Valley Green at Fairmount Park Philadelphia

Fall is in Philadelphia is a great time for outdoor events and festivals and, of course, traditional fall activities like pumpkin and apple picking. The sunshine and crisp air make autumn the perfect time to get out and about, whether you’re into urban exploration or more pastoral settings. Sticking with that countryside theme, some of our favorite ways to enjoy a Philadelphia fall happen to involve horses. From pony rides to horse-drawn carriage rides — all with bonus fall foliage — here are some great ways to get into an autumn state of mind in and around Philly.

Chamounix Equestrian Center

Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia™

Fairmount Park

One of the easiest ways to experience the country life when in Philly is to head to this expansive park that is home to lawns, trails, woodlands, picnic and play areas. There’s so much to do here, from hiking and cycling to touring historic mansions and learning about local wildlife. Hitting the trails on horseback is a great way to cover ground and enjoy a beautiful fall day. The Chamounix Equestrian Center in the park has a 35-stall barn and offers riding lessons along the bridle trails and polo fields of West Fairmount Park, along with other equestrian programs. The Park is also home to six other public stables, including Courtesy Stables, Monastery Stables and Northwestern Stables, which also offer boarding and riding lessons.

Pennypack Park

This is another conveniently located park, covering more than 1,300 acres, featuring meadows and rolling hills and miles of trails for horseback riding (as well as hiking, cycling and jogging). If you prefer to stroll on your own two feet, the Friends of Pennypack Park offer monthly guided walks with author Roland Williams, who will inform and entertain with his insight on nature and Philadelphia’s history. The next walk is scheduled for October 18, with another one slated for November 19.

Society Hill by Horse and Buggy | Visit Philadelphia

Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia™

Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours

If you’re serious about experiencing Philly’s history, you’ll want to see the city as many of its first residents did, via a horse-drawn carriage. Horse-drawn carriage tours are a leisurely way to get your bearings and also dive deep into the early days of the city—and the United States. Look for businesses such as ’76 Carriage Company and Philadelphia Carriage Company. Most carriage rides depart from the area near Independence Hall on Chestnut Street.