I’m surrounded by lush green grass, fruit trees, wild boar, cows and miles of endless horseback riding trails; a waterfall cascades in the distance. Where am I? I’m on a horseback riding vacation in paradise, otherwise known as Princeville Ranch, one of the oldest working cattle ranches in Hawaii. It is leased and operated by the Carswell family who have owned Princeville Ranch Stables since 1978 and a cattle operation since 1994.
For the equestrian enthusiast, I’ll tell you up front that this is a walking-only horseback trail ride. What’s unique about this tour, (there are several tours to select from), is the scenery and location. Unless you know the right people in Kauai, most likely you will not be granted access to trail riding on private land. Fortunately, Karin Carswell has been an active member of the cattle business for years and values open space and trail riding.
The 2,500 acre Princeville Ranch, located on Kauai’s North Shore, supports 500 cows and horses spread out over hundreds of acres. It’s also home to Princeville Ranch Adventures, so don’t be shocked when you see someone on a zip line in one of the canyons. Truly, this horse-lovers property is amazing.
Matching Horse to Rider
This Hawaii horseback riding vacation begins with a ranch hand matching rider to horse. We had a first-time rider with us, as well as experienced equestrians and everyone came back to the barn smiling. We walked across ranch land for about an hour or so, tied up the horses and did a short steep hike downhill to Kalihiwai Falls for a picnic lunch and swim. We hiked out of the falls, surrounded by lush tropical canvas and the smell of exotic fruit in the air. Eventually we returned to our horses, via a different trail, for the ride back to the stables.
The 4 Hour Waterfall Ride costs $135, including tax. The 3 Hour Ride is $125. Unless you have a time commitment, I highly recommend the 4 hour ride; one of the best Hawaii equestrian vacation travel deals around.
This was one horseback riding vacation that I thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, there are a couple of other ranches that I intend to check out on my next visit to Kauai. Where have you gone horseback riding in Hawaii? Aloha!
IF YOU GO:
Princeville Ranch Stables 1 (808) 826-6777
P.O. Box 888, Hanalei, Hawaii 96714
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