Horseback Riding

central park horseback riding on the bridal path
Horseback riding on the bridal path NICKBACON

In Central Park, horseback riding is permitted year-round during regular park hours. The recently reconstructed Central Park bridle path is more than six miles long and encircles the Reservoir as well as the North Meadow.

Horseback riding has been a tradition in Central Park for 150 years, dating back to when the park was originally designed. There is some evidence that Central Park was originally meant to be seen from horseback. Trails such as the bridle path adjacent to the Reservoir are made of hard, packed dirt and are as perfect for horseback riding today as they were when the park opened.

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Bridle Path, near W 74th St
Bridal path, near W. 74th Street NICKBACON

The Claremont Riding Academy, built in 1892, operated in Central Park from 1927 to 2007 giving reasonably-priced horseback rides to anyone who wanted them. In 2007, however, the stable was forced to close and with it the only vendor of horse transportation in the park.

horseback riding central park
Horseback riding Central Park NICKBACON

From 2007 to 2011, horseback riding was available from Riverdale Equestrian Center on a very limited basis. Private trail rides could only occur in the park by appointment. In response to public requests that horseback riding in Central Park be reinstated, the Parks Department began negotiations in 2011 with the Riverdale Equestrian Center to make horseback riding once again available to any visitor who was in the park during operating hours.

Today there are various operators offering rides and lessons in Central Park. If you have the opportunity to go horseback riding in Central Park, it is best to travel with an experienced guide. 

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