Horseback Riding

L-40 Levee at Lee Road

Beginning February 12, 2020, approximately 36 miles of trails will be open for horseback riders to see and enjoy the wildlife and unique landscape of the Florida Everglades at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.

Horseback Riding Information

View horseback riding trails map here.

Rules and Regulations
  • Refuge hours and entrance fees apply. Learn more here.
  • Horseback riding is permitted on the L-40 and L-39 sections of the perimeter levees, terminating south of the S-6 and S-362 structures.
  • Parking is available to access the perimeter levee from the Headquarters Area entrance at the Lee Road boat ramp or from the Hillsboro Area entrance at the Loxahatchee Road boat ramp.
  • Horses are required to wear manure containment bags and riders are responsible for prompt removal of all horse manure from the refuge.
  • Horses must be under the immediate control of their owners at all times.
  • Trash must be packed out and properly disposed of off-site.
  • Clearing of vegetation is prohibited.
  • Each visitor may only ride/walk one horse on the refuge at a time and all horses must have a rider.
  • Horseback riders will share multi-purpose trails with hikers, bicyclists, pet walkers, and vehicles.
  • Horseback riders must yield to vehicular traffic.
  • Groups consisting of more than five horses will require a Special Use Permit.
  • Areas of the refuge may be restricted seasonally to avoid disturbance of breeding or nesting wildlife or to protect sensitive habitat.
  • Please visit the Rules and Regulations page for a full list of refuge regulations.

Know Before You Go

  • Give wildlife space: Alligators, venomous snakes, biting insects, toxic plants, and sensitive habitats exist at the refuge.
  • Avoid areas with tall vegetation and stay away from the water's edge.
  • Do not allow horses to swim anywhere on the refuge.

Plan for your needs
Always check the weather conditions before leaving home and dress appropriately for the day. This might include wearing a hat, sunglasses, long sleeves, long pants, and appropriate footwear. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit.

About the Trails
Currently, 36 miles of perimeter levees are open to horseback riding. Horseback riders will be sharing multi-use trails with hikers, bicyclists, pet walkers, vehicles, and other horseback riders. Horseback riders must yield to vehicular traffic. Trails are flat with gravel and shell-rock levees.

Please note: Some gate modifications are still needed and we are currently working with partners to eliminate barriers to access. A visit to the refuge is recommended before you bring your horse. We suggest that you use extreme caution when navigating gates until the gates are modified for horse use.

Why does my horse have to wear a manure containment bag?

To Help Protect the Everglades. This regulation is in place to protect the wildlife and natural resources that you have come to see and enjoy. Horse manure can spread seeds from invasive species and other plants that do not naturally occur on the refuge. Horse manure will also eventually make it into the wetlands, which negatively impacts water quality.

To Respect Your Fellow Visitor. No one wants to see, smell, step in, or ride through horse manure on the trails.

Remember: National wildlife refuges are places where wildlife comes first. Please help protect wildlife and their homes by respecting refuge rules and regulations. If a high number of reports of negative horse interactions are reported, the refuge may restrict or eliminate horseback riding.

Please report all suspicious activity or violations of the law to Federal Wildlife Officers by calling 1-800-307-5789.