A number of horseback riding trails are available along the coast of the United States. Locating beaches that allow horses may leave you unsure as to which trails allow horseback riding or are meant strictly for hiking or biking. Connecticut offers wooded trail areas as well as private beach tours featuring horseback riding. In addition, a number of beach properties permit horseback riders access to trails or general beach area. Though fewer in number, public beach alternatives can be found that support these activities as well--most hosted by Fairfield County.
Bluff Point State Park, Groton
The Bluff Point trails pass through the Connecticut coastline with beach trails along the Long Island Sound. The area was designated a Coastal Reserve in 1975 and is an appealing destination to riders because of the wildlife that can be found there year-round. The location displays over 30 species of water bird, from oystercatchers to the Hudsonian Godwit. Typical woodland mammals can also be spotted, such as rabbits, foxes, raccoons, and coyotes.
Fairfield regulations permit horseback riders to have beach access at specific times of the year from October 1 to March 31. A series of beaches located within Fairfield allow trail riding. These beaches require parking access and fees. Riders are generally encouraged to monitor their horses on the trails and clean up along the way to ensure comfortable and clean use for both trail riders and beachgoers.
Jennings Beach has a wide beach area that looks out to the Long Island Sound, so it also provides wildlife sightseeing and gives horseback riders access to long beach trails. There are also other attractions near this beach that visitors may find interesting, such as the Henry Rowland Memorial Playground.
Penfield Beach runs along a lengthy piece of coast. Penfield is a part of the The Penfield Pavilion Complex, which is a venue for party events. Penfield is also host to the private restaurant Penfield Beach Café, which hosts a range of snacks and gourmet meals. Like Jennings Beach, Penfield provides horseback riding accommodations.
Sasco Beach covers about 9.9 acres and boasts one of the wealthiest communities in the Fairfield area. The beach sits south of Southport Harbor and the Country Club of Fairfield on Long Island Sound, so it shares the famous water views of other area beaches. The beach is more secluded than the other Fairfield area beaches.
South Pine Creek Beach
South Pine Creek Beach is the smallest of the Fairfield area beaches that allow horseback riding. Nonresident visitors are not allowed to park in the beach parking lot without permits from Memorial Day to Labor Day. During the regular beach season there are no fees for entrance.
Southport Beach beach spans an area of about 2.5 acres and hosts a permanent concession stand with snacks and other food for visitors to purchase. This beach allows camping as well as riding, and traditionally has a smaller population than the other nearby beaches.
Lake Mohegan is another of the beaches comprising the Fairfield area beach complex. It offers riders the chance to ride along a waterside trail that is different from expected beach trails--the paths dedicated to horseback riding follow the lake shore.