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

Memorial Day Activities in the Twin Cities

From historical reenactments to a hip-hop music festival, there's something for everyone this Memorial Day weekend in the Twin Cities.

A Day Trip to Red Wing

Located right on the Mississippi River, Red Wing offers a historic downtown district and spectacular views

It's Farmers Market Season

No matter where you live in Minnesota, fresh produce, flowers and homemade goodies await

Origami in the Garden

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's latest exhibit puts the art of folding paper on full display with a garden and metal twist

New Ways to Explore 3 Classic MN Destinations

From Fort Snelling to the North Shore, check out this summer's technological updates to historic and wild Minnesota places

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

What to Wear + Where to Go: Music Festivals

Your style guide for Minnesota music festivals

Mesabi Trail Offers New Views in Northern Minnesota

The Mesabi Trail, a 120-mile paved cycling and hiking trail that spans the Mesabi Iron Range, recently opened a new connection in Virginia, MN that crosses the state's tallest bridge and offers amazing views of former minelands.

Glensheen Mansion Bonfire Nights

Enjoy this summer tradition from one of the most iconic estates in the state

Twin Cities Festival Spring Babies

If April showers bring May flowers, spring babies bring fun for the whole family

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day

A Day Trip to Excelsior

Just 20 miles west of the Twin Cities, this waterfront town is complete with charming shops and lakeside dining

Night Art Gallery Is Your Sober Night Out

The Lindstrom art gallery entertains with hors d'oeuvres, tons of art available for purchase, and non-alcholic drinks
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags