There are a number of places to go horseback riding near Maggie Valley, North Carolina. This beautiful natural area is located right in the center of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s one of the most beautiful areas in the world to go horseback riding. You can see wildlife, mountains, valleys, waterfalls, beautiful forest scenes and creeks along most of these horseback riding trails.

Our Picks for the Best Trail Rides Near Maggie Valley

Maggie Valley Horseback Riding: Cataloochee Ranch

Cataloochee Ranch offers trail rides for beginning to advanced horse riders. They also offer a wide range of options for your trail ride, from their Hemphill Bald Trail (the ‘crown jewel’ of their trail rides) to the scenic Salamander Creek Trail, which winds down a an old wagon trail, past a waterfall and creek, through forests, open vistas and a chestnut orchard. Hemphill Bald Trail Ride will have you reaching the highest point on the ranch, for the most panoramic mountain views. Half-day rides depart at 9:30 am and 2:00 pm. Rides typically last for two or two and a half hours, but there are shorter lead-times available for younger children. Customized private rides are also available if you book in advance. The youngest age allowed for riders is eight years old, with a minimum weight limit of 55 pounds and a maximum weight limit of 225 pounds. Advance reservations are required for all rides.

Other things you may be interested in at the ranch include wildflower walks, bird watching, hikes and wagon rides. During the winter, Cataloochee Ranch is one of the area’s prime snow skiing and snowboarding destinations. Cataloochee Ranch is located in the heart of Maggie Valley, just off Soco Road/Highway 19.

Maggie Valley Horseback Riding: Panther Creek Outfitters

Panther Creek Outfitters is another great place to go horseback riding in Maggie Valley, NC. This ranch showcases beautiful American Paint Horses, a colorful icon of western heritage. These family-oriented stables are easy to find, located just off Interstate 40, 63 Broken Wheel Road in nearby Clyde, North Carolina. Proudly offering “horseback riding for the entire family,” Panther Creek Outfitters offers one-hour, two-hour, three-hour and longer rides upon request, with a 240-pound weight limit. The Panther Creek Outfitters also offer full hunting guide services, meal provisions and overnight camping, for which any necessary equipment will be provided. Panther Creek Outfitters are proud members of the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Maggie Valley Horseback Riding: Cataloochee Horse Camp

Favored by horseback riding enthusiasts, the Cataloochee Horse Camp is set in lovely Cataloochee Valley, within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It offers access to the Rough Fork and Caldwell Fork Trails, among several others. Enjoy primitive-woods camping at this site. You’ll find hitching racks, horse stalls and a horse-watering station, as well as campfire rings, pit toilets and a picnic area. There is no potable water and there are no electricity hookups at this primitive site. Cataloochee Horse Camp is a great place to go hiking or horseback riding, as well as backcountry fishing and wildlife viewing (The park is a black bear habitat. You may see bear, elk and many other types of wildlife). There is a ranger station less than one mile away. Learn more about this horse camp and many other attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at

Maggie Valley Horseback Riding: Additional Trail Rides

Other places in the Maggie Valley area to find horseback riding trails, gear, stables, horses and related activities, include:

  • Arrowmont Stables and Cabins, Cullowhee, NC
  • Carolina Outfitters, Bryson City, NC
  • Deep Creek Boarding Stables, Bryson City, NC
  • Fontana Riding Stables, Robbinsville, NC
  • Nantahala Village Riding Stable, Bryson City, NC
  • Queen’s Farm Stables, Waynesville, NC
  • Running Fox Farms, Topton, NC
  • Smokemont Riding Stable, Cherokee, NC

Where to Stay When You Go Horseback Riding in Maggie Valley

Stay at the legendary Meadowlark Motel when you go horseback riding in Maggie Valley. You’ll be located just minutes from Cataloochee Ranch, and a short drive from all the other horseback riding trails and stables mentioned above. Meadowlark features excellent accommodations, from spacious guest rooms to a quaint cottage or a cozy cabin right on the banks of scenic Jonathan Creek in the heart of Maggie Valley. You can walk to nearby restaurants and shops. The motel has a seasonal outdoor pool and offers complimentary Wi-Fi and continental breakfast to all overnight guests. Select accommodations feature kitchenettes and jetted tubs. They have a large outdoor pavilion and outdoor furniture, which is great for enjoying hot dogs, hamburgers, marshmallows and steaks on picnic tables by the rushing creek. Time your horseback riding vacation to coincide with one of the great annual festivals held at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. It’s within walking distance of our motel.

Visit Meadowlark Motel to see photos of the property and to book your Maggie Valley horseback riding vacation right away.


Photo by Rosie Blamey on Unsplash