Spending time outdoors is one of the best ways to create memories with the family. Looking to add something different to your list? How about horseback riding? Experience the sights and sounds of nature from a different vantage point – atop a horse!
Just a short drive past the city limits you’ll find stables that offer guided trail rides to riders 10 and up. Rates generally start at $35 per hour, with some stables offering special group rates, multiple-ride packages or cash discounts.
Here are some quicks to know before you go:
- Before you go, dress for a comfortable ride in full-length jeans and boots with a 1-inch heel.
- The stable should provide an SEI-certified helmet for each rider. To check the fit, fasten the chin strap and then try tipping the helmet up and down on your head. It shouldn’t come up above your hairline or down over your eyes. If it does, select a smaller helmet, tighten the chin strap, or both.
- A guide or assistant will help you onto your horse, usually from a mounting block. Some will ask if you’ve ridden before, but on a busy day, it may be up to you to ask for pointers if you need them.
- Most places require a minimum age and most places are open to all levels of experience.
Whether it’s your first time on a horse or consider yourself a horse-whisperer, these spots offer horse riding trails that are sure to be fun! Happy trails!
- Address: 8290 Kean Ave., Willow Springs
The horse stable in Willow Springs brings guests out on a guided trail ride seven days a week through the Cook County Forest Preserves. Younger kids can even enjoy a pony ride on the same trails. Make sure to say hello to the animals at the petting zoo. The stables are open all year long, so you can imagine the beauty of riding a horse through the snowy trails. Minimum age to ride a horse is 10 years old.
- Address: 12211 S. La Grange Road, Palos Park
The full-service facility located in Palos Heights, offers hour-long trail rides. Reservations are required beforehand as well as pre-payment. Minimum age is 10 years old. For 2-4 riders, it is $35 per person plus a license fee. Look for riding lessons and day camps in the future.
- Address: 16717 Lockwood Avenue, Tinley Park
Take an hour-long ride through the forest preserves at this farm in Tinley Park. During that time, children will learn to be comfortable around horses. Kids under 9 years old can still have fun with a hand-led pony ride bya parent or adult. Reservations are required.
- Address: 8916 Wilmont Road, Spring Grove
Located within the state park, the Chain O’Lakes State Park Stables is worth the drive for nature enthusiasts, who will enjoy spotting birds and wildflowers as they amble along the bridle paths. Even kids as young as seven can go on a trail ride, but don’t worry if you have even younger ones. They can still have fun too with $10 pony rides. Forty-minute rides start at $35.
- Address: 12N254 Tower Road, Hampshire
Take an hour-long ride through their 140-acre eco-friendly farm where you’ll ride through rolling hills and fields. No experience needed to have fun, but riders must be at least 12 years old. Trail rides cost $45 per person.
- Address: 26011 N. Rand Road, Wauconda
Beauty surrounds you as you trot along the trail passing through the Lake County Forest Preserve marshes and meadows. Depending on experience, the minimum age to ride the trails is ten years old. Have younger kids? Children as young as five can enjoy lessons which allow kids to walk around with a horse — think of it as a mini trail ride!
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