TRAILBLAZERS! Where To Get Your Horse Trail On In The Bay Area!
Goal: Letting everyone in on the not so secret places to trailer out and ride your horse in our beautiful Bay Area!
The Backstory: I’ll be honest ya’ TBL readers, I don’t trail ride often, not because I don’t want to, but because at current I don’t have a trailer. So my offsite experience has been limited to when I can find someone that has a trailer big enough to hold my beast, and the schedule and availability of the person trailering out. With that said, through my conversations with fellow horse riders, I hear there are great places to trail ride here on the Peninsula.
The Resolution: Below are the places here on the Peninsula I’ve been to. Please check the links I have provided and contact directly (if required) for places to park, and if dogs are allowed etc. before turning up with your horse and trailer.
1) Windy Hill Open Space Preserve –(http://www.openspace.org/preserves/windy-hill)
A nice open space to get a weekend ride. I will mention though, I was there during the summer months and the trail was a bit dry stony in some parts and steep. This area is also open to hikers so don’t be afraid to use your voice (“on your left”) when trotting by.
2) Wunderlich Park –(http://parks.smcgov.org/wunderlich-park-trails)
A very nice park! Lots of redwood trees! And long trails had a blast! Note: I would be very comfortable with your horse on the trails here …some of the trails were small in some places and there drop offs (Yikes! I know, and I’m not afraid of heights! But sit astride a 17h horse that you must maneuver, trust and skill go hand-in hand. Horses are allowed on most trails.
3) Half Moon Bay State Beach –(http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=531)
Awesome place to ride! The beach was wonderful! Don’t be fooled however! Not every horse likes water! Phury certainly did not! And alas will require training for the privilege of riding in the surf! But that aside I had a wonderful time! Also be aware that your sharing the beach with fellow beach visitor this means watch out for flying beach balls / Frisbees and flying lunch bags from picnic folks! for obvious reasons (spooking!) As well as call and find out where to park your trailer. My fellow trailblazer had her own secret park spot and we hiked the horses into the beach.
4) PG&E Trail –(http://www.redwoodhikes.com/Skyline/PGE.html)
Perfect to see the over the Bay Area on a summer’s day! This trail also links into the Rancho San Antonio Preserve ( http://www.openspace.org/preserves/rancho-san-antonio ) Lots of space here people to run-a-muck with your horse! I loved it! Its also popular with endurance rider for training. This is the best place to come during the week! But weekends can be crowded due to hikers again don’t be afraid to use your voice. The trails also very in difficulty so a confident trailblazer is advised. As of Wednesday January 13th Wildcat Canyon Trail is CLOSED until further notice and The Hammond-Snyder Trail is currently CLOSED to equestrian use as well as Quarry Trail which goes from the top of the PGE Trail to the Black Mountain Trail.
Below are other spots I have heard about but have yet to enjoy.
- Sam McDonald Park Trails (http://parks.smcgov.org/sam-mcdonald-park-trails)
- Long Ridge Preserve (http://www.openspace.org/preserves/long-ridge)
- Monte Bello Preserve (http://www.openspace.org/preserves/monte-bello)
- Russian Ridge Preserve(http://www.openspace.org/preserves/russian-ridge)
- Saratoga Gap Preserve (http://www.openspace.org/preserves/saratoga-gap)
- Skyline Ridge Preserve (http://www.openspace.org/preserves/skyline-ridge)
- Crystal Springs Reservoir Trail (http://www.traillink.com/trail/crystal-springs-reservoir-trail.aspx)
- Coyote Creek trail (http://www.traillink.com/trail/coyote-creek-trail-(san-jose).aspx)
- Devil’s Slide Trail (http://www.traillink.com/trail/devils-slide-trail.aspx)
- Contra Costa Canal Trail (http://www.traillink.com/trail/contra-costa-canal-trail.aspx)