Best Horseback Riding in North Carolina

This list represents the most popular horseback riding in North Carolina. Use this list to plan your next North Carolina horseback riding trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Uwharrie National Forest


Wonderful, woodsy circuit hikes are possible in Uwharrie National Forest, some of substantial length. Uwharrie and Dutchman’s Creek Trails form a figure eight that, when linked with forest roads used…
From the guidebook "Hiking North Carolina"
Troy, NC - Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking - Several options Best Trail in nc - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#2. Pilot Mountain State Park


New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock may have the gall to claim the name, but Pilot Mountain is the definitive monadnock in this state or any other. Pilot is an outlier of the Sauratown Mountains that incl…
From the guidebook "Hiking North Carolina"
Pinnacle, NC - Hiking, Horseback Riding - 0.3-6.6 miles Best Trail in nc - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. Shining Rock Wilderness


Shining Rock—like the Craggy Mountains and Mount Mitchell just north of Asheville—is where the Parkway delivers some of the southern Appalachians’ most stunning scenery. The horizon peels back on an…
From the guidebook "Hiking North Carolina"
Canton, NC - Hiking, Horseback Riding - 5.2-12.9 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#4. American Tobacco Trail


If ever a trail could be described as being greater than the sum of its parts, it would be the American Tobacco Trail. The trail is one of many rails-to-trails projects nationwide—old rail lines that…
From the guidebook "100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina"
Apex, NC - Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking - 5.75 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#5. William B. Umstead State Park


The park has 22 miles of hiking-only trails and 13 miles of “MUTs”—not dogs, but “multiuse trails” for horseback riding, mountain biking, and foot traffic (labeled “MUT” on the map). Three lakes allow…
From the guidebook "Hiking North Carolina"
Raleigh, NC - Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking - 0.6-9 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#6. Big Creek


This may be the perfect hike for inexperienced or first-time backpackers, as well as for day hikers. It’s an easy creek-side walk, but long enough to make you feel as though you’ve done something. It…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Newport, NC - Hiking, Horseback Riding - 10.6 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#7. Deep Creek Loop


This is an exceptional and relatively short hike that offers something interesting at any time of year. In autumn the colorful foliage is superb. From late autumn through early spring, the lack of fo…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Bryson City, NC - Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking - 4.4 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#8. Boogerman


You might be a little wary of hiking a trail called “Boogerman,” but there’s no cause for alarm. Robert “Boogerman” Palmer, the former owner of much of the woodland you hike through, supposedly recei…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Waynesville, NC - Hiking, Horseback Riding - 7.4 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#9. Gregory Bald via Twentymile


Gregory Bald is among the finest destinations in the Smokies backcountry. For many hikers, it is the finest. Most people access the bald from the Tennessee side by taking either Gregory Ridge Trail or…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Fontana Dam, NC - Backpacking, Hiking, Horseback Riding - 15.5 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#10. Moses Cone Memorial Park


More than 25 miles of road-width carriage paths wander lightly on the land, creating easy avenues for carefree strolls. At times, they corkscrew mysteriously—one section is called The Maze. These path…
From the guidebook "Hiking North Carolina"
Blowing Rock, NC - Cross-Country Skiing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Snowshoeing - 0.8-6.6 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#11. Silers Bald and Forney Creek


It would be hard to pick a better two-night backpack than this one. You get to sleep in a backcountry shelter (everyone needs to experience it at least once) and at a backcountry campsite. You have go…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Bryson City, NC - Backpacking, Hiking, Horseback Riding - 20.4 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#12. Smokemont Loop


For people staying at Smokemont Campground, this loop hike is a good way to spend part of the day.Parking is at one of the 3 general-purpose parking areas at Smokemont Campground. The parking area at…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Cherokee, NC - Hiking, Horseback Riding - 6.1 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#13. Charlies Bunion and Bradley Fork


This is a terrific three-day hike, encompassing much of what the Smokies have to offer. You spend half the time hiking on the high-elevation crest and the other half along headwater streams and throug…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Bryson City, NC - Backpacking, Hiking, Horseback Riding - 27.3 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#14. Hazel Creek and Bone Valley


All of this hike is on old roads, and the first 5 miles or so aren’t much different from walking any of the drivable dirt roads in the park. If you’re looking to hike a true trail, this hike will dis…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Fontana Dam, NC - Backpacking, Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding - 15.4 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#15. Eagle Creek, Spence Field, and Hazel Creek


For those looking for a kick-butt Smokies adventure, here’s your hike. Probably the most strenuous hike in this guidebook, with big elevation gains and enough creek wades to make your feet stay pruny…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Fontana Dam, NC - Backpacking, Hiking, Horseback Riding - 27.9 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#16. Bradley Fork and Chasteen Creek


This is a grand backpacking trip, featuring much of what makes the Smokies famous. It offers several miles of scenic creek-side hiking, old-growth forests, abundant spring wildflowers, a rare shingle…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Cherokee, NC - Backpacking, Hiking, Horseback Riding - 17.2 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#17. Shuckstack


Shuckstack Tower is an old fire tower, one of few remaining in the park. At its base are the old tower-keeper’s cistern and the foundation and chimney of the cabin. For such a difficult and remote hik…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Fontana Dam, NC - Backpacking, Hiking, Horseback Riding - 11.9 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#18. South Mountains State Park


South Mountains State Park is in the largest and loftiest of the mountain ranges that lie east of the Blue Ridge. The range sprawls across 100,000 acres in three counties, with 18,000 acres in the par…
From the guidebook "Hiking North Carolina"
Connellys Springs, NC - Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking - 0.6-9 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#19. Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Great Smoky Mountains is the country’s most popular national park. The distinction is more than proximity to nearby urban areas. This United Nations–designated International Biosphere Reserve is tempe…
From the guidebook "Hiking North Carolina"
Waynesville, NC - Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking - Several options
Published by Falcon Guides

#20. Forney Ridge and Noland Divide


This trip encompasses what most people look for in a Smokies adventure: high-elevation views, old-growth forests, cascading streams, wildflowers, and a challenging hike. On the latter point, if you’re…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Bryson City, NC - Backpacking, Hiking, Horseback Riding - 18.4 miles
Published by Falcon Guides