If you are a horse owner and you’d like to go on a nice, leisurely day ride in, the Mascoutin State Valley Park Trail is nice trail to explore as it meanders through three different counties. With approximately 8 miles (one way) to discover, start on the Ripon side (Fond du Lac County) where you’ll enjoy riding through farmland, gently rolling hills, past our local Winery “Vines & Rushes” (a must stop) and the Strawberry Picking Farm Prellwitz Produce.
As you continue your path north, you’ll be entering Winnebago County and arrive at Rush Lake (offering a shelter and picnic tables). Here you’ll find scattered natural ponds and abundant wildlife (great bird watching opportunity – you may be lucky and even spot the rare White-faced Ibis). Because it is a shared trail, occasionally you may meet a hiker or biker along the mostly shaded corridor, looking to experience and enjoy the same landscapes.
Horseback riding can be done in the Winnebago and Fond du Lac portion of the trail May through October, however, it is not allowed on the Green Lake County side of the trail (northwest section that leads to Berlin).
Parking and trail access:
- Ripon: junction of Locust road just north of Ripon
- Berlin: at County F, with parking along city streets.
- Rush Lake: parking on the trail, about midway on Locust Road off of Hwy E
Written by local rider Francine Weatherwax of Markesan.
* Following basic trail etiquette can help ensure the safety of you, your horse and others who ride with you or you meet on the trail. It’s common sense and the golden rule. Treat others as you want to be treated. But just as importantly, it can help keep the trails open to horses. Trails are being closed to horses because of riders who abused the privilege. It is a privilege as much as your right to ride these trails. Remember that you are always an ambassador of horseback riding and that we all share the outdoors. If non-riders always meet a courteous and polite horseman on the trail, their impression of all of us will hopefully remain positive. (from http://www.shtra.org/TrailEtiquette.htm)
For boarding or lessions, please see the following local businesses: