There are few activities more relaxing and therapeutic than going for a trail ride on a horse. Whether you’re a Dallas, Texas native or just a visitor, this is one of the best excursions you can do in the land of the cowboy. There are trails and accommodations for any rider of any level, whether you brought your own horse or not. If you’re looking to escape the city life or just want a fun activity to do with the family, a horseback trail ride is sure to put a smile on everyone’s faces.
The following trails and guided experiences are for any rider of any experience level. Most do have age restrictions and many also have weight restrictions, so be sure to pay attention to the details before you book a ride with them. You can always visit a gorgeous trail in the Dallas area with your own horse if you’re nearby, or borrow a willing friend’s horse for the day.
Ascend Camp and Retreat Center
This is arguably one of the most popular horseback trail rides in the Dallas area, as they were voted the Best of Texas/DFW Horseback riding experience! They offer one hour trail rides in their own woods on the property for a maximum of three people at a time. This is for safety reasons, but if you have a larger group they recommend booking back to back appointments so everyone gets a chance to ride.
They also offer a corral experience if a trail ride still seems too daunting. While the experience level of the rider doesn’t matter at all and your safety is their top priority, they understand if anyone is still a bit anxious about it. So, you can also elect to ride in a completely fenced in corral and simply spend time with their horses, including a photo opportunity. For this option, there can be a maximum of five people, which is a little more family friendly.
Chisholm Trail Rides
Chisholm Trail Rides is certainly a top choice for horseback riders in the Dallas area. Their trail riding excursions are accommodating from brand new to the most advanced riders and everything in between. They promise a good time for all on their 100 acre property with plenty of trails to choose from for a good time all around. Their trail rides can be booked as a group, semi-private, or completely private, and you have the choice between an hour and a half all the way up to a twelve hour trail ride to choose from.
What’s special about this place is their accommodations. Not only do they accommodate riders of all experience levels so that no one is overwhelmed or underwhelmed with their experience, but they also offer accommodations for non-english speakers, children as young as five years old, and groups larger than eight! You are sure to have a great time with Chisholm’s breathtaking views and abundance of horse related activities for all.
Marshall Creek Ranch
Marshall Creek Ranch seems to be one of the most well known horseback riding excursions in the Dallas area. The can accommodate riders as young as four years old, and riders over 300 pounds, which is pretty rare. They have over 12,000 acres of stunning natural scenery for you to observe on your ride. They even offer an adult only option for anyone in need of some alone time away from the kids.
What’s unique about this place in addition to their wide range of accommodations is that it appears all these trail rides head to the lake they have on their property. A lakeside ride is certainly gorgeous in of itself, but many of their photos depict riders actually swimming in said lake while riding horseback. This particular experience certainly can’t be promised, but if you needed any more reason to check them out, then there you have it.
BYOH: Bring Your Own Horse Trails
Finally, if you live in the Dallas area, have friends with horses in the Dallas area, or are perhaps traveling with your horses, this is the place for you. Dallas has a vast expansion of nature at your disposal, and dozens of horseback riding trails that you can bring your own equine friend to join you on.
For a beginner level trail, such as if you have children with you or don’t want to ride all day, then the Willow Springs and Bobcat Run Loop might just be your best bet. Located just north of Dallas, this lovely 4.5 mile trail promises stunning forestry and a tranquil creek to help you unwind.
For the intermediate horses and their riders, The Lighthouse Trail might be the one for you. This 5.8 mile trail offers stunning landscape views of majestic red rocks that the state park is known for. It leads to a beautiful rock formation at the end of the trail that resembles a lighthouse, and the state park has been compared to the beauty of the Grand Canyon. You and your horse are sure to have a great time.
For our advanced and adventurous riders and their steeds, you might enjoy the Permian Reef Trail. This 14.5 mile trail offers a challenging uphill battle that rewards you at the top with a stunning desert landscape. It’s located in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and is sure to impress you and your horse for years to come. Just be sure you both bring enough water!
Whether you borrow a horse for a day or bring your own horse, you’re sure to have a great equine excursion in Dallas. This is only scratching the surface of the choices you have in the area, but any of them will provide you with an excellent experience. If you’re a cowboy for life or just for a day, there’s something for everyone in Dallas, Texas.