Appalachian Trail Rides was the perfect inaugural horseback riding adventure for our boys! My only complaint (I say in jest) is that the friendly guides, gentle horses and amazing experience has them officially hooked. I see a regular array of riding adventures – maybe even lessons – in our future.
If you are looking for a family excursion, a romantic getaway, or an outdoor adventure guaranteed for ideal memory-making then head to Appalachian Trail Rides. Here are five reasons we think you need to make reservation for this adventure NOW!
They’re very family-friendly
Appalachian Trail Rides loves kids. Children as young as 6 years old can join you on the trail ride. Since this was our kiddos first time on horses, I was a little nervous that the animals could sense their anxiety….but the horses they paired us with were gentle and loving, and they made our ride easy and fun.
There are group tours, private tours…one-hour tours and two-hour tours…lots of options. We took a one-hour private tour with Danielle, who’s been riding for over a decade. She was friendly and fun with the boys, who rode behind her, but ahead of us (mom and dad).
If your little one is younger than six, they can also enjoy the horses by taking an affordable pony ride. We didn’t do this, but we met the pony (and goat and donkey) at the stable. The boys loved petting them and visiting with them as we waited for our horses to be saddled.
They’re in Blue Ridge
You all know how much we love Blue Ridge; it’s our go-to North Georgia town. Since we live in the city now, it takes a little longer than we’d like, but a less than 2-hours from Downtown Atlanta this is an easy day trip.
We left early in the morning to make a 10:15 ride, and then we spent the rest of the day exploring. After your ride, chow down at Mystic Pizza… take a walk around Lake Blue Ridge… pick some fruit at Mercier Orchards… hike to Fall Branch Falls.
The options are endless, so if you feel like you need more time then make a weekend of it. Grab a cabin in the mountains, stay at the Blue Ridge treehouse, or stay right in the Downtown area where there is so much to enjoy.
The Trails Are Gorgeous
Appalachian Trail Rides sits on 250+ acres of gorgeous land, featuring creeks, wildlife and lush trees.
The land was originally set aside a few decades ago to be an equestrian neighborhood, but that never happened. When the horseback riding company bought it, there were a few paved roads, some electricity and water utilities….and tons of forest dotted with a few lakes and creeks. It’s spectacular!
I also loved that we were riding in the shade for the whole ride. Granted, it’s the end of June in Georgia – but the temp never climbed above 75 in Blue Ridge, and being in the shade that morning was delightful.
There’s More Than Just Trail Rides
One of the coolest things they offer is an experience called a Dinner Ride. You’ll take a hour-long trail ride, and end up by one of the property’s lakes where you’ll rest by the campfire, listen to live music, fish in the pond, and relax.
Then, dinner is served: your choice of ribs, pulled pork or smoked turkey served with two sides, roll and dessert. Vegetarian and kids options are also available.
If you’re looking for something special to say “Will you marry me?” then try the Proposal Ride. It stops at the gazebo (pictured above) and included sparkling cider.
I know many of you are concerned about COVID right now…but you still want to venture with the family.
Horseback riding with Appalachian Trail Rides is easy and safe. Even if you pick a group ride, you’re in the outdoors…safely spread out from other people.
While we are more risk tolerant than other families I know, I still feel like this would be a considered a safe, low-risk activity for those who are being super cautious. And it’s the perfect way to get the kids off their screens and into the great outdoors.
Disclosure: Thanks to Appalachian Trail Rides for hosting us. As always, opinions here are our own.
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.
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