Your beach horseback riding vacation starts at Clam Creek picnic area. This is where Golden Isles Carriage and Trail at Three Oak Farm has set up their horseback riding camp.
We'd bought our tickets at the Island History Center off Stable Road, in the Historic District. Three Oak Farm offers several trail ride prices, all per-person based.
You can ride if you're 5 years old or older, and don't weigh over 240 lbs. Prices above are public, group rides; you can also book private rides.
Our Beach Horseback Riding Adventure Begins -
As our group gathered under the live oaks, I studied the horses patiently awaiting riders. I was a little dubious.
I'm not much of a horsey person. Martha used to own a horse that had a disposition that old-time cowboys would label "hell-on-wheels". He'd try to buck you off at the drop of a hat. Or bite you when you least expected it.
These horses, however, were of gentler stock, and we had no trouble mounting and following our guide down the trail.
If you've never rode a horse - or experienced beach horseback riding - Three Oak Farms will introduce you to their docile island horses and help you overcome any qualms you might have (hey, these animals were on "island time" - like us, they didn't want to do any more than they had to).
The trail starts at Clam Creek, across the road from the picnic area, on Jekyll Island's northern end. The first leg meanders thorough a maritime forest environment. The sound of the wind through the live oaks, the clop of the horse's hoofs, and the creek of saddle leather lull you into a delicious state of relaxation.
Before long, you'll adjust to your horse's gait and rock gently in the saddle, at peace with the world.
After a bit, the trail leaves the maritime forest and runs alongside virgin salt marsh. Keep a look out for the wood storks, song birds, raccoons and deer that live in the area.
The trail winds along, and soon you'll follow your horse's nose out onto Driftwood Beach. This is the really fun part.
You'll ride along the beach, enjoying the salty sea breezes and the sight of the boneyard trees that gives Driftwood Beach its name. These are huge oaks and pines that have been undermined by erosion and toppled into the sea. Wind and salt water have worked their magic to transform these trees into beautiful driftwood-gray organic sculptures.
Hope you remembered your camera.
Across St. Simons Sound, you can see the St. Simons lighthouse, a favorite subject for photographers.
All too soon, your beach horseback riding adventure is over. Your guide leads you across the Clam Creek bridge and back to your starting point at the horseback riding camp.
But you can always return for another Jekyll Island horseback riding adventure!
To book your ride, call Golden Isles Carriage and Trail at Three Oak Farms at 912-635-9500.