Edit ModuleShow Tags

Outback Trail Rides


It's easy to get swept up in the Twin Cities' fairs, concerts, and general surplus of summer cultural activities. But I urge you to drive to a plot of land about 2.5 hours northwest of Minneapolis and St. Paul for a quieter, peaceful outing.

Outback Trail Rides, Inc. is a dude ranch of sorts, offering beautiful rides on well behaved horses amid The Pillsbury State Forest—our oldest—located in Pillage, Minn. (near Gull Lake Resorts and Grand View Lodge, or just outside Baxter).

Outback Trail RidesWhen I traveled there a few weeks ago, the forest was just waking up, with snow still on the ground in some places, and lots of brown and branches around from the early spring storms. Their winter sleighs were in storage and gracious owner Sheree was itchin' for Mother Nature to lighten up before opening public rides for the season. Our call was apparently just the prompting she needed to lead her first organized trip!

Any riding experience is welcome; the guides will pick a horse that's suited. That was a comfort to me, since I hadn't hopped on a horse in years and only had childhood memories to guide me.

Trail RideBut the riding a bike adage is true, and it was as safe and relaxing an experience as I hoped. Sheree led us all around her grounds, with the ranch's dogs swirling around for the ride, and kept up a steady stream of friendly chatter. We learned that Outback is a family-owned ranch that began in the 90's, but has a team of employees who lead trail rides often at the same time, during the busiest of seasons. The name comes from Sheree's beloved experience traveling through Australia.

A one-hour trail ride (which felt just perfect) is $28 per person for those 6 years old and over; it's $40 per person for private rides; $42 for 1.5 hour rides; $55 for two-hour rides.

Outback also boards horses, hosts riding lessons and a regular Junior Wrangler Program for kids, and can arrange private event-based group rides or picnic and camping options upon request.

Get out there—nature and a friendly steed are waiting.

Outback Trail Rides, Inc.
12210 Pillsbury Forest Road SW, Pillager, MN
218-746-3990, outbackranch.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Green Thumb Gardens

The 2018 Hennepin County Master Gardener Learning Garden Tour flaunts its foliage July 14

Best Caves of Minnesota

Explore Minnesota’s man-made and natural curiosities this summer

Amble Over to Afton

While you’re in Afton for Selma’s, stay a while and check out the state parks, historic buildings, quaint downtown, and more

Take a Trip for (Frozen) Treats

Grab a scoop from the state’s oldest ice cream shop in Afton: Selma’s Ice Cream Parlour

Journeys: A Minnesotan’s Happy Place

Time wasted at the lake is time well spent

Journeys: The Start of Adventure

To prep for wilderness canoe trips, Les Voyageurs brings campers out on the Mississippi River

Top 5 Instagram Spots Along the Mississippi River

Bluffs, hiking trails, and waterfalls make for beautiful summer photos

Summer Sunburn Solutions

Six ways to beat the burn

Brews and Views at the Hopped Up Caribou Festival

There's no better place to tie the knot than at a craft beer festival, and if you're not into that, you can cliff climb, too

A Day Trip to Hudson

St. Croix River views, hiking trails at Willow River State Park, and quaint downtown eats await in Hudson

Stone Arch Bridge, Saved for the Summer

We don't have to worry about our favorite bridge anymore—at least for the summer

The Best of Chisago Lakes

Something to do, eat, and see in the five small towns that make up one big community

What to Do for Twin Cities Pride, June 22-24

Mark your calendars for the best events of Twin Cities Pride

First Look: Lora Hotel Opens in Stillwater

Stillwater gets an update with a boutique hotel offering river and downtown views
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags