Featured HORSE TRAILS
North of Tampa and west of Orlando near Brooksville, the 145,000 acre Withlacooche State Forest has pine uplands, cypress swamps and river bottom woodlands. It is home to the 34 mile Croom Horse Trail network. These blue-blazed routes are on packed-sand roll through dense pine hills and oak hammock forests.
East of Tampa and Brandon, the 6,000 acre Alafia River State Park has miles of trails open to equestrians. As the property was all once phosphate mines and has since been reclaimed, it offers terrain not usually seen in Florida.
Northeast of Pensacola and south of Munson Crossroads in the Coldwater Recreation Area, there is a great 10 mile route known as the Coldwater Yellow-Orange-Yellow Loop Trail. The route traverses longleaf pine, southern red oak, water oak and dogwood forests.
East of Ocala and northeast of Lynne in the Ocala National Forest, the LAM Trail (Lake/Alachua/Marion Trail) is a 34 mile route open to horseback riding. It is marked with yellow blazes. It stretches from Doe Lake to a point near the town Eureka. The trail does continue beyond the forest towards Paines Prairie near Gainesville, but not all sections may be completed.
South of Tallahasse, the 30 mile Vinzant Riding Trail is in the northwest corner of the Apalachicola National Forest off SR20. The horseback riding trail has 2 loops (which overlap): an 11-mile loop and a 23-mile loop. The horse trail is marked with white, blue, and yellow blazes on different sections.
Southeast of Tampa and Frostproof in the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest, the Arbuckle Tract Trail (aka Reedy Creek Trail) is great for horseback rides along ridge above Reedy Creek, Lake Arbuckle shore, and through rosemary, pine, and scrub oak on ancient sand dunes. This is also a 20 mile section of the Florida Trail.
East of Naples, the Belle Meade Horse Trail is a 22 mile horseback riding route through the 69,975 acre Picayune Strand State Forest. The very sandy trails are over rolling terrain. Watch out for black bear and panther. The M&H Stables are adjacent to the trail system.
Situated 20 miles east of Sarasota, the 29,000 acre Myakka River State Park has a 12 mile horseback riding trail system. The 3 loops passes through dry grass/palmetto praires, palm islands and shaddy Oak hammocks. The park has a varied habitat of small wetlands, pine & live oak flatwoods, and dry praire provides home to 17,000 gators, thousands of ferral pigs, deer and bobcat.
North of Orlando near Cassia, the 25,800 acre Seminole State Forest has two trails open to horseback riding. The two horse trails are the Sulphur Island Horse Trail (7.4 miles) and the River Creek Loop (7 miles).
Southwest of Ocala near Dunnellon, the 53,000 acre Goethe State Forest has several multi-purpose trails open to horseback riding. This extensive old-growth forest has one of the largest red-cockaded woodpecker populations on state lands in Florida. Other rare animal species found on the forest include the Florida black bear, gopher tortoise, Shermans fox squirrel and bald eagle.
West of Jacksonville near Lake City, the 200,000 acre Osceola National Forest has a miles of horse trails. Horseback riding on the Osceola provides you with the opportunity to journey quietly through open pine flatwoods and wet, scenic bays. Four interconnected loop trails traverse over 50 miles of trails through the scenic Osceola National Forest. These trails originate at West Tower where there is an area for camping, horse stalls, drinking water and a flush toilet.
Southwest of Ocala near Dunnellon in the Goethe State Forest, the Black Prong Trails are open to horseback riding. The Black Prong Orange Trail (10 miles) and the Black Prong Blue Trail (6 miles) are accessible from the same trailhead.
Southwest of Jacksonville and Orange Park, the Evans Loop Trail is a 16 mile horseback riding route in the 24,000 acre Jennings State Forest. There is a 16 mile Yellow loop and a shorter 8 mile Red loop.
Northeast of Orlando and south of Geneva, the Equestrian Trail is a 10 mile route through the 5,000 acre Little Big Econ State Forest. A portion of the trail is along the Econlockhatchee River. Keep an eye out for river otter, gray fox, deer and bobcat.
Northwest of West Palm Beach and west of Stuart, the 22,000 arce DuPuis Management Area has a 40 mile trail system maintained by the DuPuis Horsemans Association. Riders have the choice of four loops ranging from 7.2 to 17.5 miles.
Southeast of Sarasota and east of Venice, the 6,439 acre Deer Prairie Creek Preserve has a diverse 22 mile equestrian trail system winding through pine flatwoods, prairie hammock and seasonal wetlands. There are two designated equestrian loop trails. The short loop is 6 miles and the long loop is 9.4 miles.
South of Alachua, the San Felasco Hammock State Park has a network of bridle trails totaling 11.5 miles. The two main trails are Spring Grove Trail and Old Spanish Way Horse Trail. There are turkey, deer, fox, bald eagle are to be seen by the quiet and vigilant rider.
Northwest of Orlando near Apopka, the 7,800 acre Lower Weikiva River State Preserve has a 8 mile route known as the Lower Wekiva Horse Trail. The trail is actually a series of concentric loops. The trailhead starts at a dedicated horse corral parking area.
South of Jacksonville and west of Palatka in the Etoniah Creek State Forest, the Holloway Loop trail is a 5 mile horseback riding route in the 86,79 acre Etoniah Creek State Forest. Overall, there are 19 miles of multi-use trails on the east side of the ECSF shared by horseback riders and mountain bikers.
North of West Palm Beach, the Eagles View Multi-Use Trail System is a 7.8 mile horseback riding trail network through slash pine, scrub oak and palmetto. Watch for gopher tortoise, deer, armadillo, wild pigs and alligator.