Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Barnsley Plantation Resort - Ga. Horseback Trail Rides

Good weather and good company adds to any trail ride
Horses return to the barn at Barnsley Plantation
The landholdings assembled by Godfrey Barnsley before the Civil War are still intact today and known as Barnsley Plantation Resort. Amenities abound on the 2000-acre property such as a golf course, hiking trails, fishing lakes, sporting clays course - all of which offer easy access whether by foot or perhaps via golf cart. Hidden behind the ruins of the Barnsley Manor, across the secret fishing pond where I once wet a line, lies the horse barn constructed of nostalgic hand-hewn logs that date to 1840. Climbing into the saddle allows guests a different perspective as they traverse the resort property sitting about 16 hands high. This trail ride took place under sunny morning skies with temperatures in the 30's where a jacket feels good but the chill is still refreshing. Trail ride boss Bet Ramsay led us straight up a large N. Georgia foothill that saw us crossing two creeks and traversing red clay that was riddled with rocks, but our equestrian friends knew the route well. Once atop the hill we were afforded a view of the resort, golf course and lakes that is only available during winter when the leaves are off of the trees. It seems that each season offers a different reason for a trail ride with the spring green colors, and of course the maple red colorations in fall. Trail rides can be customized to fit one's desires, including having a picnic at some remote location, and there is a special trail used for wedding proposals, but one of our horses lost its footing shortly before the turnoff for that one. As an adult I can relate that the trail ride is fun, but the largest draw for these rides are that they provide great family fun, and we saw a family of four getting set for a ride when we returned to the barn. There are still a few outdoor activities that can be considered good clean fun and a trail ride where someone else is handling the tack, clean-up and care for the horses is most definitely one of them.
View of the Manor ruins as seen from horseback

To view more about horseback trail rides click Barnsley Plantation.

To view past blog entries about hunting pheasant at Spring Bank Plantation click here.

Crossing a mountain stream in style

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