Tuesday ยท July 11, 2023
Cedar River National Grassland: Top Horse Trails | July 2023
Author: Admin

Located in northeastern Iowa, Cedar River National Grassland offers horse enthusiasts a breathtaking and unforgettable experience. With its sprawling grassland, picturesque woodlands, and diverse wildlife, this hidden gem has become a popular destination for equestrians seeking exciting trails and amazing views. If you're a horse rider or simply a nature lover, here are the top horse trails in Cedar River National Grassland that you shouldn't miss.


1. Foster Trail:

The Foster Trail is a 12-mile loop that meanders through the heart of the Cedar River National Grassland. Offering a moderate difficulty level, this trail showcases the area's scenic beauty, including grassland vistas, forested areas, and the gentle flow of the Cedar River. You'll also come across abundant wildlife, such as deer and a variety of bird species. The trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, making it suitable for riders of all experience levels.


2. Highlandville Trail:

For a more challenging ride, the Highlandville Trail is perfect. This 15-mile loop takes riders through mixed forests, verdant valleys, and rolling hills, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Be prepared for a few steep sections that will test your horsemanship skills. Along the way, you may encounter turkey, foxes, and maybe even a shy bobcat. The scenic beauty and peaceful atmosphere make this trail well worth the effort.


3. Lick Creek Trail:

Don't miss the opportunity to explore the Lick Creek Trail, an 8-mile loop that highlights the diversity of Cedar River National Grassland. A mix of woodland, prairie, and wetland areas, this trail will take you past tranquil streams and through open meadows vibrant with wildflowers. Keep an eye out for various bird species, including eagles and hawks soaring above, as well as an occasional fox or coyote. With its flat terrain and well-groomed paths, the Lick Creek Trail is suitable for riders of all levels.


4. Otter Creek Trail:

If you're seeking a longer adventure and are an experienced rider, the Otter Creek Trail is a must-do. This 18-mile trail provides a challenging ride through a diverse landscape, including wetlands, hardwood forests, and open prairies. As you weave through nature's wonders, you might spot deer, raccoons, or even a playful river otter. It's essential to pack plenty of water and provisions, as there are no water sources or facilities along the way.


5. River Valley Trail System:

The River Valley Trail System is a network of multi-use trails that winds along the scenic Cedar River. With various trail options ranging from easy to moderately challenging, you can tailor your ride to your preferences and skill level. The trails offer stunning views of the river and connect to other trails in the area, providing endless opportunities for exploration.


Remember, when riding in Cedar River National Grassland, it's essential to respect the land, its wildlife, and other trail users. Always yield to hikers and bikers and practice Leave No Trace principles, ensuring that you leave the trails and surroundings as you found them. Also, check trail conditions and weather forecasts before heading out, as certain sections may be closed or inaccessible during inclement weather.


So, saddle up, pack your gear, and get ready to explore the top horse trails in Cedar River National Grassland. Whether you're an equestrian seeking an exciting ride or a nature lover in search of tranquility, these trails promise unforgettable experiences amidst breathtaking natural beauty.