Editor's note: This article initially listed Bingham Creek Trail that runs through South Jordan as a horse-approved trail. However, horses are not allowed on Bingham Creek Trail.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS — With winter finally thawing into spring, the season of outdoor recreation is at last upon us. With countless people flocking to the Utah wilderness to spend time in Mother Nature, many focus on hiking, camping and the mountain biking side of things. But one of Utah's outdoor assets that often goes overlooked is the abundance of equestrian trails dotting the state.
Have a look at some fun locales across the state of Utah where you can hang with your hoofed friend.
Cassidy Trail, Garfield County
It's believed that the legendary old West outlaw Butch Cassidy used this trail many a time to escape the law. Running about 8 miles from the Red Canyon trailhead to Casto Canyon, this trail features beautiful red rock formations and native flora and fauna dot the view.
Directions: From Panguitch, take Highway 89 southeast. Exit onto Utah 12 and travel east for about 4 miles to reach Red Canyon trailhead.
Red Mountain Trail, St. George
Sandy, rocky and slightly uphill, the Red Mountain Trail isn't for beginners, but it has one breathtaking view to reward the patient traveler. Close to the halfway point of this trail is the Snow Canyon Overlook, a huge slab of sandstone that juts over the edge of the spectacularly photogenic Snow Canyon, providing the photo-op of all photo-ops.
Directions: Get off I-15 on Exit 6 and go north on Bluff Street for 3.7 miles. Go straight through the Snow Canyon Parkway intersection and continue driving north 11.4 miles. Turn left onto the gravel road which leads to the trailhead.
Murdock Canal Trail, Orem
A relatively new trail, built in May 2013 over the old Murdock Canal, this trail is very accommodating and close to a suburban environment. The Murdock Canal Trail is multipurpose, allowing joggers, skaters and cyclists on a paved trail and giving the horseback riders their own set-apart dirt path. This trail also has restroom facilities and running water every 3 miles, making it one of the more convenient trails on our list.
Directions: Get off I-15 at Exit 272 and head east on 800 North for 2.8 miles. The trailhead will be on the north side of the road at about 1125 East. Be forewarned, there is no parking at this trailhead, but a few blocks east is the Provo River Parkway parking lot.
The Jordan River Parkway Trail is perhaps the most dynamic on our list. Spanning 43 miles, three counties (Davis, Salt Lake and Utah) and several different environments, it has a little something for everybody. You can ride through urban areas as you follow along the Jordan River, but also experience a fair amount of marshy wilderness and the soothing sound of rushing water.
Directions: Given the large stretch of land the trail covers, there are several trailheads all along the river that access the trail. One trailhead with a parking lot is located in Bluffdale at 1298 W. 14600 South.
Did we miss any of your favorite public horseback riding hotspots? Let us know in the comments.
Sean Stoker is a journalism student at UVU interning for KSL.com. He runs a YouTube channel at QuestSeans.com. Follow him on Twitter @theroyalthey
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