Horseback Riding – Lake Oconee
I am a lover of horses. I have grown up with horses and I own 5 of them myself. It is important to me that the area I live in has trails for horseback riding as well as businesses that cater to horse owners. You have all of that and more here at the Lake. That’s just one more reason I love to call Lake Oconee my home.
There are a few trails within the surrounding counties – Morgan, Greene, and Putnam – and then several other that are located within 60 miles.
Diamond K Stables (Lake Area)
Phone #: 706-473-2452
Address: 217 N. Wesley Chapel Rd. Eatonton, GA 31024
Diamond K Stables is located right in the heart of the Lake area. In addition to 115 acres of land, there are trails, a lighted indoor arena, outdoor arena, and a round pen. They offer boarding, lessons, and trail riding. Non-boarding facility use is $25 per day/per person. They have synchronized riding once a week for $20 (if you bring your own horse) or $40 (for their horses). Saturday Camps are held once a month from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for $45 per child. You can also host a birthday party here for only $200.
Southern Cross Guest Ranch (25 miles from Lake Oconee)
Phone #: 706-342-8027
Address: 1670 Bethany Church Road Madison, GA, USA 30650
Located a few miles off Interstate 20 at exit 114, Southern Cross Guest Ranch is 50 miles east of Atlanta and 30 miles south of Athens. The ranch is a Bed and Breakfast that offers a relaxing a serene atmosphere. If you don’t plan on staying at the ranch, non-guests can use their trails for $45-$75 an hour depending on the season and then amount of time spent riding. They also offer day packages that include lunch and use of facilities that start at $85. Southern Cross Guest Ranch was just featured in the Washington Post – check out the article here!
A.H. Stephens State Park (25 miles from Lake Oconee)
Address: 456 Alexander Street NW Crawfordville, GA 30631
A.H. Stephens State Park is West of Augusta and only a few miles off I-20 exit #148. The park is best known for its equestrian facilities as well as the confederate museum and lakeside group campsites. There are 20 campsites available at a cost of $25 to $28 per night. They also have 10 horse stalls available at $12 a day. For a trail fee of $10 (plus tax), you can ride the 21 miles of horseback riding trails inside the park. For more information on this park and all of the amenities provided go the website listed above.
Hard Labor Creek State Park (35 miles from Lake Oconee)
Phone #: Park 706-557-3001 | Reservations 800-864-7275
Address: 5 Hard Labor Creek Road Rutledge, GA 30663
Hard Labor Creek State Park is 5 miles off I-20 exit #105. They have all the amenities of a regular state park like camping, hiking, and swimming. Hard Labor Creek also has a fantastic 18-hole golf course. Most importantly, they have a 22-mile trail specifically for horseback riding. In addition to the trail, they have 11 horse camp sites that range from $26 to $32 and 20 horse stalls that cost $18. You must call to reserve the camp sites and horse stalls.
Watson Mill Bridge State Park (45 miles from Lake Oconee)
Address: 650 Watson Mill Road Comer, GA 30629
Watson Mill Bridge State Park is located 3 miles South of Comer off Highway 22, about 45 miles from the Lake area. There are 11 horse Campground Campsites at a rate of $26 to $30 a night. For $15 a day you can use one of their 22 horse stables. There are 14 miles of horseback riding trails with a $12 trail fee to ride. Please note that there is a with a 9-foot maximum clearance at the park entrance off Highway 22 in Comer. Equestrian campers must use the entrance off Highway 72 in Carlton. Call the park for more information or details.
Georgia International Horse Park (52 miles from Lake Oconee)
Phone #: 770-860-4190
Address: 1996 CENTENNIAL OLYMPIC PARKWAY, CONYERS GA., 30013
Home of the 1996 Centennial Olympics, the Georgia International Horse Park hosts many equestrian and biking events. There are more than 15 miles of (free!) horse trails available to ride. Each trail is labeled as such at the trail head. There is a large parking area – no need to worry about parking. To ride these trails, you must have proof of a negative EIA issued by a licensed veterinarian within the last 12 months.
Oconee National Forest – Ocmulgee Bluff Trail System (55 miles from Lake Oconee)
Phone #: 706-485-7110
Address: Smith Mill Rd. (For Horse Trails) 1099 Forest Service Rd. (For camping)
The Ocmulgee Bluff Trail System is located in the Oconee National Forest about 10 miles from Monticello. From Monticello you head southwest towards Forsyth for 10 miles. You then take a right on Smith Mill Rd and the trail will be on your left, a few miles into the gravel road. There are 30 miles of horse, bike, and hiking trails. No reservations are required. A large parking lot, restrooms, and picnic tables are available. The trails are free to ride, but you do pay a $5 parking fee. You are not allowed to camp at the trail site. However, a few miles down the road at 1099 Forest Service Rd. there are multiple horse camp sites.
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