American Horse Council Trail Directory and Informative
With an influx in outdoor activity over the past few years due to the pandemic, there has been an increase in recreational horse ownership and trail riding. We have developed this directory as an informative piece to assist anyone looking for horse-friendly trails. This directory also includes information on issues that affect the horse industry such as land preservation, and trail etiquette, and offers tips on traveling with horses to make it a safe and enjoyable journey. With lots of information scattered over numerous websites, we wanted to make the search process easier. Make sure to check out this excel spreadsheet link to easily find trails listed by state.
Special thanks to the Back Country Horsemen of America, Equine Land Conservation Resource, the State Horse Councils, US Forest Service, National Park Service, and American Trails for being associated with the creation of this directory.
Trail Etiquette is fundamental for everyone using the trails. Whether it be motorized vehicles, bikers, hikers, or horse riders, safety for all parties is a top priority when out on the trails. Trail etiquette means you understand the rules and respect those who are using the trails alongside you. There is a priority list for trail use right of way explained in the hyperlinks below. Those who are operating on trails need to be cautious towards horse riders, especially those on motorized vehicles. If motorized vehicles do not follow trail etiquette it could cause the horse rider to lose control of their horse which creates a danger to everyone around them. The protection of everyone on the trail is essential. Those who are using trails without regard to etiquette create an unsafe situation for everyone.
For more information on trail etiquette check out these hyperlinks:
Land is especially important when it comes to having a horse and wanting to ride. What some horse owners might not know is that land conservation and maintaining equestrian access is a continuous battle. Back Country Horsemen of America focuses on maintaining public land trails for equestrians through physical work and policy advocacy. Public lands are defined as land or water collectively owned by U.S. citizens and managed by government agencies. Without equestrian advocates for land preservation, it could negatively impact the horse industry resulting in limited land access for trail riding. Privately owned land is the most at-risk component of our equestrian landscape. Boarding barns, competition venues, trails, hunt fixtures, and hayfields are being lost every day as a result of development, misunderstanding of liability issues by new owners of the land, and rising demand for land around urbanizing areas. ELCR offers talking points for explaining liability issues to landowners; liability management tools; guidelines for fostering positive relationships with landowners; model rules of usage and other protections for landowners who wish to open their land to horse usage; and information about the benefits of ensuring that horses stay in your community.
For more information over land conservation check out these hyperlinks along with the excel spreadsheet (link above) covering trail site databases for all 50 states.
- Land Protection – Back Country Horsemen of America
- Equine Land Conservation Resource
- American Trails Organization
- Horse Tips and Trail locations
- Resource for horseback riding trails across the U.S.