Why Horseback Riding is the Best Fall Foliage Excursion

On my foliage trip to Asheville, NC I wanted to take part in some of the best leaf-peeping excursions. Of course, I wasn’t too sure what the best would be. However, upon my return, I can confidently say that my two favorite foliage attractions included the DuPont State Forest waterfalls, and Sandy Bottom Trails horseback riding.

Horseback Riding Foliage Tours: The Benefits

Horseback riding allows you to see the mountains from a different perspective than any other foliage tour. For one, it’s relaxing. Instead of hiking a 40 mile trail, you get to enjoy the foliage on horseback. This is great for seniors who want to see the mountains, but have a hard time taking an extended hike.

Another benefit of horseback riding is that you get to see a lot of different scenery in a few hours. You typically start off on a sloping mountain hill, that then treks through the forest, and rounds about the top of a mountain peak. Some horseback trails take you along winding streams, through sheep pastures and more. My horseback riding experience even stopped off for a break at small cave and Granite mine!

North Carolina Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding through Sheep Pastures in Asheville

Overall, horseback riding allows you to see the mountain peaks and colorful autumn leaves from a variety of perspectives. The ride can be mostly hands free, which allows you to snap pictures along the trail.

Is it Priceless? I think so. 

The cost of horseback riding varies by outfitter. For the most part, the rides stay between a certain price range based on the amount of time you sign up for.

  • 1 Hour Trail Ride $40+
  • 2 Hour Trail Ride $70+
  • 3 Hour Trail Ride $90+
  • Full Day Trail Ride $225

Many outfitters also provide a “Wagon and Buggy” trail ride. This is great for people who are not comfortable riding horses, or would prefer a more romantic ride. These rides range from $40-$90.

Asheville, NC Horseback Trail Guides

My horseback riding foliage excursion took place in Asheville, NC. Asheville is a great place for leaf peeping among the blue ridge mountains. There are many horseback outfitters in the Asheville region; a few well known guides include:

Booking your Horseback Riding Trip 
Most outfitters are willing to book your trip upon arrival. However, most guides prefer for you to call and book your trip at a minimum of 24-48 hours ahead of time. This ensures that there will be enough horses prepared during your desired departure time. During the busy foliage season, it’s best to book a week in advance. Don’t fret if you don’t meet the time 24-48 hour timeline, there are plenty of guides within the NC area that are eager to meet your needs!


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