Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area

Top Places to Go Horseback Riding

By Jim Meyer

If you are yearning for time in the saddle, head to one of these great stables for some trail time. 

Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area

Maryland is horse country—so take advantage and go for a guided ride, take a lesson or rent a horse and head out on an adventure. 

River Valley Ranch, Manchester
Rider with a horse at River Valley Ranch

River Valley Ranch has got it all for horse lovers, and guided trail rides through the scenic Carroll County countryside are just the start. River Valley is a great spot for lessons no matter what your age. The Saddle Club provides an introduction for kids into the world of horse ownership, and if that works out, River Valley does horse adoptions! Therapeutic riding sessions are amazing experiences for differently abled horse lovers. With riding arenas and more than 500 acres of trails River Valley Ranch is a horse lover’s dream!

Holly Ridge Farm Equestrian Center, Willards
Holly Ridge Farm Equestrian Center rider and horse

Get back to nature at the Holly Ridge Farm Equestrian Center. Just a few minutes from the hustle and bustle of Ocean City, Holly Ridge is perfect for a little getaway from your getaway. This beautiful sanctuary takes riders through forests of iconic Eastern Shore pine and towering cypress trees along the beautiful waters of the Pocomoke River. Trail rides are run all year long, and lessons are available from CHA certified instructors. 

Fairwinds Farm & Stables, Northeast
Fairwinds Farm Stables

Fairwinds Farm & Stables is the perfect horse-lover's escape. Just a short drive from Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Fairwinds is a full-service equestrian center with a gorgeous B&B onsite, so you never have to leave the farm! There’s also camping and overnight layup facilities if you are bringing your own horse. Indoor and outdoor riding rings complement great trails and a cross country course. If you can’t make a weekend of it, Fairwinds Farm is a great spot for birthdays and tea parties.

Circle R Ranch, Oakland
Horses at Circle R Ranch in Deep Creek Lake Country

This beautiful ranch in the hills of Garrett County is just minutes from Deep Creek Lake. Pull yourself away from the water for a day on the trails or, in winter, take an enchanting horse-drawn sleigh-ride through the freshly fallen snow. 

Waredaca Farm, Laytonsville
A Beautiful Horse at Waredaca Farm

This family farm on 200 acres in Laytonsville is just a short trip from downtown D.C. Waredaca offers top notch training and boarding facilities, lessons for all levels and ages, and, for the daring, classes in cross-country riding. Friendly Waredaca is also a great gateway to equestrian competition. 

Southern Grace Farm, Bel Alton
The long red barn at Southern Grace Farm

Once known as the old Spencer Farm, Southern Grace Farm was established in 1897. Today, it offers top-notch riding facilities in the heart of historic Southern Maryland. Trail riding, lessons and family fun “Pony Parties” make Southern Grace a great horse-lovers destination. Southern Grace is open—and beautiful—all year, but in fall, the trails make for magnificent horseback foliage tours. 

Elk Mountain Trails, Knoxville
Three horses at Elk Mountain Trails

The perfect highlight for any trip to Harper’s Ferry, Elk Mountain Trails offers mountaintop and riverside trailrides for novices and for true enthusiasts. The Sunday Morning Brunch Rides are a special treat and the moonlit dinner rides are truly unforgettable. And if you just can’t get enough saddle time, go for an all-day ride for an adventure along the Potomac. 

Windy Way Horses, Hurlock
Windy Way Horses

Trail riding, clinics and classes, they’re all here, but Windy Way offers a few more hard to find programs too. Differently abled riders will revel in the available Therapeutic Riding Lessons. If you are looking for a fun way to get fit, horseback exercise classes are a unique experience. And if you want to pamper your horse, or make sure he’s performing at his peak, Windy Way’s Equine Sports Massage Therapy program is a must. 

Piscataway Stable, Clinton
Horse and Riders head out at Piscataway Stable

Chickens and roosters wander free in this family-run stable lending Piscataway Stable a down-to-earth, homey feel. 250 acres of fields and forests make for great wildlife spotting mixed in with your riding. Foxes, owls, deer and hawks are frequent sights at Piscataway.