Not everyone in the family a huge horse fan? With just as much to do on the ranch as on the trails, Pinegrove is perfect for everyone in the family.
Pinegrove Family Dude Ranch, NY
$$-$$$ – Budget to Mid-Priced
It’s amazing how far away a two-hour drive can take you. Motoring just under two hours north from Manhattan to Pinegrove and you find yourself not just in a completely different landscape, but in a completely different mindset. Not to fear—there’s tv in the rooms and veggie burgers on the menu—but Pinegrove’s approach is just more about family arcades than in-room entertainment systems.
A family-run ranch set in the Catskill Mountains (insert your own Dirty Dancing reference here), this all-inclusive resort is a draw (and a great deal) even without the horses. There’s enough indoor and outdoor activities—from tetherball to indoor and outdoor pools to archery to a petting zoo and rock wall—to keep visitors perfectly happy and as busy as they want to be even if they never set rear in the saddle.
Pinegrove’s stable is home to over 100 horses that roam over 600 acres of trails. The all-inclusive resort price includes one ride ticket per day, and they can up their riding time by signing up for private lessons or specialty trail rides. (Visitors who don’t want to ride can opt for the slightly-lower non-rider rate.)
Pinegrove offers Day Camp for kids six weeks to 12, where they swim, craft and spend time riding and caring for the horses. Older kids can sign up for the Barn Brats where they work alongside ranch hands to care and groom for the horses and even help assist with rides. For kids who are old enough to trail ride, but not necessarily experienced Pinegrove’s Junior Wrangler Program introduces them to being in the saddle in short rides around a small corral. They’ll definitely need more one-on-one training before they’re all set in the saddle, but this will at least let them enjoy the feel of horseback for a few minutes.
If you’re looking for a horse-themed vacation with a laid-back vibe and reasonable rates, Pinegrove is your spot. The rooms are basic, and food is good-to-great (favorites are the cookouts). Come for the horses, enjoy it for the chance to enjoy a truly family-friendly vacation.