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. In September of 2014 there was a change of License and the Riverdale Equestrian Center closed.

In its place The Riverdale Stables began operation under total new ownership and management.

They renovated the facility and doubled the size of the academy, adding programs including an interscholastic team, veterans programs, and jumping lessons. They no longer have the capacity for trail rides in the park. They are open 7 days and have indoor and outdoor riding lessons starting at age 6.

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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Top of Page Header Photo: © Rick Anderson 2017
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