I was scheduled for a horse show today which got cancelled due to rain threats, so, since I had the tack on the trailer anyway, I grabbed a buddy and headed for Raven Rock State Park. I’d never been there before, but I trusted my GPS and headed out.
What my GPS did not know was there are two entrances to the park. The south end is where the visitors center is, and that entrance is where the GPS took me. The north end is where the horse trails are. Look on a map before you head out, because it is a twenty-minute drive between the two park entrances, and you want to end up on the north side of Raven Rock State Park.
The trailer parking is plentiful, however unlike Umstead Park, where you can pull in, park, and pull out without backing, you will need to back into a trailer space here. The lot will hold about fifteen trailers.
The east trail is best ridden single file. Take a horse you can steer so you don’t knock your knees on a tree or get dragged through a tall holly bush. The terrain is gently rolling. There is enough pitch to give your horse a workout at a trot with short bursts of canter here or there. A leisurely pace works well too, as most of the trail is wooded and shady.
I had one horse with shoes on the front and one shoe-less horse. They both made it fine, however we did slow to a walk in some rocky stretches of the trail. There is one little creek to cross on the east trail. If you were there in rainy weather there are many places where water would cross the trail in heavy rains, leaving puddles and muddy spots.
The park ranger said they would soon be renovating the west trail, which is slightly longer. We had started to take that trail and were stopped almost immediately by a large tree across the path, and beyond the tree, the path looked overgrown.
Over all, you should find a really pleasant two-hour ride at Raven Ridge State Park in North Carolina, just a few minutes south of Fuquay Varina and 40 minutes from Apex, south Raleigh, and Cary.