Looking for something fun to do this summer without taking a week off from work? There are plenty of interesting and horse-related things to do right here in Maryland! Below are our staff’s favorite places and things to do within the Free State related to horses, all wrapped into one-day trips.
The Southern Maryland Historic Horse Trail is also a joint project of Southern Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) and the MHIB. The Southern Maryland Trail is one of a network of heritage trails across the state that highlights the contribution of horses to Maryland’s history and culture. Photos, anecdotes, and other site information collected for this project will become part of a statewide catalog documenting the role of horses in Maryland’s history.
The self-guided “Horses At The Beach” driving tour, which takes place in Worcester and the southern part of Wicomico counties. The trail takes visitors from the Assateague National Seashore Park, home of Maryland’s famed “Wild Horses,” the Assateague Ponies, to Glen Riddle Farm, now a popular eatery that was once the training grounds of Thoroughbred horse racing legends Man O’War and War Admiral.
Drive through Maryland’s Cecil County: There are over 6,200 horses in Cecil County, making it one of the five largest horse counties in Maryland. Two members of the duPont family—William duPont, Jr. and Mrs. Allaire duPont—are largely credited with boosting horse sports in two major areas.
Drive Maryland’s Western Shore Horse Collection. Horses and their mule counterparts have played a significant role in the history of Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties, the three jurisdictions that comprise Western Maryland. Western Maryland It was through these areas that horse-drawn wagon trains headed west on the National Road and that horses carried George Washington and his soldiers during the French and Indian War. Horses, of course, were a big part of the Civil War and there is a proliferation of equestrian statues at the Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg (Washington County).
From Hunt Valley to Hereford, Monkton to Towson
Since Colonial times, fox hunters have swept across these rolling, grassy fields in a colorful pageant of horses, hounds and “hill toppers,” who prefer to watch and ride at a slower pace.
Drive Maryland’s Eastern Shore Horse Collection and plan to see and visit horses along the way! About 20% of Maryland’s horse population lives on the Eastern Shore with a wide variety of horse disciplines including Standardbred racing, jousting, trail riding, and horse breeding, both for racing and non-racing breeds. Of course, the Shore is also home to one of Maryland’s major tourist attractions—the Assateague Wild Horses at the Assateague Island National Seashore Park. There are also numerous trail riding stables where you can rent a horse and see nature up close and personal.
Located in an area traditionally known as “Hunt Country,” where fox hunts and steeplechase races are still a popular pastime, some of the farms you see during this relaxing drive across the beautiful Maryland countryside are also famous for producing Thoroughbreds that have raced on major tracks across America.
Located just 8 miles south of Ocean City, Maryland, Assateague Island National Seashore is a 37-mile long gem in the national and state park systems. Click HERE to learn more about Assateague’s history, parking and entrance fees, the wild ponies and other wildlife, camping, recreational activities, pet policies, Chincoteague, and more.
Do you and your horse need a break from the arena? The Assateague Island national seashore is open for day use horseback riding in Maryland from October 9 through May 14. Plan a day of oceanside riding along the beach or stay the night at one of two equine-friendly campsites. For more information, click HERE.
Note: The national seashore does not provide horses for rent. Riders must bring their own horse.