Horseback Riding

Whether you are a novice or an expert horseback rider, there’s a place for you to explore in Jacksonville.

photo credit: The Radio Scout

Surrounded by nature preserves, parks and water, Jacksonville is an ideal spot to experience different outdoor activities that you’ve always wanted to try or even things you’ve never considered or heard of, and you can do it year-round. One of those activities that Jacksonville has to offer is horseback riding.

For those of you who have your own horses and can pack them up and take the show on the road, the Timucuan Parks Foundation has many different parks and preserves listed on their website that are located all around Jacksonville with equestrian accessible trails.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center

The JEC sits on part of the 2,000 acres of land given to the City of Jacksonville for recreational purposes. They are managed by a non-profit organization called the North Florida Equestrian Society who work hard to make the JEC run smoothly and effectively. They put on national events, have open schooling opportunities, RV and primitive camping spots, golf cart and paddock rentals, as well as information and resources regarding the Jacksonville equestrian community. The long trails connect to various other parks in the area.

Diamond D Ranch, Inc.

The ranch sits on an ample piece of land that has a history dating back to the 1800s. It’s the perfect place for horseback riders, outdoors enthusiasts, and people who just want to know more about horses and what it takes to run a ranch. They have a venue for weddings and other events, an educational field trip program, horseback riding lessons, birthday parties, and summer horse camp programs. They also have American Bison, Water Buffalo, Emus, Rheas, Deer, Sheep, Goats, Antelope and more on the property that you can visit and learn about while you’re there.

Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail

The trail extends from Imeson Road in Jacksonville to the town of Baldwin on a 100-foot-wide 14-mile-long paved trail. The abandoned railroad corridor was acquired in 1990 by the Department of Environmental Protection from CSX Transportation, Inc. and is part of the nation-wide and federally initiated “Rails to Trails” program. The equestrian portion of the trail was made to run parallel to the paved one to keep hikers, bikers, roller-bladders, and horseback riders safe and comfortable.

Betz Tiger Point Preserve

The preserve is set among all the beautiful scenery that a saltwater marsh has to offer. Unlike regular marshes, Betz Tiger Point has stunning scenic views and abundant saltwater wildlife. The preserve is home to miles of hiking trails and trails that are accessible to not only hikers and bikers, and horseback riders as well.

Cedar Point Preserve

The preserve is home to many beautiful hardwoods, Florida wildlife, and miles worth of trails that give visitors the most beautiful views of the saltwater marsh. The trails at the preserve are accessible to both hikers and horseback riders.

Julington-Durbin Preserve

The preserve is located on a peninsula that formed at the confluence of Julington and Durbin Creeks. Visitors can experience trails that range from floodplain marshes and swamps to the natural landscape and woodlands that Jacksonville has to offer. They have trails that are accessible to hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and places to launch your kayak into either Julington or Durbin Creek to paddle through the preserve.

Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve

The preserve is located within Duval and protects one of the largest areas of coastal uplands in the county. They have over 16 miles worth of trails that hikers, off-road bicyclists, and horseback riders can explore while being surrounded by beautiful Floridian scenery and wildlife.

Sal Taylor Preserve

The preserve contains some of the most heavily used trails, among all the parks, by equestrians. The preserve is part of the 406 acres of the Sal Property that was bought in 2001 by the City of Jacksonville. The preserve is accessible to hikers, kayakers, and horseback riders who can enjoy views of forest areas, swamps, blackwater streams, and wildflowers, that the preserve is known for, along the way.

Seaton Creek Historic Preserve

The Seaton Creek Historic Preserve is located on an 840-acre beautifully kept preserve in the Northside of Jacksonville. The park has three creeks with a kayak landing on one and three five-mile trails that are accessible to off-road bicyclists, hikers, and horseback riders with views of the surrounding forest areas and creeks that run through the preserve.