Mason Point, the only publicly accessible equestrian trail in Chatham County, is a perfect place to celebrate the Year of the Trail
By Anna-Rhesa Versola | Photography by John Michael Simpson
Barb Oslund rides her horse, Redbud, along a narrow path across a grassy meadow before entering the woods at Mason Point on game land at Jordan Lake. The 5.5-mile loop is the only publicly accessible equestrian trail in Chatham County. A second loop is planned and will bring the total length to about 12 miles (all riders are required to obtain a permit through NC Wildlife before using the trail.)
Barb, a civil engineer by training, is a lifelong equine enthusiast and lives northwest of Pittsboro. She is also a consultant to the North Carolina Horse Council and assists with local trail development, like the 23-mile American Tobacco Trail, which includes 4.6 miles along the Chatham-Wake county line. She also volunteers with the Jordan Lake Trails Conservation Association, a nonprofit organization that helps to gather funds to develop future trails.
The Mason Point trail is part of 90 miles of greenways and blueways in Chatham. Statewide, the North Carolina General Assembly declared 2023 as Year of the Trail, an initiative to inspire people to hike, pedal, paddle or ride across the Great Trails State where recreation tourism contributes to the state’s $28 billion outdoor recreation economy.
“It’s gonna be sort of like riding in a national forest or something like that,” Barb says about Mason Point Trail, which is a model for future trails in the area. “You’ll have a place to park and build out a rough trail map, and off you go. You could spend a good bit of your day just riding the trails. It’ll really be a destination.”
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