When you go out on a trail in New Hampshire on horseback, your options are almost limitless. With the help of volunteer organizations throughout the state, there are more and more trails built to sustain horseback riding in New Hampshire's State Parks, Forests, and on Recreational Rail Trails.
Not all trails and areas are open and suitable for horseback riding, and many parking areas may not accommodate large trailers. Please check with the Bureau of Trails before you ride.
To ensure a pleasurable and safe visit for both equestrians and park visitors, please take the time to familiarize yourself with the Division of Parks and Recreation's Rules.
The following are recommended State Parks for equestrians.
Bear Brook State Park (Allenstown, off Route 28)...
Good riding opportunities for horseback riders. This park is heavily forested and is just under 10,000 acres.
Notice: Beaver Pond Trail is not open for horseback riding and horses are not allow in the campground once the campground opens for the season.
Pawtuckaway State Park (Nottingham, off Route 156)...
This 5,600 acre park has trails open to horses.
Pisgah State Park (Winchester/Chesterfield/Hinsdale, Route 119, Route 63)...
In this largest of all of New Hampshire State Parks, 13,500 acres of rough forest terrain are interlaced with fine equine riding possibilities.
NOTE: Monadnock State Park is CLOSED to equine use.
Below are a few of the resources that we use here at the Bureau of Trails. If you have favorite resources that you feel other equestrian or trail maintainers would also find useful, please let us know about them and how we might secure them.
I'm from out of state; do I need any special licenses or registration to haul my horse in NH?
On checking with N.H. Department of Safety we found that there were no special requirements for out-of-state equestrians to haul their own horses in New Hampshire, as they recognize all other valid state registrations. Other questions can be directed to them at (603) 271-2251 or by writing to: Department of Safety, Motor Vehicle Registration, James H.Hayes Building, 10 Hazen Drive Concord, New Hampshire 03305-0002.
Do I need any special papers for my horse?
You are required to have your horse tested and certified to be free of "all contagious and infectious diseases" before bringing them into N.H.
(State of NH - Dept of Agr. Rule Agr 2112.01) (See Legal Concerns for more detailed information.)
Where can I ride?
Like all other recreation activities, you should verify that you can ride on a trail before you get there. This is especially important on private land. Nothing will sour a landowner's attitude toward trails faster than having a bunch of people using their property without permission. Most N.H. State Parks and Forests road-width, blazed trails are open unless posted closed to your use. White Mountain National Forest has some areas open to riding; they can be reached at 603.528.8724.
I'm thinking of moving to NH, what kind of resources are available in your state?
Many people already live here with their horses, so many resources are readily available. The New Hampshire Horse Council is a very good point to start. You can find them at www.nhhorsecouncil.com.
Below is a listing of New Hampshire State Laws (Revised Statutes Annotated) and agency rules that are pertinent to equestrians. We assembled them in an attempt to help you, the equestrian, understand the laws and rules that govern your activity. We believe them to be complete, but if you know of others that should be listed, please let us know. The links provided will take you to the State site, which is kept up-to-date.
Law 265:5 Persons Riding Animals; Driving Animal-Drawn Vehicles
Law 436:95 Equines Imported into New Hampshire; Testing Requirements
Department of Agriculture Rules
Agr 2112.01 Certificate of Veterinary Inspection Required and Negative EIA
(also known as the Coggins test for Equines)
Agr 2112.02 Equine Infectious Anemia
An administrative "rule" under RSA 541-1, XV is defined as:
Each regulation, standard or other statement of general applicability adopted by an agency to: implement, interpret or make specific a statute enforced or administered by such agency or prescribe or interpret an agency policy, procedure or practice requirement binding on persons outside the agency, whether members of the general public or personnel in other agencies.
"AGENCY" DOES NOT INCLUDE THE LEGISLATURE OR THE COURTS