This scenic tour has riders saddling up in Pikeville, Kentucky, for views of the Appalachian Mountains. 

View from the Muddy Boots Horseback Tour in Pikeville, Kentucky (photo courtesy of Tour Pike County)

Kentucky has long been synonymous with horses, so there is perhaps no better way to explore the Bluegrass State than by saddling up in Pikeville. The eastern Kentucky city is much more than the place where the Hatfield and McCoy feud happened. It’s also home to Muddy Boots, a horseback-tour operation that takes riders out on a rugged, 2.5-mile loop through the foothills of  the Appalachian Mountains. 

Book a guided tour by yourself or bring a group to experience a trek together. The horses themselves are experts of this trail, making them the perfect companion for those new to horseback riding. 

Each excursion begins with a getting-to-know-you session between horse and rider at the stables’ on-site riding ring, where you can take a few laps to get comfortable before hitting the trail. The ring is also ADA-friendly, allowing visitors of all abilities to enjoy a ride, even if not on the main trail. Motorized and manual wheelchairs are available for access to the ring. 

Once you’re on the trail, keep an eye out for wildlife native to the region, such as elk, turkeys and foxes. Views from the ride include Bob Amos Park, the Pikeville City Park where Muddy Boots’ home, H&M Stables, is located. Along the loop, riders can stop off and enjoy views from the scenic overlook, peering out across the surrounding dense forests and the historic city center of Pikeville, where travelers can find lodging and restaurant options. 

Horseback tours are reserved for those ages 10 and up, but Bob Amos Park offers a variety of other activities, from paddleboat rentals on the pond to hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult. The pond also draws those with kayaks and canoes, both of which can be rented on-site. 500 Bob Amos Dr., Pikeville, Kentucky 41501, 606/794-9881,