 miles. Loop A is the shortest loop and consists of easy to moderate terrain. Many springs are located along the trail. A hitching post located near the watering hole allows the rider to tie off the horse and take a short walk up a small creek to a beautiful waterfall.
The Sandy Flat Loop, marked Sylamore Horse Trail Loop B, covers 13.9 miles. All of Loop B is easy terrain and great for beginners. This loop travels old roads taking the rider around the Sylamore Experimental Forest. Traveling up and down hollows on good dirt roads allows riders to enjoy the forested settings. Sandy Flat is named after one of the roads which is incorporated in that loop.
The White River Loop, marked Sylamore Horse Trail Loop C, covers 35.4 miles. Loop C is the longest loop. Allow two days to travel this loop unless your horse is well-conditioned. From this trail, riders will view scenic vistas from the ridge tops, travel down to creek crossings and back up into forested spring hollows. Loop C passes through private property, around a large pond, beside pastures and parallels the White River giving this loop its name. This loop may be temporily closed - check with the Rangers Office.
The McGowan Loop, marked Sylamore Horse Trail Loop D, covers a total of 29.9 miles. Loop D is a borderline one or two day trip on an average horse. This route travels old roads, through private property and along McGowan Ridge. The rider will enjoy the scenic vistas and distant view of the state of Missouri, 20 miles away. This loop may be temporily closed - check with the Rangers Office.