State Park Horse Trails — Park Entry Permit Required
NEBRASKAland article on Horsback Rides
Trails Brochure (current updated brochure coming soon)
Pine Ridge Trails
Indian Cave State Park
This Park has 3,052 rugged acres bordering the Missouri River and 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. We suggest you carry in drinking water and 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.
Branched Oak State Recreation Area
Branched Oak has 6+ 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 to 3 days prior to arrival.
Pawnee State Recreation Area
Pawnee provides a nice ride with 6 miles of multi-purpose trails that take riders on a scenic route around the lake. For those that 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.
Two Rivers State Recreation Area
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.
Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area
Lewis and Clark offers 6.5 miles of heavily wooded and scenic lake overlook trails. A campground has been developed which includes corrals for the horses, water, restrooms, and picnic areas.
Niobrara State Park
Niobrara State Park does not offer specific horse trails, but provides scenic open riding. The park offers places to primitive camp and there is no water. The horse camp does provide one larger corral with room to hold a few horses. This corral works well for horses that are accustomed to each other.
Willow Creek State Recreation Area
Willow Creek State Recreation Area provides 9 miles of hiking and horseback trails around the 700 acre lake. The area does provide a horse campground with electrical camp pads and corrals for your horses. In addition, a horse group camp with two barbless wire fence corrals is available on a first come first serve basis.
Rock Creek Station State Historical Park
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 Glenn 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.
Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area
Calamus does not offer specific horse trails, but does offer 12,000 acres of area to ride. This area does not have a horse camp, but there are private campgrounds/outfitters that allow guests to bring their own horses and camp and ride. See the Places to Stay with Horses in Nebraska.
Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail
Located in the northern tier of Nebraska, starting in Norfolk and going to Valentine. There is no camping on the Cowboy Trail, however, many communities will provide users with camping, restroom and shower facilities.
Fort Robinson State Park
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 location. 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) or 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 not a far trailer ride away (See Pine Ridge Trail brochure included).
Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area near Ogallala will be featuring a new Equestrian Campground at Cedar Vue Campground. Cedar Vue Campground will have new electrical camp pads with corrals and water for both horse and rider. Equestrian Campground users will have access to a shower house facility and the unique beach riding experience along the shoreline of Nebraska's largest reservoir.