Whether you want to be taller and still get some great exercise, or you want to have an outdoor ride like the olden days, you need a four-legged friend—a horse, to be exact! With all the trails across Nova Scotia, you have lots of chances to explore on horseback, whether solo or with a group. But don’t worry if you don’t have a horse of your own, or much experience: the locations below will let you borrow horses, provide guided tours, and even give lessons for riders of all ages! And if you prefer to ride on a vehicle behind the horses, you’ve got options for that too.
1. Evangeline Trail Rides
The Evangeline Trail is a gorgeous part of Nova Scotia, and it’s a great place to have your first trail ride. Evangeline Trail Rides operates with a herd of about 40 horses, and is also a beef cattle operation, so you can learn about the cow part of farming as well! The trail ride is about 90 minutes, and can accommodate riders age 9 and up. Since there are several branching paths, no two rides are the same, and no matter the weather you’ll be able to enjoy some snow riding!
Address: 2147 North River Road, Stanley
Phone: Phone: 902-632-2637
2. Hamilton Wagon Rides
Hamilton Wagon/Sleigh Rides are proud to offer 30 years’ worth of experience in sleigh and wagon rides. Depending on the weather, you can head to Lower Onslow for a wagon or sleigh ride, taking you from their farm and into the winter day. You can bring up to 10 people, so it’s a great choice for a group outing in the outdoors. Bundle up warm, and bring some hand warmers—they might be designed for skiing, but you can fit them into any mitten or glove, and they will keep you cozy on the coldest of sleigh rides!
Address: 12589 Highway #2, Lower Onslow
3. Hatfield Farm
Hatfield Farm, so close to Halifax it’s hard to believe that you’re in true country. The farm offers lots of activities year-round (including overnight accommodations to have a farm sleepaway, which is awesome), but once the snow starts to fall you can enjoy a sleigh ride (or a wagon ride, if there isn’t enough snow). Take a bright winter morning, go for a ride, and then spend the rest of the day exploring everything else the farm has to offer. Don’t forget your hand warmers, and no matter if you’re going sleigh or wagon, you get to have hot chocolate at the end!
Address: 1840 Hammond Plains Road, Hammonds Plain
Phone: 902-835-5676 or 1-877-835-5676
4. New Ross Farm
If you’re looking for a more educational type of sleigh/wagon ride, then New Ross Farm Museum is the place for you. This museum is a heritage farm that operates the same way it would have in the late 1800s, so you can learn about all aspects of farm life from cooking to tools to even the heritage animals and crops. The sleigh/wagon rides (again, snow-dependent) will give you a tour of the farmlands, and you can learn about the way winter came to farmers in the olden days…and how they deal with that in the present.
Address: 4568 Highway #12, New Ross
Phone: 902-689-2210 or 1-877-689-2210
5. Reaching Strides Equestrian Centre
Not to be outdone by the mainland, Cape Breton has some awesome horse riding available, and Reaching Strides Equestrian Centre is a fantastic example of this. You can learn how to ride (age 3 and up) any day of the week, so you can get your…horse legs? I guess? Once you’ve got a firm grasp on the reins (or if you’re chomping at the bit already), you can sign up for one of their trail rides. Port Hood is beautiful, and you can explore the coastal trail on either the beginner ride or the experienced ride. Bring a positive attitude, something for taking pictures, and enjoy horses by the sea!
Address: 423 Dunmore Road, Port Hood, Cape Breton
6. Shelby Ranch Adventures
Shelby Ranch Adventures is the only place on this list that truly combines the best of both worlds. With trail rides going on all year, they have a specially designed winter trail ride for people of all ages, as well as some special occasion rides (like Valentine’s Day); they also have private sleigh/wagon rides all winter long that includes hot chocolate and can include a bonfire with s’mores! And if you want to really spice up the winter day, you can…well, you can throw axes! The winter option includes a bonfire to warm up, so you can keep your hands ready for throwing!
Address: 753 Durham Road, Scotsburn
7. Two Rivers Wildlife Park
A wildlife park is a natural place to go for a sleigh/wagon ride, so Two Rivers Wildlife Park is a wonderful place to go! You can see all their animals and then go for a ride behind the horses. You can learn about wildlife, have a fun ride, and enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. While you’re riding, keep your eyes out—you can camp at the park in the warmer months, so you can get an early preview for a summer adventure!
Address: 4581 Grand Mira North Road, Huntington, Cape Breton
By: Adrienne Colborne