Nipomo Horse Trails: Riding the SLO County Trails

Facing the development giant while preserving Nipomo horse trails, Ride Nipomo has triumphed in preserving the equestrian way of life in south SLO County. Enjoying the fruit of their labor is not just for residents, all equestrians can enjoy riding the Nipomo horse trails.

Working around housing developments has indeed posed a challenge. Yet, vigilantly standing their ground, Ride Nipomo Equestrian Trails Alliance is credited for establishing and maintaining the Nipomo horse trails.

Come ride along with me! Get your riding the SLO County Trails Hotsheet to get started and join the SLO Horse News Herd!

Nipomo horse trails provide a variety of experiences

  • Meander through trails set in Nipomo Regional Park
  • Enjoy a picnic at the monarch butterfly preserve
  • Amble along a vineyard trail
  • Mosey through the cool shade of eucalyptus trees
  • Cast a long glance at the panoramic view of agricultural fields
  • Greet fellow equestrians while winding through neighborhoods
  • Ride on sandy soil when muddy conditions prevail elsewhere

Cool ocean breezes provide an ideal riding climate year-round for all Nipomo horse trails. Trail terrain is mostly flat with sandy soil. There are a few small, steeper hills in the Regional Park, but most other hills encountered on Nipomo horse trails have a very gradual incline.

A picnic area complete with tie rails is set up at the Butterfly Preserve in the Trilogy neighborhood. It’s a beautiful spot to plan a lunch stop.

Nipomo Horse Trails

So, let’s get going. Where can you ride and where to stage for exploring the Nipomo horse trails?


Mosey through shady groves of Eucalyptus trees with access to Trilogy Bridle Trails.

Staging Area: A pull-out staging area is located on the south end of Sundale Way on the east side where it crosses Dawn Road. Easy in and out with a horse trailer. Multiple trailers can park on the east side of Sundale Way. No horse trailer parking on the west/residential side. One can also stage with horse trailer parking along the north side of Dawn Road at Sundale Way.

Trails to Access: Ride the main perimeter rail of Knollwood residential neighborhood and multiple interior side trails. The approximately three-mile ride perimeter trail is mostly flat with shade from trees. There are street crossings at the four entrances to the Knollwood neighborhood.

Access to Trilogy bridle trails is along Dawn Road going one long block west to Via La Concha with two street crossings. Horse trail signage directs riders to Trilogy.

Trilogy Bridle Trails

Explore a diverse trail system with a vineyard trail, a monarch butterfly preserve nestled in a Eucalyptus grove, or ride along the bluffs overlooking fertile agricultural fields. A picnic area complete with horse tie rails is situated near the butterfly preserve.

Trilogy Bridle Trails Staging Areas:

1) Water Treatment Plant: A permanent equestrian trailer parking area within Trilogy is by the water treatment plant in the Southwest corner off Via Entrada Road. To get there, enter Trilogy off Hwy 1 onto Via Entrada and turn right at Woodlands Self Storage then turn right to the Equestrian parking lot staging area. Please note: The staging area is asphalt and large equipment trucks could be present.

Staging area Mesa Road and Viva Way pic credit: Stormy Knight

2) Mesa Road and Viva Way staging area sets you up at the entrance to the Trilogy development. This gives you access to the vineyard trail, the bluffs and the Trilogy perimeter trail.

Trilogy Trails to Access:

The bluff trails: A beautiful bluff overlooking Santa Maria farmland is accessed to the south of the equestrian staging area. Ride the perimeter of the bluff ridge and connect back to the trails throughout Trilogy. The bluff trails take you through unspoiled grasslands offering panoramic views of the ocean and the fertile farm fields below.

Trilogy Trails: Go north from the staging area to pick up the trails around and within Trilogy. Ride the perimeter of Trilogy to saunter alongside well-manicured golf courses on the other side you can connect to Knollwood #1 trails or continue to explore the perimeter.

Heading east along the south side of Via Concha Road takes you to the Monarch Butterfly Preserve nestled within a Eucalyptus grove. A tie rail and picnic benches provide a lovely spot for a lunch stop here in the preserve.

The Vineyard trail (parallels Via Vista) connects off the east side of the monarch butterfly preserve. Continue down along the vineyard trail to reconnect with the perimeter trail at the east entrance of Trilogy at the corner of Mesa Road and Viva Way (also a staging area). From there, head south to Banneker Place road then head west to connect with the bluffs trails or finish off the Trilogy Perimeter trail.

Nipomo Regional Park

Nipomo Regional Park Trails Pic credit: Stormy Knight

Staging Area: To get to the staging area, enter the park either on the north end off Pomeroy or the South East end off of West Tefft. If using the West Tefft entrance be sure to stay in the far-right lane going through the stoplight to turn into the park.

The staging area is on the West side of the park road across from the playing fields and near the new tennis courts. There is a large turnout overflow parking area. See yellow box in picture above. Be aware, this is overflow parking. It is possibly shared with other cars so park accordingly.

Trails to access: Explore the main perimeter trail and wander through the myriad of internal trails all connecting and meandering through the park. Oak trees and shrubs provide intermittent shade protection and wind blocks. The terrain is mostly flat with some short steeper hills. The sandy footing holds up well in wet weather. A flat round open space can work as a small arena. However, this arena area is not fenced.

Native Garden Equestrian Trail
pic credit: Stormy Knight

Access to the Native Garden (northern tip of Regional Park) is across a main road. Equestrian trail options are limited in the Native Garden area as horses only have access to the perimeter trail. The trail does not circle the gardens.

The red X’s on each end in pic to right indicate equestrian trial entrance.

Go explore the variety of options awaiting for you in Nipomo. Please thank fellow equestrians at Ride Nipomo Equestrian Trails Alliance for saving the equestrian lifestyle and preserving and maintaining the Nipomo horse trails.

Many thanks to the people of Ride Nipomo and Stormy Knight for their assistance with information about riding the trails in Nipomo.

Photo credit: Sharon Jantzen Photos

Get going! Looking for trails to ride in SLO County? This hotsheet will get you going on a few of the top rides. Get this delivered to your e-mail and join the SLO Horse News herd to stay up-to-date on herd happenings. Click here > SLO County Trails Hot Sheet to get going!

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