Located in the US, the horseback riding in Virginia offers over thirty horseback riding trail routes from which to choose. The best Virginia horseback riding based on popularity are considered to be Virginia Highlands Horse Trail, Virgina Creeper Trail, Iron Mountain, Shenandoah Mountain Horse Trail System, and Shenandoah National Park. For a detailed trail description and printable trailhead map, just select a Virginia horseback riding trail below.
Near Damascus in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail is a 33.4 mile bridleway along an old rail bed from Abingdon in the west to just past Whitetop Station in the east. Much of the horseback riding route winds through the southern mountains of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. The pathway has a gentle climb and the surface is crushed limestone.
Northeast of Damascus in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, the Iron Mountain Trail is a 22 mile horseback ride traversing Iron Mountain plateau through thick meadows of wildflowers and old growth hemlocks. This scenic bridle trail was an old stretch of the Appalachian Trail and runs through dense oak and birch forest with plenty of rhododendrons.
Southwest of Front Royal in the George Washington National Forest, the Signal Knob Loop is a steep 10 mile horseback riding route leading to a civil war outpost. The loop is composed of four trails: Signal Knob Trail (yellow blaze), Massanutten Mountain West Trail (orange blaze), Bear Wallow Trail (blue Blaze), and the Bear Wallow Spur Trail (white blaze). The trailhead is at the Bear Wallow/Signal Knob parking lot.
Near Wise in the George Washington National Forest, the Cumberland Mountain Trail is a 26 mile route from Pound Gap in the south to Breaks Interstate Park in the north. Many scenic overlooks are located along the trail in the form of natural openings and large rock outcrops. These overlooks provide views of Virginia and Kentucky. Viewing is especially spectacular during Fall Foliage. Pine Mountain is relatively isolated, having only one access road suitable for vehicular travel.
The 196,000 acre Shenandoah National Park has 150 miles of well-maintained trails open to horseback riding. These trails are blazed in yellow and pass through deep canyons, over panoramic ridges and through dense forests. The best horse trails are the Rose River Trail, the Compton Trail and the Mount Marshall Trail.
The New River Trail stretches 57 miles for horseback riding from Galax to Pulaski along the namesake river. This is a 57-mile long state park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way. There are several entrances into this park. The park meanders through Grayson, Carroll, Wythe and Pulaski counties in southwestern Virginia and parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles. This park is part of the Rails to Trails Program as it was donated to the state by Norfolk Southern Railroad when the railroad discontinued the line and removed the tracks.
Northwest of Lynchburg and east of Natural Bridge in the George Washington National Forest, the Glenwood Horse Trail is a long distance trail served by four trailheads. The four main trailheads include Bearwallow Gap, Hunting Creek Horse Trailhead, Hellgate Creek Horse Trailhead and Day Creek Horse Trailhead.
Northwest of Richmond near Spotsylvania, the Lake Anna State Park has 12 miles of multi-use trails open to horseback riding. The horse trail rolls through moderate terrain of mixed hardwood and pine forest.
Northeast of Roanoke and southeast of Natural Bridge Station in the Jefferson National Forest, the Balcony Falls Trail is a 4.1 mile one-way route open to horseback riding. The Balcony Falls Trail climbs from an elevation of 800 feet up to 2,250 feet. The route starts on an old logging road for 1.2 miles. Then, the trail climbs via switchbacks through mixed pines and hardwoods.
North of Wise near Pound in the Jefferson National Forest, the Laurel Fork Trail is a 20 mile horseback ride along an old railroad grade that crosses Laurel Fork Creek several times. The trail begins near the parking lot and follows the lake shore and stream before crossing a steep ridge. The trail ends at Laurel Fork Primitive Campsite.