Whether you're an old cowpoke or a greenhorn, you're in for fun times in the saddle at historic Inlet Point Plantation. The North Myrtle Beach stables offer a variety of guided horseback riding tours in one of the area's prettiest and most peaceful destinations.
Once the home of a Confederate fort, the plantation has a rich and storied past that dates back to 600 BC. It's believed infamous outlaw Billy the Kid lived on the property at one point in his life and the notorious pirate Blackbeard used the adjacent Waites Island as a safe haven. Today, Indian burial grounds, ancient artifacts and the remains of a cannon ball can still be found on the property.
Preserved through the years in its natural state, the 4,000-acre plantation offers riders the opportunity to explore a coastal wilderness and a secluded island with a breathtaking beachfront. The one-hour Waterway Trail Ride takes you past pecan groves, through the woods and along the Intracoastal Waterway where you're likely to see an assortment of bird species and the occasional deer.
On the one-hour beach ride, you'll hop aboard a van and cross Dunn Sound on a bridge to the private Waites Island. Your horses will be saddled and waiting for you at a corral near the beach. From there, it's a short ride to the shoreline.
Because Waites Island is private and accessible only by boat, the beach sees few visitors, even in the busy summer season. As a result, Inlet Point is one of the few places offering horseback tours year-round.
As you ride along the breaking waves of the Atlantic Ocean, you'll experience the serenity and beauty of this island paradise. It's easy to forget you're only minutes from North Myrtle Beach, one of the most popular summer vacation destinations in South Carolina.
The beach attracts a wide array of shorebirds, gulls and terns, along with wintering migratory species. In the summer, loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay eggs near the dunes. And there's always a good chance you'll spy dolphins cruising offshore.
Both the waterway and beach tours are open to riders of all skill levels age 7 and older. Inlet Point's stable of well-trained horses includes Tennessee Walkers, Warmbloods, Belgian Drafts and Appaloosas.
The company also offers a one-hour sunset beach tour, two-hour combination plantation and beach ride and private oceanfront rides for experienced equestrians who want to trot and canter on the beach. From October through March 1, you can bring you own horse and ride from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a flat fee. Overnight stalls are available at stables located about 20 minutes from the plantation.
Reservations for any of the tours should be made several days before the day you want to ride. For more information, call 843.249.2989.