Imagine this: it’s a beautiful fall day, the leaves are gorgeous, and you are sitting on your horse at the top of a mountain with scenic views of Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. This could be you if you participate in the Grafton Trial Rider’s 61st Over The Mountain Ride.
This 25 mile ride follows mountain and wooded trails from the Massachusetts border back to Grafton, New York. The first half of the ride is regarded by some as the most beautiful part of the ride because of the amazing views, but it is also the more challenging half. The less strenuous second half travels along dirt roads, wooded trails and old carriage roads, ending at the Club House in Grafton, where we can untack, unwind, and await a fantastic catered BBQ. Later there is a campfire, music, dancing, raffles and lots of story sharing.
The ride begins around 8:00AM with trucking the horses to Petersburgh Pass. There is a forward moving ride leader, whom you may not pass, and a slower drag rider who will make sure that no one is left behind. The ride can be completed in 6 hours at a steady walk, including a half hour lunch break. A buffet lunch of sandwiches, cookies, fruit, and drinks (and apples for your horses!) is provided by club volunteers at about the half way mark.
Some riders arrange to trailer in at the lunch stop to just do the less strenuous second half (about 2 1/2 hours). A rescue trailer is available at various locations should your horse not be able to continue the ride. Transportation is provided after the ride to bring you back to pick up your rig. Shoes are recommended for all horses due to the rocky terrain.
You don’t have to be a club member to sign up for this time honored event. And if your family would like to attend the BBQ but not the ride, there are options for “dinner only” reservations.
Reservations close at 100 participants, so register early. For more information, you can contact those listed below. See you on the trail!
"Well another Over The Mountain ride completed. I have to say the weather and people were awesome. Thanks to all the committee members and club members that do a part to keep it running smoothly Team work makes the dream work. The weather was awesome for the ride and the music, dancing and food just icing on the cake." RW
"Thank you Rose, Mark and everyone who put this together!! It was a great first time and I had a blast!! You all did an awesome job!!! Everything you mentioned was so good and the music was great!! Thank You So Much for all your hard work!!" CD
"OTM Ride 2016 is in the books! I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again: you guys do such an awesome job and everything runs so smoothly and it's always such a great time! Thanks again for another awesome, fantastic, amazing ride!!!" LC
"Loved the cleared trails & everyone we talked with was so down-to-earth. Looking forward to joining you again!" WB
"Beautiful weather, good friends and great horses! Smokin' did great returning to the mountain, we did 12 miles of the ride, already looking forward to doing the entire ride next year! It was great meeting new forever friends and seeing lots of dear friends. Always enjoy every ride to it's fullest! Thank you to the club members for all you do!!!" SM
“Many thanks to all the friendly folk at the over mountain ride!! Myself and 6 of my friends were all first timers. We cannot wait for next year and we are going to stay for the party next time, maybe even camp. Special thanks to Anita (with the paint)….she kind of adopted us in the beginning. ” – SLS
“Could not ask for a more perfect weekend for the Over the Mountain Ride! We start at 9 a.m. Saturday morning in Petersburg, 20+ miles to the Grafton Horse Club… ”
“Great weekend for our Over the Mountain Ride. The weather, perfect. Horses, scenery and people were fantastic. “
“So much fun at the Over the Mountain Ride 2014. The evening festivities were as much fun as the riding.”
In 1948, a group of horse people got together and went on a trail ride in the Grafton, New York area. During the ride, the people talked about how much fun it would be to form a riding club. Each asked other friends and a large group was formed. It was but a couple of years later that the group wanted an overnight two-day trail ride. Using old dirt roads, a carriage trail, a few logging roads and an old railroad bed, the group rode from Grafton to Williamstown, Massachusetts. Trail riders spent the night camping in farmer’s fields and an old ski resort. They used to tie their horses in the woods, jump in a horse trailer and go to a fancy restaurant to eat a nice dinner. In more recent years, the dinner has been catered in the fields.
In 1987, 40 riders set out on the trail and had a great ride planned until it began to rain during supper. While sitting in a horse trailer trying to stay dry, one rider was heard to say he would pay a hundred dollars the next year to do it again. The next morning they awoke to four inches of snow. The snow didn’t stop until 20 inches had fallen, trapping riders & horses into the next day. The following year the ride has twice as many participants.
After the new clubhouse & barn were completed, the club decided to reverse the ride. We now ride from the Massachusetts border to the clubhouse and have dinner there. The ride is over 20 miles with a steady climb and descent over three mountains (one at the start and two after the lunch break). The ride can be completed at a steady walk in about six hours.
29 Trail Riders Way, Cropseyville, NY 12052
Grafton Lakes State Park is a picturesque place with over 23 miles of well-marked equestrian trails. This trail system is featured in the Anne O’Dell book, Ride New York. The Grafton Trail Riders is an equestrian club begun over 50 years ago. Thanks to the forethought of our founders, today our organization owns 100 acres of land with facilities that include an arena, clubhouse, stall barn and pavilion.
Grafton Trail Riders
Special thanks to Mike Boettcher of Desdelan Photography! He does an awesome job each year on the pictures.
If anyone is interested in a personal photoshoot, please contact Mike (below) and set up an appointment!