Horseback riding can be a fun and unique way to explore the Blue Ridge Parkway and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.
Horse Trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway
There are a limited number of trails on the Parkway that allow horseback riding. Anyone interested in riding on these trails must provide their own horse. Currently, there are no horse rentals located directly on the Parkway. When traveling these trails, horseback riders should follow all posted signs and directions. Horses are required to stay on the path at all times and are not to enter open fields or travel on paved roads.
Roanoke Valley Horse Trail
This horse trail has two separate parts. The first section begins at milepost 121.4 just off Highway 220. It travels in a loop around Roanoke Campground then parallel to the Parkway ending around milepost 116. The total distance is approximately 12 miles.
The second section of this horse trail is located at milepost 111 and can be traveled to milepost 114.5. Access for this section of the trail can be found at the Stewarts Knob Overlook. These two trails make up the Roanoke Valley Horse Trail but are not connected because there is no horse access across the Roanoke River. Together they total approximately 16 miles in distance.
Moses Cone Park Carriage Trails
There are 24 miles of trails surrounding Flat Top Manor at Moses Cone Park. The carriage trails are open for horseback riding year round. To access these trails, parking for visitors with horse trailers is available at Trout Lake or on NC Hwy 221 just outside Bass Lake.
Doughton Park Horse Trail
Horseback riding in Doughton Park is allowed on the Grassy Gap Fire Trail. This trail is 6.5 miles long and wide enough for horseback riders to ride side by side. Starting at milepost 248 off Long Bottom Road the trail works its way up the mountainside and past the primitive campgrounds ending at milepost 243.9. All horseback riders must enter and exit the trail from Long Bottom Road.