East of Farmington, the 9,000 acre Shimek State Forest has 27 miles of bridle trails through dense pine forests in the Lick Creek Unit. The forest headquarters is located about 1 mile northeast of Farmington on county road J56.
The Lick Creek Unit contains two equestrian campgrounds, one with 11 sites and the other with 24 sites. There are 25 miles of equestrian trails on the Lick Creek Unit.
Equestrian facilities include hitching rails, pit toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, gravel parking pads, a water hydrant and shade for horses. There are stalls for overnight stabling. A day-use area, next to the upper equestrian campground, is provided for those not camping.
To reach the horseback riding trailhead for Shimek State Forest from the intersection of B Street and SR 2 in Farmington, go south-east on SR 2 for 3.4 miles. Turn right on the road to the equestrian campgrounds. Go about 0.75 miles to the day use parking area.
Overall, Shimek State Forest is the 1st most popular horse trail of all 6 horseback rides in Iowa.