Horse Riding in the Valley

Trail Information

Information, Maps, etc. for Riding Locations.


The Northern Virginia area has tremendous riding opportunities. Many county and state parks have equestrian trails that can be reached with a short trailer ride; other locations will require longer trailering times.

Our objective for this section is to provide as much information on as many locations as we can. We will provide a map when available (in some cases there will be a link to another site) and information as to difficulty of the trails, type and length of trails, any special rules you need to know, any particular problems you may encounter, etc.

Please let us know about any inaccuracies you find or any additional information you may feel will be a help to other riders. If you have a favorite site, let us know and we will try and include it.

NOTE: PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR HORSE AROUND YOUR TRAILER AT ALL LOCATIONS.

It doesn't matter if it is a paved or grassy parking lot, leaving manure behind is a really good way for equestrians to lose riding privileges.

The following trails have been used frequently by CHS members. Many have been used for CHS organized monthly rides.


Manassas National Battlefield Park
(http://www.nps.gov/mana/)
Located at the intersection of Routes 29/234 near Manassas, VA. The Battlefield is a great place to ride with approximately 20 miles of trails and access to the trails in Bull Run Regional Park (by going under I-66). NOTE: You must have a PARK PASS to ride the trails (passes can be purchased at the Visitor Center.). Maps are available from the Visitor Center off Route 234, and there is a fee to use the trails. There are two designated parking lots for horse trailers. Trails are well marked, mostly flat and well maintained. Riders must stay on the trails and be alert to hikers with dogs and small children. To do the entire trail system riders have to cross Route 29 and/or Route 234. There are streams to cross (after heavy rains, some can be difficult to cross), wooded areas, open areas, and a few highways to cross on some of the loops. We have more detailed safety information in last section on this page. An excellent map of the park showing the equestrian trails, trailer parking, etc. is available at http://battlefieldequestriansociety.org/maps/Horsetrails2.pdf


Fountainhead Regional Park
Located on Hampton Road, off Route 123 North of Lorton, VA. Maps are available from Clifton Horse Society and there is no fee to ride the horse trails. Parking is about two miles in from the entrance and is asphalt. The trails run along the Occoquan River. They pass through majestic mature forests, over picturesque creeks, and through large stands of rhododendron. The main parking lot in the park is open year around. Restrooms and picnic tables are available.
Click here for a map of the equestrian trails

Bull Run Regional Park
Located at the end of Bull Run Road off of Route 29 South of Centreville, VA. There is no fee to enter the park for residents of Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties, cities of Alexandria, Clifton, Vienna, Falls Church. Sometimes on the weekends the park does collect a small entrance fee from other locations. There is a designated horse trailer parking lot about ½ mile after an immediate left turn after you pass the Gate House. (Look for the kiosk at the parking area). The trails are about 8 miles in length and are flat and well maintained. Be prepared to encounter hikers with children and dogs. The trails are well marked with painted blazes. For those adventurous riders, you can cross Bull Run on the Colonial Pipeline, ride under Route 66 and enter Manassas Battlefield Park trails (remember, though, you still need a pass to ride at the Battlefield). Bull Run Park is Mile Zero or Mile 18 (depending on where you begin/end) of the blue-blazed Bull Run-Occoquan Trail. The park is open year round, but caution has to be taken when riding mid-November to early January as the park hosts The Festival of Lights for the holidays. Please stay on the designated horse trails. (Click here for a map and information regarding riding the trails at Bull Run Regional Park)


Shenandoah River State Park
Located off Route 340 north of Luray, VA. Maps are available at the entrance. There is a small fee to enter the park, payable at the entrance gate. There is a designated horse trailer parking lot about ½ mile in from the entrance on the left. The trails are about 8 miles in length and are well marked. The trails are flat to slightly hilly and well maintained. They are multi-use trails. The park is open year around.


Pohick Bay Regional Park
Located off Gunston Road near Lorton, VA. Maps are available from Clifton Horse Society. There is no fee to enter the park for residents of Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties; all others may have to pay a $4.50 per vehicle day rate. Approximately 10 miles of well-marked and well-maintained trails. Trails range from flat to rolling hills. The trail along the Bay may reveal eagles and other wildlife. The park is open all year. - Pohick Bay Information.


Great Falls Park
Located off Georgetown Pike north of the Capital Beltway near the American Legion Bridge. Maps are available at the entrance or at the Visitor Center. There is a small fee to enter the park, payable at the gate (unless you have a Golden Age Pass). There is a designated horse trailer parking lot about ½ mile in from the entrance on the right. The trails are about 4 or 5 miles in length, but riders can follow the River Trail upstream to Riverbend Park and back. They are multi-use trails. The park is open all year. For a copy of the map visit Great Falls Park


Lake Anna State Park
Located in Spotsylvania, VA. Maps are available at the entrance. There is a small fee to enter the park. There is a designated horse trailer parking lot straight in from the entrance and on your left. The park has 10 miles designated as shared, multiple-use trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. They pass over moderate terrain through mixed hardwood and pine forest. Trails range from easy to more difficult and are well marked. The park is open all year.


James River State Park

James River State Park website
Located in Buckingham, VA. Maps are available at the entrance. There is a small fee to enter the park. There is a designated horse trailer parking lot, check with the ranger as to location. The park has about 18 miles of trails that are very well marked and very well maintained and are flat to rolling hills. They have horse camping accommodations as well for individuals or groups.


Fort Valley Stable
(http://www.fortvalleystable.com/)
Located at southern end of the Shenandoah Valley near Edinburgh. On camp property there is a series of wooded trails that offers one or more hours of easy riding. There are some rocky areas that are not too bad, but generally most trails are very rocky and many steep. If horse is barefoot, recommend trail boots. The trails are well marked with paint blazed on the trees, and a color-coordinated map is provided. There are other trails that are more challenging. There is a small day-use fee or you can camp with your horse for one night or a week.


Blandy Experimental Farm
www.virginia.edu/blandy
Click on Visit for bridle trail information and a copy of the trail map. Please note the directions for people coming with horse trailers). You can also see more bridle trail information here: https://blandy.virginia.edu/sites/blandy.virginia.edu/files/bridle_trail.pdf


Horse Camping

Finally, are you thinking of camping with your horse? Visit this guide to help you find the resources you will need: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/blog/a-complete-guide-to-horse-camping-at-virginia-state-parks

Riding Safely at Manassas Battlefield

Ride the Quadrants!
The Park and BES both recognize the potential safety problems associated with crossing the main roads that divide the Manassas National Battlefield into four quadrants. Equestrians are reminded that there is parking available at two locations that offer excellent self-contained loop trails:

• In the SE quadrant - Park at Portici and ride the Portici Loop.
• In the NW quadrant - Park at Groveton and ride the Matthews Hill Loop.

The remaining quadrants (SW and NW) have excellent trails that, with backtracking, can be used without crossing the main roads. We encourage equestrians to consider riding in a manner that will be significantly safer than playing in traffic. BES continues to work with the Park to find additional safe routes that can contribute to the enjoyment of this bridle trail system

Courtesy of the Battlefield Equestrian Society

 

Manassas National Battlefield Park Notes

• The Park has two authorized horse trailer parking areas. (Please do not park horse trailers in other lots within the Park and please stay on the pavement. Parking/unloading on the grass may result in a ticket! Also, please clean up before you leave - i.e., scoop the poop and take it with you!)

--The Groveton Cemetery parking area is located on Route 29 at the intersection of Groveton Road and Route 29.
--The Vandor parking area is on the Portici Loop along the access road which parallels Rt 66 between Strayer and the Virginia Welcome Center.

• BES has created and published a new bridle trail map which is available at the Visitors' Center. Please note the following name changes:

--The portion of the trail system that used to be called the Cornell Loop is now called the Matthews Hill Loop
--The portion of the trail system that used to be called the Wheeler Loop is now called the Portici Loop

The names were changed to reflect the farms that were here during the Civil War and not the farms that were located here when the land was obtained by the NPS.

Courtesy of the Battlefield Equestrian Society