Horseback Riding

Popular Equestrian Trails

Foothill Regional Park - This park encompasses 7 miles of trails through 211 acres of former ranchland in northeast Windsor and is a popular park for equestrians. The majority of the trails are available for riding and offer varied terrain with vineyard and valley views. Trailer parking is limited.

Spring Lake Regional Park  - This Santa Rosa park is one of our most popular. For equestrians, dirt trails ring the lakeshore and cross wooded hillsides. Equestrian trails also connect with Annadel State Park. Horse trailer parking is accessed through the Newanga Avenue entrance. 

Shiloh Ranch Regional Park - This 860-acre park is on the southeast edge of Windsor. Many of the trails are former ranch roads, so their width makes Shiloh a popular destination for equestrians. This park also has ample parking for trailers.  

Hood Mountain Regional Park - Hood Mountain's 19 miles of trails is the most extensive of our individual parks. Hood Mountain's terrain is challenging, so riders should know their horses' abilities. Trailer parking and water is available one mile southeast of the Pythian Road trailhead. Water also is available in Orchard Meadow.

Doran Regional Park  - Equestrians are welcome on portions of this sandy beach in Bodega Bay. Doran is busy year-round, so riders should be comfortable encountering picnickers, campers, fishermen, leashed dogs, and people flying kites.

Helen Putnam Regional Park  - This park just west of Petaluma offers nearly 6 miles of horse trails. Riders will enjoy winding routes through forests and excellent views of Petaluma and rural Sonoma County from the ridgelines.  

Tolay Lake Regional Park  - Equestrians who participate in the interim-use program for this park east of Petaluma are welcome to explore its trails on weekends. There is an active livestock operation in the park, so riders may encounter cattle on the trails.

Ragle Ranch Regional Park -  This Sebastopol park features 3.5 miles of trails in the flood plain of Atascadero Creek. The Hilltop Trail offers views across the watershed toward western Sonoma County. Ragle has a gravel parking area and water for equestrians.   

Equestrian Amenities

Parks with equestrian trails offer a range of amenities. Most offer parking for horse trailers and manure bins and some have tie-ups and water troughs in the parking lots or elsewhere in the parks.

For more information about equestrian amenities at specific parks, visit our Find a Park page and search for parks with equestrian trails.

Equestrian Safety

Many experienced equestrians use Regional Park trails regularly and demonstrate excellent horsemanship and trail etiquette. For new trail riders, we recommend the following practices:

  • Please consider the park's terrain, the day's weather forecast and your horse's condition when planning a trail ride. Avoid weather conditions and trail challenges that will cause your horse stress.
  • Plan a route that lets your horse drink at least once every hour.
  • Learn to take your horse's pulse and respiration rate.
  • Always wear a helmet and boots.
  • Keep your horse to the right or where safe when encountering others on the trail. Let other trail users know how to pass your horse safely.

Mounted Assistance volunteers

The Mounted Assistance Unit is a volunteer group which patrols the parks on horseback. Riders use their own horses, and working under our department’s guidelines, monitor trail conditions, offer information to other park users and participate in special park events such as the Tolay Fall Festival. 

For information about the Mounted Assistance Unit, contact Regional Parks' Volunteer Coordinator John Ryan at (707) 565-2041 or parks@sonoma-county.org.

 

Some content on this page is saved in alternate format. To view these files, download the following free software.

This is the software download link for media files appearing elsewhere on the page.   Windows Media® Player for Windows, Flip4MAC for MAC OSX, or Pipelight for Linux
This is the software download link for zip files appearing elsewhere on the page.   WinZip® for downloading compressed files