Texas Travel

10 Ways to Explore Texas on Horseback

By Staci Parks 5.14.18

If you’re looking for wide-open spaces and close encounters with wildlife, these 10 trails, parks, and ranches are the best spots to experience Texas in a different way — on horseback.

Bandera Historical Rides

About an hour northwest of San Antonio, you’ll find rides for all skill levels. Explore the Medina River’s turquoise waters on a river ride or trot into town for a tour of the historic community.

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Deep canyons and desert mountains — see one of Texas’ most stunning natural wonders from atop a horse. Strike out on one of the park’s expansive trails for a few hours or plan a multiday adventure, lodging under the stars.  

Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway

Some of the park’s nearly 20 miles of riding trails will suit more experienced riders. Rugged terrain, drop-offs, and steep climbs and descents are found in some parts of the 14,000-acre riding area.

Cowgirls and Cowboys in the West

Make a temporary home on the range alongside the famed Route 66, and embrace Western culture with a trip to Amarillo’s Los Cedros Ranch. You can also revisit the Old West on the rim of Palo Duro Canyon.

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Take a guided tour or break free on your own throughout the park’s 100-acre South Primitive Area. Let your steed rest while you look for dinosaur tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River, a tributary of the Brazos River.

Fort Worth Stockyards Stables

Start out in the center of Cowtown at the Stockyards National Historic District. From there, you’ll trot down the Chisholm Trail, along the Trinity River, and back toward the stables framed by the city’s welcoming skyline.

Southfork Ranch

Ride like an oil tycoon at one of the world’s most famous ranches — complete with Texas longhorns in view. After your trail ride, take a tour of the “most famous white house west of D.C.” It’s what J.R. would have wanted.

South Padre Island Adventure Park

Take a two-hour ride along the beach with the colorful South Padre Island sunset as your backdrop. The route moves from the Gulf to the bay, with views of sea life and sand dune flowers along the way. Catch a glimpse of the moonlit waves during a night ride. But plan ahead: This special jaunt is only offered for the four days before and during a full moon.

Texas Trail Rides

Choose from two ranches, with more than 3,000 acres of trails, nestled in Texas’ Hill Country. Riders are encouraged to explore the ranches’ open fields and flowing creeks. Those with more experience on horseback will find a more advanced ride here.

Widowmaker Trail Rides

If you don’t want to drift too far from the city, head to Lake Grapevine, located northwest of Dallas and northeast of Fort Worth. Guides take you throughout Walnut Grove Trail’s 1,000 acres of thick woods, hills, and creeks.

Find more Texas adventure inspiration here.

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