Learn who has the right of way before taking a mixed-use trail. Hint: horses rule!
Battle Ground horse trail.
Equestrian and horse at Lake Wenatchee.
Horses and their trailer at Battle Ground State Park.
Horseback riding is a popular park activity.

Horseback Riding

Most of Washington’s ocean beaches and several state parks allow equestrian activities, including sections of our long-distance trails. Horses can be terrific trail partners to their riders and an exciting thing to see for others on the trail.



Rules & safety

When a mountain bike, a horse and a hiker compete for a trail, things can get tricky. Though trail wisdom says downhill yields to uphill travel, horses always have right of way on mixed-use trails. Hikers and bikers should slow down and step to the downhill side, as spooked horses generally run uphill. Dog owners, please keep your pups under control. In the wild, canines prey upon equines, so an unruly dog can cause a horse or mule to spook, endangering everyone involved.

Getting started with Horseback Riding

Whether you are a seasoned rider or just interested in a day trip, there are many opportunities to explore state parks on horseback. Ride through the forests, along the shore or go for a long trek on one of the many state park trails. Often repurposed from old railroad beds, these trails feature gentle elevation changes and unparalleled scenery. 

Just want to give it a try? Horseback riding outfits abound in Washington. Book a tour or with a local guide or one of our on-site vendors. At Riverside State Park, check out PNW Guided Trail Rides. One, two, and three-hour rides are offered at Riverside year-round. To learn more and reserve a time, visit their website or Facebook. At Lake Wenatchee, Icicle Outfitters offers several options between Memorial Day and Labor Day. For more information, visit their website


Map & visitor guide

Use the Find a Park Page to see maps and visitor guides for a specific park.