Apr 19

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Saddle Up Portola: Horseback Riding Comes to McLaren Park For A Limited Time

If you haven’t heard or seen for yourself already, horseback riding has returned to McLaren Park for a limited time. The San Francisco Rec & Parks. Department is trying out an exciting two month pilot program to gauge public interest and support for the idea. Currently there are 10 horses stabled at the once abandoned San Francisco Police horse stable located at the Woolsey St. entrance to the park. Here are the details:


TRIAL PERIOD – Weather permitting, the rescheduled trial period will begin on Sunday, April 2, 2017 and end on Saturday May 20, 2017.


McLaren Park @ Louis Sutter Police Stables (entrance at University & Woolsey)

  • 10 horses available at the Police Horse Stables for trail rides in McLaren Park (by Louis Sutter playground). All rides are guided by professional wranglers.

Golden Gate Park @ Bercut Equitation Field (Chain of Lakes Drive E, near JFK)

  • 15 horses will be available at the Bercut Equitation Field for trail rides in Golden Gate Park (see map below). All rides are guided by professional wranglers.


7 Days a week and hours of operations 8 am to 7 pm, weather permitting. Please call the toll free number 1-(844) 967-4653 for current availability


Golden Gate Park

·         30 minutes:$40

·         60 minutes $60

·         90 minutes $80

McLaren Park

·         30 minutes: $35

·         60 minutes $55

·         90 minutes $75

(25% discount for SF Residents- Must show valid I.D.)

After years of neglect, the old San Francisco Police stables are finally being put back to good use.

Early reviews of the experience appear to be positive with the exception of a hot horse poop debate on Nextdoor.  According to some neighbors, a cleanup plan may require attention from the program’s creators if they haven’t already developed one. That said, we have been hearing from the vendor supplying the horses, that rides have been selling out with a steady stream of interest.  At the Planet we have also been hearing anecdotally from neighbors that the rides are well run, safe and “a really fun time.”  The interest in the program appears to be coming from all over the city with folks from as far away as the other side of 280, sending notes to the people at Help McLaren Park, voicing their support for the program:


I’m a Bernal Heights homeowner, and mom of 2 kids. & a dog.  I wanted to weigh in on the horse rides pilot at McLaren. My 12y daughter adores horses, and was thrilled to ride today. While she rode, I hiked with the dog over to the reservoir and back, seeing parts of the park I’d never noticed before. This is a great addition to our side of town. Please continue it!         -Amanda K.


Riders enjoying the scenery of San Francisco’s 2nd largest park.


Since this is only a pilot program, if it is to continue, the parks department needs to hear from those who want it to remain for it to continue.  You can voice your love, opinions and suggestions for the program by taking a survey below.

Survey:  On the official page for the project, scroll down to the section marked “feedback” and leave your thoughts:  CLICK HERE


Kids of all ages enjoying a ride in the park.


Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2017/04/saddle-portola-horseback-riding-comes-mclaren-park-limited-time/

1 comment

  1. Joanne Joye

    By chance, I ran into this company when I hauled my own horse into GGP for a day ride. I was greeted by a knowledgeable woman and the manager, Dan. After a quick conversation they explained the riding service that offered. The staff was pleasant. But better than that, the horses were well kept. Fat and Happy as I like to see them. They are a great representation of how wonderful our sport is. Keep horses in the park! SUPPORT this group!!

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