Our region is also home to numerous equestrian trails. The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County has many equestrian trails, and Lockwood Park Trailside Equestrian Centre and Children’s Farm offers horseback riding lessons, guided trail rides, and equestrian camps and activities.
Please be sure to follow the provided link for each of the sites listed below, as some may only be open during certain seasons or require a bridle tag. We also encourage all riders to familiarize themselves with the trail rules at each location.
Local Equestrian Trails:
- Rock Cut State Park: 7318 Harlem Rd. Loves Park, IL 61111. Rock Cut is home to abundant wildlife with waterfowl, deer, fox, muskrat, woodchuck and beaver, opossum, raccoon and both gray and fox squirrel. Over 100 types of wildflowers offer a showy display each spring and summer, while hardwood trees dazzle visitors each fall. Click here for details.
- Deer Run Preserve: 5691 River Road, Cherry Valley, IL 61016. 594.8 acres of preserve are filled with 7.5 miles of horse trails that follow the south and north branch of the Kishwaukee River and many other unique natural features. Click here for details.
- Oak Ridge Preserve: 8322 Blomberg Road, Cherry Valley, IL 61016. 7.5 miles of horse trails along the Kishwaukee River, connecting to trails in Deer Run. Equestrians and hikers there is a new trail route at Oak Ridge Forest Preserve. Please avoid using the old route because of hazardous conditions. There is equestrian specific camping at Oak Ridge. Users can utilize a self-registration system for camping and can acquire a daily riding pass. Seasonal bridle tags may be applied for at the site. Click here for details.
- Rockford Rotary: 5390 Rotary Road, Cherry Valley, IL 61063. 1.7 miles of trail run throughout this 220.7-acre preserve. Heavily wooded and overlooking the Kishwaukee River, trail rules are critical here as the soil in this preserve is highly erodible. Equestrian access is provided near the preserve’s entrance off Rotary Road. Click here for details.
- Roland Olson Preserve: 9669 Atwood Road, Roscoe, IL 61073. Donated in 1976 by Mr. and Mrs. Roland Olson, this 127-acre preserve was offered specifically to provide a place for horse riding activities within the County. The preserve has a 60’ x 120’ arena, two hitching posts, and 1.5 miles of bridle trail. Trailer parking is in the preserve near the arena. Click here for details.
- Seward Bluffs Preserve: 16999 Comly Road, Seward, IL 61077. The trails in this 636.6-acre preserve cover beautiful country which include spring wildflowers, woodlands and dolomite cliffs. The trails loop to the east and west crossing Grove Creek to provide 7.8 miles of trails. There is equestrian specific camping at Seward Bluffs. Users can utilize a self-registration system for camping and can acquire a daily riding pass. Seasonal bridle tags may be applied for at the site. Click here for details.
- Sugar River Preserve: 10127 Forest Preserve Road, Durand, IL 61024. Travel to the northern part of the County to take in a double loop trail system in this 529-acre preserve. The 3.6 mile trail goes through oak woodlands, meadows and fields. Much of this preserve is sand prairie, which is a unique and fragile ecosystem that is highly erodible. Therefore, the equestrian trail hugs the east boundary of the preserve, avoiding these natural areas. Future trail plans are slated to connect the Sugar River trail north to Colored Sands and the Sugar River Alder Forest Preserves. Click here for details.