The Central Coast is full of wonderful places ready to be explored – especially on horseback – practically in our backyards. Now is the time to make some plans to get out and enjoy all that SLO County trails have to offer.
SLO County Trail Ride Options
Ride along as we take a look at some of the trail riding options here in SLO County:
Coastal Trail Rides
Montana de Oro State Park
Known throughout the region as the crown jewel of the Central Coast. Offering a variety of terrain and views, one can enjoy ocean vistas, beach access, mountain trails and quiet Eucalyptus forest trails. Day trips and overnight camping trips are available to equestrians year-round. Overnight camping does require reservations, but daily access to Montana de Oro trails is available to everyone. Get going! Montana de Oro trail guide and details are here >
Pismo Dunes Natural Preserve
A beach and a horse – is there a better picture? We think not. The tourists think not too! You will find yourself becoming a local celebrity as people snap pictures of you enjoying a ride on the packed sand while the ocean spills onto the shore. Not only can you drink in the scenery of an open beach, open sky and constant waves you can also explore the hobbit-like Pismo Dunes Natural Preserve. This area takes you away from the high-traffic area of the beach and into a quiet section where vegetation lines the trails and a tree canopy forest awaits your arrival . . . Get going! Pismo Dunes Natural Preserve details and directions are here >
Beach riding can be a unique source of bugaboos so be forewarned, you must be prepared. Get tips on preparing for your beach riding adventure here >
You can see for miles and miles from the crest of this private-turned-community-owned property. The Land Conservancy is working to transform Pismo Preserve from a 900-acre private ranch above Pismo Beach into a public preserve for outdoor recreation and community enjoyment. Equestrians, hikers and bikers will enjoy the trails currently being built. A full-service parking lot complete with an equestrian staging area has been created, but equestrians must reserve a parking spot before exploring the Pismo Preserve.
Inland Trail Rides
Santa Margarita Lake Trails
A nature lover’s preserve is awaiting your visit on horseback. Wild animals, meadows, tree forests, rock formations, lake views and lake front trails are all ready for you at Santa Margarita Lake. Plan a ride in the Spring to see the wildflowers dance alongside the trail. A cool breeze rising off the lake will refresh you in the Summer. There are trails on either side of the lake ready to be explored. Get Going! Santa Margarita Lake trail ride information can be found here >
Black Bear Equestrian Camp – Lopez Lake
Tucked away at the far end of Lopez Lake campground is Black Bear Equestrian Camp. Here riders and their horses can camp under the shade of huge oak trees. Corrals, port-a-potties, water and cooking pits are all provided. Easy access to Lopez Lake riding trails is a key feature of Black Bear Equestrian Camp. Can’t stay a weekend? No problem, equestrians can trailer in and park along the road and enjoy the Lopez Lake trails which provide Lake views, mountain trails and sweeping vista views. Get Going! Black Bear Equestrian Camp and Lopez Lake trail information can be found here >
A horseback ride in the Cass Winery vineyard and extended into the dry riverbed for a longer ride, ending with a wine tasting or a meal back at the winery are key ingredients of great horseback riding memories. Group trail rides can be arranged. If you don’t have a horse or need extra for friends, guided trail rides are also offered through Central Coast Trailrides. Get more info on rides at Cass Winery here >
Get Going! Explore the wonder and beauty of the SLO County trails from the best place on earth, the back of a horse. To get you going, we have developed a FREE Hot Sheet that will direct you to a few SLO County trail ride stories. We’ll continue to add trail ride stories to our website. You can stay up-to-date by becoming a SLO Horse News herd member. Get your Riding the SLO County Trails Hot Sheet here >.