The Best Places For A Horseback Riding Adventure On The Big Island

11/30/2017 | by Conrad O'Connell | Big Island Things To Do
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A trip to theBig Island of Hawaii is always amazing, but some trips are more memorable than others. When the trip includes horseback riding Big Island Hawaii, the things you do let you connect with nature and the Island in a new way. There are so many horseback riding tour options in Hawaii, especially near Waimea. The landscapes of the Big Island were made for adventures with horses, and the history is rich with tales of Hawaiian Cowboys.

Cowboys in Hawaii are referred to as Paniolo’s. Their history is both interesting and incredibly rich. During the 19th century, vaqueros, or Spanish cowboys first came to the Big Island. They brought their traditions with them in the form of the Euro-Latin culture of roping and riding. Due to their exceptional skills, the vaqueros were hired by the King of Hawaii. They began to teach the techniques of ranching and herding to the Hawaiians. This was because of the vast number of cows the Hawaiian royalty had been given as gifts. The cows needed to be controlled since they freely roamed all over the Big Island.

The cultures of the Hawaiians and the Latin vaqueros began to blend. This resulted in a new breed of cowboy called the Paniolo. Waimea became Paniolo central, and this area of the Big Island is where every cowboy needs to be. It also provides an incredibly experience for all horseback riders, Hawaiian style.

There are numerous options for horseback riding on the Big Island. There are ranches who provide guided horseback riding tours. These ranches are usually quite large, and filled with enticing scenery. The trails wind through pastures and peaks. The views of the coastline are spectacular, and should not be missed. Horseback riders can even see more of the spectacular Big Island like the Waipi’o valley. Simply saddle up, and enjoy the spaciousness of Waimea, or explore the Waipi’o valley trails. The sightseeing is magnificent, and the waterfalls in the back country are breathtaking.

The Ponoholo Ranch is located on the historic mountain of Kohala. The upcountry remains unspoiled, and the open range horseback riding is excellent. This is a working cattle ranch encompassing 11,000 acres, and stretches between the ocean and the rain forest. This is some of the Big Island’s most glorious scenery. The views of the Kohala and Kona coastlines will take your breath away. This includes the Hualalai, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanos.

The premier operation for horseback riding on the Big Island is the open range offered by Paniolo Adventures. When guests ride the open range, they experience the life of the Paniolo Cowboys during the time of North Kohala. Once a guest has outfitted themselves with hats, boots, Australian dusters and chaps, they feel like a true paniolo. The experience of riding a range with grazing cattle is beyond words.

The Waipio Ridge offers horseback rides, and the view of hidden waterfalls. The ride starts along the beautiful Waipio Valley rim, and proceeds to the top of Hiiawe. For guests interested in a longer ride, the day becomes even more exquisite by swimming in a private waterfall. The adventure includes a deeply carved landscape, cascading waterfalls, 2,000 foot drops and rolling greenery. Guests ride to the top of Hiilawe, one of the most awe-inspiring and highest waterfalls in Hawaii. The riveting view showcases the black sand beaches of the Waipio Valley. There is a hidden waterfall ride, swimming in the smaller falls, a lovely lunch and the secret pools of the valley.

The horseback adventure at the Kahua Ranch is not to be missed. The journey takes riders through a working cattle and sheep ranch consisting of 12,000 acres. This is where the unsurpassed beauty of North Kohala can be appreciated. As the scenery unfolds, the feeling is bliss. There is true open range riding available, instead of the head to tail scenario. Every rider’s individual abilities and skills are catered to for the best possible experience. Horseback riders with more experience are given the option of cantering.

Waipi’o Valley provides an adventure of horseback certain to leave a wonderful and lasting memory. The journey is amazing as the riders pass the jungle trails of a tropical paradise, shimmering freshwater streams, magnificent waterfalls, taro fields and incredible vistas. The variety of spiritual places and historical significance in Waipi’o Valley are abundant, and waiting to be discovered and appreciated.

Horseback riding on the Big Island is an experience that will never be forgotten. Many guests continue to return to the Big Island for different experiences and sensations. The memories made will bring a smile many years later.

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