Horseback trail riding is a popular sport among equestrians in Georgia and a multitude of trails are available in the state. Although it might seem an easy task to find a trail on which to ride your horse, it is important to use established, maintained equine trails to avoid damaging the environment and to prevent interference with other trail users such as ATV riders. Cherokee County in Georgia has 13 miles of public horseback riding trails called the Garland Mountain Horse and Hike Trail (cherokeesaddleclub.com). Garland Mountain is the only public horseback riding trail located in Cherokee County.
Garland Mountain Horse and Hike Trail is located in the northwest corner of Cherokee County in northern Georgia, off Highway 140 near the town of Waleska. The trail is owned by Cherokee County and maintained by the Cherokee County Parks and Recreation Agency.
The Garland Mountain trail is only open to passive recreation, including hiking, horseback riding and biking. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trails. Opened in 2009, the horseback riding trail is still under construction, but six miles of track are open to the public including the Sorrel, Dun, Palomino, Pinto and Garland Greenway trails. Future construction is expected to add an additional seven miles to the trail. The trail is open from sunup to sundown; overnight camping is not allowed.
The trail features many specifications that are equine friendly. An on-site informational kiosk provides trail maps, safety information, park rules and trail event information. Color trail maps include trail names, intersections, navigational signs and legends. Parking is available for large vehicles and trailers. The lot features a circular, gravel drive and pull-through parking for about 25 horse trailers. An ADA compliant mounting block is available for use by riders of all abilities. The mounting block features a ramp to assist riders with handicaps. A restroom is available, but water and electricity are not provided. The trail features a picnic pavilion at the head of the trail. Grills are not permitted. Picnic tables, hitching rails, benches and mounting blocks are available along scenic areas of the trail.
Garland Mountain trails are designed for maximum mileage and to provide the ultimate equine rider experience. The trails feature gently winding paths, stream crossings, rolling mountain hills and open pastures areas. Forest passages, mountain ridge tops, valleys and winding streams provide spectacular scenery on the trail during all seasons.