Horseback Riding

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Horseback Riding

With our gently rolling woodlands, the Pennsylvania Wilds has many equestrian trails for horseback riding enthusiasts. The Allegheny National Forest and our State Parks and Forests maintain hundreds of miles horse trails available for public use. Feel the breeze in your air and take in the scenery!

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Equestrian Trails

Designated equestrian trails in the ANF and our State Parks offer many hours of excellent riding through a wide variety of landscapes and forest types.

Elk State Forest

Thunder Mountain Equestrian Trail

The Thunder Mountain Equestrian Trail in Benezette, running into Elk State Forest, is the most single used horseback trail in the state of Pennsylvania. Explore the scenic beauty of this wilderness trail where you just might catch a glimpse of whitetail deer or elk in the wild. Download the Thunder Mountain Equestrian Trail Map

Allegheny National Forest

Spring Creek Equestrian Trail

Horseback riding is allowed in most places across the Allegheny National Forest as long as riders do not mark, build, maintain, or tread-in a trail. The Spring Creek Equestrian Trail is a dedicated 40-mile horse trail near Marienville, off of Route 66. The trail begins at Kelly Pines and has loops of varying lengths to provide long or short horseback rides for visitors. Download the ANF Spring Creek Horseback Trail Map

Find a trail on public lands

For those with horses looking to explore the public lands of the Pennsylvania Wilds, it’s just a matter of learning where to go! Between our region’s state parks, state forests and the Allegheny National Forest (ANF), there are miles and miles of trails open to equestrians in the form of forestry roads, designated equestrian trails, and shared-use trails.


Check out this article for a complete list of public lands featuring equestrian trails!

Journeys & Landscapes


Allegheny National Forest and Surrounds

Covering more than 500,000 acres, the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) is Pennsylvania’s only national forest. It dominates the western end of the Pennsylvania Wilds and contains within it and around it some of the region’s most treasured places and experiences.


Cook Forest and the Ancients

Known as a land of giants because of the “forest cathedral” of ancient pines and hemlocks, this landscape is an ode to the majesty of the Pennsylvania Wilds and home to many of the tallest hemlock and pine trees in the Northeast. If an adventure among Cook Forest & The Ancients sounds mystifyingly exciting to you, rest assured that you’ll rest well during your exploration. So what are you waiting for? The Ancients are calling. Come see some of the tallest pine trees in the Northeast.


Dark Skies

Inspiring awe and delight, Dark Skies is home to the world’s second certified International Dark-Sky Park. Cherry Springs State Park is world-famous for being one the best places in the USA for stargazing and the study of astronomy. But these mesmerizing, star-filled skies are JUST the beginning.


Elk Country

Elk Country is a place that lives up to its name. Home to the largest free-roaming elk herd in the northeastern United States, Elk Country features two large visitor centers to welcome you. If you come to Elk Country for the elk, you won’t be disappointed. But if you stick around to see what’s all around you, you’ll be delighted you did.


I-80 Frontier

Whether you’re coming from the east, south or west, the I-80 Frontier is the quintessential welcome mat to the Pennsylvania Wilds. With its proximity to Pennsylvania’s southern population centers of Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, not to mention close by New York City, and Cleveland on the western side, it’s easy to plan a trip for each season. Home to forested state parks and storied towns and places, any given exit off the interstate is a surefire way to find and explore the natural and hidden wonders of the region.


Pine Creek Valley and The PA Grand Canyon

The Eastern Gateway to the PA Wilds...If it’s your first visit to the region, the PA Grand Canyon is a must see and one of the perfect ways to orient your mind and senses to the wonders of the Wilds. But once you’ve delighted in the Pine Creek Gorge views, you’ll soon discover that this scenic and unique landscape is best discovered from multiple vantage points.