Horseback Riding

Over thirty miles of forest roads can be used for horseback riding in the Duke Forest, but riders are encouraged to investigate parking opportunities and the suitability of surface conditions prior to riding. The following caveats apply:

  1. The Duke Forest does not allow horseback riding on dirt foot trails.
  2. The Duke Forest roads are graveled to withstand heavy truck traffic; gravel sizes may not be suitable for horses.
  3. The Duke Forest does not maintain parking lots for trailers or stables for horses.

Please observe the following guidelines for horseback riding in the Duke Forest:

  1. Stay on the graded roads. These are maintained for access by motor vehicles. Authorized vehicular access is permitted for students and faculty with teaching or research projects, maintenance vehicles and harvesting equipment. Yield to vehicles you encounter in the Forest.
  2. Do not use foot trails. Most foot trails on the Forest are not regularly maintained, nor were they designed to stand up to the impact from horseback riding. For your safety and the protection of the environment, do not use these footpaths.
  3. Limit your riding to dry weather. The maintained roads are generally adequate for horse traffic except in wet weather when hoofs can damage non-graveled, muddy soils.
  4. Enter the Forest only at gated roads. They are marked by green posts with white lettering. Do not enter the Forest from adjacent stables, power lines, or other clearings.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings. Be alert to possible pedestrians, dogs, cyclists, maintenance equipment, and staff and researcher vehicles.

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