Saddle Up to Explore This Horse-Friendly Trail at Jordan Lake

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Mason Point, the only publicly accessible equestrian trail in Chatham County, is a perfect place to celebrate the Year of the Trail

horse eating

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 oslund on redbud with pam freese and eloise
Barb Oslund on Redbud, walks the trail with Pam Freese and Eloise.

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.

eloise and pam kiss
Eloise and Pam share a kiss.

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.

barb and redbud on the mason point trail
The lush path at Mason Point is an ideal place to celebrate North Carolina’s Year of the Trail.

“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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Anna-Rhesa Versola

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