Horseback riding is another popular outdoor pursuit in Transylvania County. In Pisgah National Forest, there are roughly 100 miles of horseback trails. A visit to the Pisgah Forest Ranger Station and Visitors Center on U. S. 276 is recommended before hitting the trail, or call (828) 877-3265. Guided trips are also available at Pisgah Forest Stables, which is located two miles into the forest off U.S. 276 on Avery Creek Road. The facility offers one-hour and two-hour rides, a scenic three-hour ride and a three-hour waterfall ride. Riders must be ages 7 or older. The stables are open April 1 through Oct. 31, Monday through Saturday, and Sundays following holidays. For more information, call (828) 883-8258 or go to www.pisgahstables.com.
In DuPont State Recreational Forest, there are more than 82 miles of forest roads and trails open to horseback. The DuPont State Recreational Forest office may be reached at (828) 877-6527 or check out www.dupontforest.com.
In Gorges State Park, horses are allowed on the 12-mile roundtrip Auger Hole Trail from the Frozen Creek Access to Turkey Pen Gap on the park’s western boundary, and on the Heath Pine Ridge, Indian Camp and Wintergreen trails. Visitors must show proof of a negative equine infectious anemia test when visiting state parks with their horses. For more information about Gorges State Park, call (828) 966-9099 or go to www.ncparks.gov/gorges-state-park.
The following are some other options for horseback riding in the county:
•Cedar Mountain Horse Camp is located at 1649 Solomon Jones Road in Cedar Mountain. Call (803) 730-9960 or (803) 521-3614 or go to www.cedarmtnhorsecamp.com.
•Holly View Farm, which was established in 1991, is located on Lyday Loop Road in Pisgah Forest. The family-run farm offers camping and overnight stabling for horses, but doesn’t rent horses. For more information, call (828) 507-3763 or go to www.holly-view.com.
•The Whitewater Equestrian Center is located on N.C. 281 South near Sapphire. Short-term boarding is available as well as guided trail rides along old logging roads. Call (828) 966-9646 or go to www.funhorsebackriding.com.
•For those interested in watching or participating in horse-related competitions, a variety of events are held throughout the year at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center, located just down N.C. 280 in Fletcher. The agricultural center has more than 600 permanent stalls, while competitions are held in the 65,000-square-foot McGough Arena. For more information, call (828) 687-1414 or go to www.wncagcenter.org.