Cabwaylingo State Forest, nestled in the heart of Wayne County, West Virginia, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Spanning over 12,000 acres, this sprawling forest offers an array of activities for visitors, including hiking, camping, fishing, and horseback riding. However, it is the horse trails that truly capture the beauty and essence of this hidden gem. In this article, we will explore the best horse trails at Cabwaylingo State Forest that are guaranteed to leave both riders and their noble steeds in awe.
1. Bowen Loop Trail: One of the most popular trails in Cabwaylingo, Bowen Loop Trail stretches approximately five miles through dense woodlands. This moderately difficult trail showcases breathtaking views of lush valleys and rolling hills, ensuring riders experience the ultimate sense of tranquility. The route passes crystal-clear streams and meadows, offering ample opportunities to spot various wildlife along the way.
2. Raccoon Branch Trail: For a longer and more challenging horseback riding adventure, Raccoon Branch Trail is a must-try. Covering around nine miles, this trail winds through the forest's rugged terrains, making it ideal for experienced riders seeking an adrenaline rush. As its name suggests, Raccoon Branch Trail follows a picturesque creek that is dotted with waterfalls and small pools—providing refreshing dips for both horses and riders on a hot summer day.
3. Balsinger Trail: A hidden gem within Cabwaylingo, Balsinger Trail is perfect for riders wanting a peaceful and secluded journey. Covering four miles, this trail weaves its way through a dense hardwood forest, offering participants a true wilderness experience. Be prepared to spot an abundance of wildlife, from whitetail deer to wild turkeys, as you navigate the narrow paths and gentle slopes of this enchanting trail.
4. Turkey Bear Trail: As the longest and most demanding trail in Cabwaylingo State Forest, Turkey Bear Trail is not for the faint-hearted. Covering an impressive 21 miles, this trail winds through diverse terrains, ranging from steep mountainsides to gentle valleys. Riders can immerse themselves in the forest's natural beauty, passing by majestic rock formations, babbling streams, and vast meadows. Although this trail demands endurance and skill, it promises an unforgettable adventure for experienced equestrians.
5. Road Fork Trail: Offering an excellent combination of scenery and accessibility, Road Fork Trail provides riders with a beautiful six-mile loop that can be easily accessed from the Cabwaylingo State Forest campground. This trail encompasses lush forests, open fields, and peaceful streams, allowing riders to experience the forest's diverse landscapes. The trail is well-maintained, making it suitable for riders of all skill levels, including beginners.
Before setting out on any horse trail, it is crucial to note that riders must bring their own horses and equipment. Additionally, trail etiquette should be observed to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Visitors are reminded to respect the forest's wildlife and vegetation, refrain from littering, and be mindful of any trail and weather conditions.
Cabwaylingo State Forest offers an unparalleled horseback riding experience for adventurers seeking to connect with nature. From challenging terrains to scenic landscapes, the forest's diverse trails cater to riders of all skill levels. So, saddle up and embark on an unforgettable equestrian journey through the best horse trails that Cabwaylingo State Forest has to offer.