As Published in Horse N Ranch March 2017
Ocmulgee River Trails, Forsyth, Georgia
Trailhead Coordinates: 33.2091, -83.8170
Sixty miles southeast of Atlanta, in the Oconee National Forest, is where you’ll find this popular riding area. This is a great place for day rides as well horse camping with trails meandering along the Ocmulgee River.
Georgia’s red dirt hills, blanketed by pine forest, and rich bottomlands shaded by the forest’s towering canopies are home to over thirty miles of equestrian friendly trails.
The Ocmulgee Bluff trail area is the main day use riding area and has a very large parking area that can hold 20 – 30 truck trailer rigs. Parking area amenities include picnic tables and toilets in addition to the large parking area. This destination area is a favorite for all outdoor enthusiasts from horse riders to hikers, bicyclists, and picnickers, so be prepared to share. Local horsemen and trail advocacy groups, including the Georgia Horse Council, and Back Country Horsemen of Middle and South Georgia have made numerous recent improvements in both the trailhead area as well as the trails themselves.
Trails near the Bluff trailhead area, and north are generally hilly as you ride down, over, and through the ravines of tributaries feeding the Ocmulgee. The rolling terrain drains precipitation more easily than flat areas so the trails here dry quicker than others in the area.
A favorite ride from the Bluff is to the “swimming hole”. A short half hour from the trailhead you’ll find a broad sandy beach that makes the perfect swimming and lunch stop.
Located just a short distance to the south of the Ocmulgee Bluffs area is the Ocmulgee Horse Camp. For horse campers spending more time on the trails beside the Ocmulgee River this is a great place for staging rides. Locally known as the Ocmulgee Flats Hunt Camp, the camp is a clearing beside the forest service road, and the trailhead is found behind the camp. Amenities at the camp are limited to highlines and camping spots.
Trails from the horse camp head north towards the main trail system that originates from the Ocmulgee Bluff area and go through bottomland bordering the river. As such be prepared for a few muddy spots here and there if there has been recent rain.
Regardless of which trailhead you depart from, the mature hardwoods and thick pine forest makes for deep shade throughout the day so be sure to mind the time lest you return to camp in the dark.
Summer is upon us, and great riding is available across the continent, so enjoy these trails until next month when we carry on with our quest for more great riding areas. As always, for more information on these and other equestrian riding destinations throughout the U.S. please visit www.TrailMeister.com for free trail maps and fully validated trail and trailhead information.