The White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire is a true haven for horseback riders. With its stunning natural beauty, diverse terrain, and well-maintained trails, it offers equestrians a wealth of opportunities to explore and immerse themselves in nature. Whether you're a seasoned rider or a novice looking to experience the thrill of horseback riding, these top horse trails in the White Mountain National Forest are sure to leave you in awe.
1. Kancamagus Highway Trail: Known as one of the most scenic byways in the United States, the Kancamagus Highway (Route 112) also offers a wonderful trail for horseback riding. The trail stretches along the western edge of the White Mountain National Forest, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, rivers, and forests. This trail is perfect for riders of all skill levels and can be customized to suit your preferred distance and duration.
2. Zealand Road Trail: Located near the town of Twin Mountain, the Zealand Road Trail is a picturesque route that takes riders through the heart of the forest. This trail meanders along the Zealand River and is surrounded by lush trees, creating a serene and peaceful ambiance. Riders can enjoy the scenic beauty while leisurely exploring the area. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife, as the forest is home to deer, moose, and a variety of bird species.
3. Avalanche Falls Trail: For those seeking a moderate to challenging horseback ride, the Avalanche Falls Trail is a must-visit. Situated near the historic Mount Washington Hotel, this trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and a majestic waterfall. The trail is well-maintained but can be steep in some sections, requiring riders to have control over their horses. The reward, however, is worth it, as you'll be treated to the sight and sound of the cascading water as you ride.
4. Sugarloaf Trail: If you're looking for an exhilarating adventure and breathtaking views, the Sugarloaf Trail should be on your list. This trail is part of the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail System and takes riders to the summit of one of the White Mountains' iconic peaks. While the trail can be challenging, the panoramic vistas of the White Mountains and the forest below are well worth the effort. Experienced riders will appreciate the thrill of navigating the rocky terrain while taking in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
5. Rocky Gorge and Sabbaday Falls Trail: Located near the town of Conway, this picturesque trail offers equestrians the opportunity to explore two magnificent waterfalls. Starting near the scenic Rocky Gorge scenic overlook, riders can follow the trail to the stunning Sabbaday Falls. The easy-to-moderate trail offers a mix of wooded areas, river crossings, and beautiful views of the falls. It's a great choice for riders of all levels, particularly those looking for a more leisurely ride.
Before embarking on any trail in the White Mountain National Forest, be sure to check with the Forest Service or local equestrian groups for any trail restrictions or closures. Additionally, always practice leave-no-trace principles and be respectful of other trail users and the natural environment.
With its awe-inspiring landscapes, diverse trails, and ample opportunities for adventure, the White Mountain National Forest truly is a horse rider's paradise. Get ready to explore these top horse trails and create lifelong memories amidst the beauty of nature.