Tuesday, May 11, 2010
There are a number of places throughout Florida where you can go on trail rides and horseback riding camping trips. In addition to the stables and ranches, you can obtain a permit to visit one of the beautiful State Parks that offer accommodations for both riders and their horses. Following are a few places that might be of interest to you.
Windmill Ranch in North Florida is a 30-acre ranch that is family-owned and offers horseback riding trail rides starting at only $30 per person. The great thing about this ranch is that you can take a guided or unguided ride, whenever you like. They also offer a summer horseback riding camp for kids ages 8-17, and all campers are offered private daily riding lessons, unlimited horse back riding, swimming and field trips. Additionally, they have regular, adult campsites and cabins available and you can even bring your family pet! Windmill Ranch's web address is www.robinsfurryfriends.com.
Whether you want to go on a one-day ride or a complete equestrian camping trip, Crystal River and Citrus County have beautiful public lands available to their horseback riding residents and guests. The Withlacoothie State Forest in Tillis Hills has a horse stable that accommodates 20 horses and offers one and two-day riding trips. They also provide 37 camping sites and 47 miles of trail for you to ride. Since these are public lands, you'll have to obtain a permit first so call 352-394-2280 for more information. If you're interested in utilizing one of the stables, you can contact the Florida Department of Forestry at 352-796-5650.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District has horseback riding trails on both the Flying Eagle and Pott's Preserve. Flying Eagle has nine miles of horse trails and Pott's Preserve has 12 miles of marked trails that even allows horse-drawn buggies with a permit. There is no charge overnight camping, but you will need a permit. To find out more about horseback riding on Pott's Preserve, call 1-800-423-1476.
If you're looking for an old-style, western cowboy experience, the town of Davie in south Florida might be a place you'd like to visit. Davie has become a very popular spot because of its old-west image, including an authentic-style, wooden Town Hall. They also have a rodeo arena and several western-themed saloons. Davie has set aside trails for horseback riding along its major thoroughfares so for information on taking a leisurely and informative horseback ride through Davie, Florida, go to www.floridasavvy.com.