Horseback riding may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Asheville activities. Sure, there are the spectacular mountain views, long hiking trails, vibrant cultural scene and whitewater. So why not add horseback riding to the list? You and the kids will love it, walking or gently trotting with your horse, reins in hand.
Biltmore has 8,000 acres that include horseback riding trails through peaceful meadows and shady hardwood forests. Saddle up and catch a Western-style guided trail ride (for adults and children over 6 years old) to see one of the only views of the Biltmore House's western façade. Extended and private guided rides are available. Another option is a 45-minuted guided carriage ride, where children 5 and less than one years of age ride free with a ticketed adult. Fees are in addition to estate admission costs. Advanced reservations are requested. The estate also offers a Biltmore Equestrian Pass, which allows pass holders, among other things, access to the estate's equestrian trails for no additional fee.
Cedar Creek Stables in Lake Lure sits on 350 acres and offers horseback riding, gem mining, fishing and pony rides. They also offer a three-day, two-night packing trip in the Pisgah National Forest. Riders are supplied everything except sleeping bags and personal clothing. Trips depart March through May and September through November.
Riverside Riding Stables in Rutherfordton is open year-round, seven days a week. The stables offer guided trail rides; two-hour river rides for adventurous riders 14-years-old and older ("prepare to get wet," they advise); and a three-day, two-night pack trip with unlimited riding, fishing and camping. Trail rides are open for children older than two years old, with an accompanying adult. Riverside also has pony rides for children.
Sandy Bottom Trail Rides in Marshall offers daily horseback rides. The ranch has been family-owned for three generations, and presents one-, two-, three- and four-hour trail rides that take visitors through scenic meadows and woods. Trail rides are open for people of all ages. Sandy Bottom also offers wagon and buggy rides. Sandy Bottom's three- and four-hour trail and wagon rides also feature a visit to the 200-year-old Little Pine Garnet Mine.
If you're more in the mood for viewing horses rather than riding them, visit the WNC Agricultural Center, which regularly hosts horse-related shows, clinics and auctions.
And we know they aren't horses, but what about hiking the hills, letting llamas carry your backpack? English Mountain Llama Treks offers guided llama treks—from day hikes to two- or three-day trips—through the mountains.
Approximately 300 miles of this Maine-to-Georgia primitive hiking trail spans North Carolina. Voted most popular outdoor destination by Blue Ridge Outdoors and favorite long distance trail by Backpacker Magazine. …more
Enjoy riding through the Pisgah Nation Forest in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. The ranch has a great group of wranglers, and an excellent string of sure- footed mountain horses perfectly suited to anyone's riding ability. Riding orientation and …more
Riding into many acres of countryside in beautiful Madison County, NC.
Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park assists the National Park Service in its mission to preserve and protect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by raising funds and public awareness, and providing volunteers for needed projects. …more
Explore Asheville's great outdoors with Nantahala Outdoor Center. NOC has led outdoor adventures since 1972 and earned recognition as "One of the Best Outfitters on Earth" by National Geographic Adventure. Let NOC assist you in planning your next …more