Horseback riding on the beach in Florida
If you own a horse and live in Florida, then an experience you will never forget, is horse riding along the beach! However, there are many rules and restrictions on taking your four-legged friend out for a sandy trail ride. As with other animals, such as dogs horses are not always welcome on the pristine beaches that are frequented by tourists and sunbathers. However, there are places you can ride your horse along the beach legally, some require permits and some do not. Here are a few suggestions to get you going.
On the east coast of Florida, St. John's County which is close to St. Augustine, allows riding on Anastasia Island and Crescent Beach. Permits are required and certain areas are restricted at particular times of the year. There is no cost for the permit, but there are rules and guidelines, such as cleaning up after your horse. The riding area is large and well worth the visit.
The closest beach riding area to Naples is Bradenton, where you need no permit, but they ask that you act responsibly and clean up after your horse. It is located along the Palma Sola Causeway. Parking is by the side of the road, but apparently, it is not the main highway.
Close to Orlando on the east coast, the Canaveral National Seashore allows riding along the beach at certain times of the year, a permit is required. Riding is restricted to Apollo Beach only.
In St.John's County, St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra beaches allow horseback riding, along 30 miles of beach. Permits are required here also and certain restrictions apply, there are different permits available and it can take up to two weeks to receive them, so make sure you plan well in advance.
Amelia Island is another great place to ride Florida's beaches. Amelia Island State Park, allows you to ride your own horse there. Prior to visiting the park, you will need to contact the Little Talbot Island Ranger States on 904 251 2320 to make arrangements and gain a permit. You will also need to show your current negative Coggins certificate for your horse. You can also take a guided trail ride if you do not have your own horse with Amelia Horse Back Riding where you can also board your own horse.
If you do not have your own horse but would like to enjoy this unique experience, there are many riding establishments that offer guided trail rides throughout the state, such as Beach Horses in Bradenton, Kelly Seahorse Ranch on Amelia Island and further north close to Tallahassee there is Two Bit Sables.
The above recommendations are places that have been personally recommended to us, or we have visited. However, there are many other great riding facilities close to beaches throughout the state that we have not visited, if you find a good one, please let us know, we love to share our experiences with others. Whilst we have tried to provide the correct information above, if you find discrepancies, let us know so we can continue to point others in the right direction.
Joe is lucky to be able to combine his passion for horses with his experience as a Realtor®. Whether you are looking for a home or equestrian property, or would just like to talk about horses, please feel free to call at anytime!