We bought a summer place near the Greenbrier River Trail in part for the many pleasures offered by the trail and the river. While we kayak, float and ride bikes, my favorite use of the trail is for horseback riding. On even the warmest days, much of the trail is in deep shade. There is always wildlife to be seen -- deer, groundhogs, skunk, an occasional bear, otter, many small mammals. The birds along the river are varied and abundant, from eagles and other raptors to swallows, woodpeckers and finches. The trail surface is generally suitable for unshod horses; there are several fords and creeks where horses can be watered easily. Horses are not welcome in the camping or picnic sites, for obvious reasons, but you can tie them outside and enjoy a nice lunch on a long ride. The trail offers several bridge crossings and two tunnels, as well as the experience of encountering hikers and bikers from horseback. Great experience! One recommendation: they need signs outlining trail courtesy when hikers, bikers and horses share the trail. Many do not seem to know that the horses have the right of way, and you need to call out as you approach. Nothing startles many horses more than a bike approaching quietly from behind, and it can cause quite an accident. A good trail map is available on the GRT website. Barnett Cabins near Hillsboro offers lodging for horses and riders.
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