Horseback riding can be a most enjoyable and relaxing way to experience the beauty of Nebraska. State parks throughout Nebraska have extensive equestrian trails, and many have equestrian campgrounds, as well. Some locations even offer trail rides where horses can be rented.
Trails and facilities
The following parks have both equestrian trails and facilities for camping with horses:
Branched Oak has more than six miles of interlocking multi-purpose trails that meander through trees, open grasslands and scenic overlooks on the south side of the lake. A horse camp is located in Area 2 (Homestead Campground) which offers 15 electrical rock pad campsites, water, restrooms, grills, picnic facilities, an accessible mounting ramp, hitching posts and corrals. Half of the electrical sites may be reserved up to 1 year prior to arrival.
Learn more about Branched Oak
This trail is located in northern Nebraska, starting in Norfolk and ending in Valentine. There is no camping on the Cowboy Trail, although many communities will provide users with camping, restroom and shower facilities.
Learn more about the Cowboy Trail
The combination of an equestrian campground and scenic horse trails makes Danish Alps State Recreation Area a great destination for horse enthusiasts. The area offers 14 horse corrals, hitching posts and water within the equestrian campground. A horse trail encircles most of the lake.
Learn more about Danish Alps
Fort Robinson is located in Nebraska’s Pine Ridge in Northwestern Nebraska. It is truly a horse rider’s paradise and Nebraska’s premier horse destination. It offers 22,000 acres with many miles of trails and fire service roads to ride. Fort Robinson provides great accommodations for both horse and rider. You can put your horse up in one of many stalls available in the large barns at Fort Robinson. While your horse enjoys comfortable accommodations, the rider may kick back in one of the many campsites (primitive to full hookups). For those that don’t wish to camp, lodge rooms and beautiful spacious cabins for groups and/or individuals are available to enjoy (reservations are recommended). For more riding, the Pine Ridge offers U.S. Forest Service – Nebraska National Forest land that provides many more miles of trails at the Wood Reserve adjacent to the Fort and many more trails a short trailer ride away.
Learn more about Fort Robinson
This park consists of 3,052 rugged acres bordering the Missouri River. It is a pristine area devoted to camping, hiking, backpacking, picnicking and horseback riding. Indian Cave boasts 12 miles of equestrian trails and has an established horse camp for private horses in the park. Riders should carry drinking water; there are several locations in the park to obtain water. A water wagon is available for horses. Amenities include toilets, grills, tables, hitching posts and 12 corrals.
Learn more about Indian Cave
Lewis and Clark offers 6.5 miles of heavily wooded and scenic lake overlook trails. A campground has been developed with corrals for the horses, water, restrooms and picnic areas.
Learn more about Lewis and Clark
Fort Kearny State Historical Park now offers trail rides beginning at the boy scout campground and traveling through the long grass prairie on the north side of the campgrounds and lakes in a ~3 mile loop. Please call Christine Wilson at (308)320-4908 for reservations.
Learn more about Fort Kearny
Niobrara State Park offers 120 acres of free range riding as opposed to designated trails. The equestrian campground provides primitive camping with one corral that will hold several horses. The corral works well for horses that are accustomed to each other. Campground is first-come, first serve and includes non-modern restroom, picnic table and grill. Water will need to be bucketed to this area.
Learn more about Niobrara
Pawnee provides a nice ride with 6 miles of multi-purpose trails that take riders on a scenic route around the lake. For those who wish to camp with their horses, Pawnee offers a primitive camp that includes picnic tables, drinking water, fire rings and pit toilets. The area has mature trees that provide plenty of shade.
Learn more about Pawnee
Rock Creek Station is where James Butler Hickok, “Wild Bill,” killed David McCanles and began his bloody career as a gunfighter. Today, the park is rich in history, which is displayed at the Burlington Northern Visitor Center. The area provides a horse camp that includes 20 individual corrals that are set in groups of 4, water for horse and rider, picnic tables and grills, and the historical park provides 5 miles of trails. Adjacent to Rock Creek Station is Rock Glen Wildlife Management Area that provides many more miles of riding. However, it should be noted that the Wildlife Management Area’s main function is wildlife-related and riders are asked to observe special riding regulations for this area.
Learn more about Rock Creek Station
Two Rivers offers open riding as opposed to specific trails around the 320 acres of sandpit lakes. A horse staging and camping area is available. Picnic tables and hitching posts are available at the horse staging area. Horses must not be left unattended at the staging area. A 50-gallon drum is available for water for the horses.
Learn more about Two Rivers
Willow Creek State Recreation Area provides 9 miles of hiking and horseback trails around the 700-acre lake. The area offers a horse campground with electrical camp pads and corrals. In addition, a horse group camp with two barbless wire fence corrals is available on a first-come first-serve basis.
Learn more about Willow Creek
Guided trail rides
The following parks offer guided trail rides where horses can be rented:
- Buffalo Bill State Historical Park
- Chadron State Park
- Eugene T. Mahoney State Park
- Fort Robinson State Park
- Indian Cave State Park
- Niobrara State Park
- Platte River State Park
- Ponca State Park
Pricing by location can be found on our park lodging, camping and activity pricing page.