UNION COUNTY — Spring is here again and Union County invites residents to get back into nature by visiting the Watchung Stable in Mountainside and taking a guided trail ride through the wooded Watchung Reservation – Union County’s largest park.
“Horseback riding is a real treat,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Linda Carter. “Taking a guided trail ride through the Watchung Reservation with the woods in bloom is an affordable way to spend some quality time in the country and still be close to home.”
This season’s expanded schedule of trail rides will begin on Saturday, April 6. Everyone nine years of age or older, with or without riding experience, can participate in one of four public rides held each weekend, on Saturdays at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 2 and 3 p.m., weather permitting.
Each public trail ride follows bridle trails through part of the 2,000-acre Watchung Reservation in Mountainside. Public trail rides are on a first-come, first-served basis, and people are encouraged to arrive early.
Private guided trail rides are also offered for individuals and groups of up to 15 people.
A call to Watchung Stable to set up a mutually convenient time on a weekday or weekend is all it takes to get you, your family or your group out into the forested Watchung Reservation on horseback.
The cost to take a trail ride is $32 per person for Union County residents and $45 for out-of-county riders. An additional $32 instructor fee, one per 10 people, is added to the cost of private trail rides.
In addition, young riders under the age of nine can ride a lead-line horse on Sundays from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Lead lines are also held during the week – if the weather permits – on a first-come, first-served basis.
The cost for a half-hour lead-line horse is $18 for Union County residents and $26 for out-of-county riders.
The trail rides and lead-lines rides are held at Watchung Stable, located at 1160 Summit Lane in Mountainside. Office hours are 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 4 p.m. daily.
To schedule a private trail ride, or for additional information, call 908-789-3665 during normal office hours or email questions to [email protected]. Watchung Stable also offers private and semi-private English Riding lessons, birthday parties, Scout Horse Badge and non-riding group programs for all ages.