California Horse Towns

and Horse Communities

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The demand for horse property and ranches is growing and the demographics of horsy rural towns and neighborhoods are changing:

The towns/communities to the right are primarily "horse towns" where there is often an ample number of horse properties bought and sold. Most have active groups of owners sometimes in gated communities, others are scattered property owners but most all are avid horse people who like to ride and socialize together. Many of these towns have formed formed riding clubs, enjoying and improving local horse trails, and participate in area horse events. Many are active in horse camping trips, and endurance rides.

New horse people are generally very welcomed in these areas. The local residents are more than willing to share ideas and activities with newcomers.

A recent comprehensive study conducted for USEF, tells us that the horse industry has a $39 Billion impact on the U.S. economy, and that $32 Billion is generated from the recreational riding segment alone, where. nearly 4 million of the nation's horses participate in recreational riding.

Talk About   . . .
CA Horse Towns

Where? Burbank Rancho
Where? Auburn
Where? NORCO
Where? Rancho Santa Fe
Where? Auburn Lake Trails
Where? Acton
Where? Cool
Where? El Dorado Hills
Where? Santa Ynez Valley
Where? Valley Center
Where? Greenwood
Where? Granite Bay
Where? Grass Valley
Where? Rancho Santa Fe
Where? Lotus
Where? Meadow Vista
Where? Penn Valley
Where? Nevada City
Where? Rough & Ready
Where? Rescue
Where? Shingle Springs
Where? Temecula
Where? Valley Center
Where? Paradise Mtn
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Another very horsy community, the community of Greenwood is located about five miles west of Georgetown (between Georgetown and Cool) along the Hwy 193 at the head of a long, fertile and scenic valley of gently rolling hills.

Pictured Above: Greenwood resident Potato Richardson, on Filouette, crosses the finish line in Auburn at 10:05 p.m. Saturday, 2015, winning the Tevis Cup 100-mile Endurance Ride.

Off Sliger Mine Road are many horse ranchettes and trails accessing the Auburn State Recreational trails (thousands of miles) and county parks. It is said Greenwood was originally called Long Valley.The town and its immediate vicinity overlay the northwest segment of the Mother Lode gold belt. There are several wide and extensive quartz veins containing free gold and auriferous pyrite in the region. The famous Fricot nugget weighing 200 ounces was found at the Grit mine near Greenwood in 1865. Nearly $5 million in gold was mined in the Greenwood district, nearly half of which came from the Sliger Mine. The Nagler or French Mine in Greenwood Valley was another particularly rich seam mine worked for many years on the hydraulic system. It was still going strong in the 1880s, having produced a reported $2 million in gold. Gold seekers are still in area. Major mining activity continued in the Greenwood district into the 20th century, much of it conducted by the Chinese. Quartz mining recommenced in the 1930s, and small-scale skin diving for gold is still going on in the Middle Fork.

Some of this Information excerpted from the Mountain Democrat, December 15, 2000, and written by Richard Hughey, columnist

Check El Dorado County and Area#3 for Greenwood Horse Properties

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Coloma, California
Coloma is where Gold was discovered in 1849. Many trails nearby public trails on the large and scenic Cronin Ranch. Also, close to the famous Cool endurance trails where many Tevis Cup folks ride. Lotus is next door to Coloma with and is the gateway to whitewater rafting in the region. Wineries dot the landscape in this foothill community situated between Auburn and Placerville along Highway 49. You can meander around the Marshall Gold Discovery Park with its artifacts from the Gold Rush days in 1849. If you select Coloma for your new home location you will enjoy a secluded natural area to relax and recover in after a hard days ride. Coloma is about 15 minutes from Highway 50 east of El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park and just minutes from Shingle Springs, Rescue, Gold Hill and Garden Valley. Acreage is the name of the game in Coloma and you will find a some fine parcels surrounding this wonderful community. All activities from horseback riding, kayaking, white water rafting, golfing, tennis to nature walks and gardening are available to those of you who select Coloma for your new home location.

Check El Dorado County and Area#3 for Coloma Horse Properties

Lotus, California

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Lotus is the Gateway to whitewater rafting for El Dorado County. There also a number of horse folks who live here accessing trails very nearby. It is nestled on the South Fork of the American River on Hwy 49 right next door to Coloma where Gold was discovered in 1849 at Sutter's Mill. Wineries dot the landscape on nearby Gold Hill. The local views of the river and the foothills are too tempting for most people and they try to find a way to make that view their own. Near the Cronin Ranch Trails going from Hwy 49 to Salmon Falls at Folsom Lake, with scenic rides along the North Fork of the American River, which famous for River Rafting in the area.

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Rescue, California
(Adjacent to Coloma/Lotus, Placerville/Cameron Park)

Rescue is tucked up in El Dorado County off Green Valley Road between Cameron Park and Shingle Springs. Flowers, trees, gently rolling hills screen beautiful homes from direct view. Rescue has a miniscule downtown but horse friendly. Residents ride trails off Luneman Road and nearby Pilot Hill and Cool. It is more of a wide spot in the road than a bustling metropolis but the sense of community is strong. Once you are home, you can block out all of the maddening crowd from earlier in your day. And on weekends you will never know that the other world even exists. Lake Folsom, Placerville, Coloma, Lotus all are easy drives from Rescue. And the Sacramento commute isn't too bad either. A number of small ranchos dot the Rescue Area.

Shingle Springs, California

Very horsy, some with larger acreage (10 acres) Shingle Springs Equestrian Area is nestled just east of Cameron Park, south of Rescue and West of El Dorado not too far from Placerville, Folsom, or Sacramento. And, skiing at Lake Tahoe is only about an hour away. The homes in Shingle Springs are definitely horse oriented and private. Land is the name of the game in Shingle Springs with the vast majority of the homes having over 3 acres connected with them. Natural surroundings, gently rolling terrain all add to the illusion that you are tucked away, far from the hustle and bustle of the everyday world. But when Monday calls and its time to get back in the saddle again to begin the work week, you will find that you are only a short commute to Sacramento or Folsom. Home size average 5 to 10 acres for most part.

Granite Bay, California

Granite Bay has it all. Granite Bay epitomizes the genteel country living lifestyle yet has access to some of the best trails and large, fancy, boarding stables. Some home owners still stable horses in their backyards, but not as many as years past.  Located on the western shore of Folsom Lake, the community encompasses luxurious estates in communities like Los Lagos and Wexford, heavily wooded homes in Carolinda Subdivision and lots of acreage providing homes for horse people. Golf Courses from the exclusive to the executive join tennis clubs and equestrian centers and flourish in this exclusive community. The Eureka School district ranks near the top of the State for the best schools and many homes in Granite Bay are in this district. Easy access to Lake Folsom and the Galleria Center in Roseville contribute to making this area one of the best in the region. Your family will thrive in this location no matter what your interests are. From fine dining to bicycle touring to roller-blading on weekends, it doesn't matter what you want to do. It is all here for you! Nice trails nearby and around Lake Folsom. Count on Horse Properties on 1 acre lots selling or surpassing the $1.4M range.

El Dorado Hills, California

Horse Property for Sale

An up-scale, somewhat horsey and very "high-tech" up-scale community, El Dorado Hills, is home to many fine horse properties, a number of them over $1 Million The community is characterized by large, expensive homes, many with terrific views of the valley from up on high. Off Labrobe Road is the beautiful neighborhood, Sunridge Meadows Horse Community with its own trail system. There are trails off of Salmon Falls leading all the way into Pilot Hill and around Folsom Lake. Expect to pay more than $1M Plus for a horse property. This area is the epitome of elegance and grace. From the wonderful mansions of the Serrano Hills Country Club out to the tip of the peninsula near the Salmon Falls Run, the El Dorado Hills community echoes with unique designs and luxurious showcase homes. With its year round schools, easy access to shopping and close proximity to Downtown Sacramento, El Dorado Hills is a wonderful community for you and your family to select for your new home.

Auburn, California

Auburn, in Placer County, referred to as the Endurance Capitol of the nation (because of the Tevis ride, a 100 mile horse endurance competition) is an anchor point in Placer County, and over one-half of this beautiful county is National Forest and State Park property offering a variety natural attractions for everyone and plenty of open space. (see also the neighboring horse town, Cool, for the gated Auburn Lake Community (ALT),
a very large community which has also direct access to the noted Tevis Cup trails). Auburn has access to some of the best trails like the Cool-Pilot Hill Area and El Dorado county. The city sits above the fog line only 10 minutes "up the hill" from Roseville. Auburn is the County Seat of Placer County with all the history that implies. Your first impression as you arrive at the historic downtown is the incredible sculpture of a man panning for gold. Gold was found at Sutter's Mill in Coloma in 1849 a short but spectacular trip along Highway 49 heading east out of Auburn. The Old Court House sits majestically on top of the hill overlooking the Old Town of Auburn and Highway 80 that speeds you on your way into the glorious Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Lake Tahoe Basin. Spectacular homes nestle into the hillsides that overlook the Auburn State Recreation Area and Folsom Lake. Emerald green golf courses where even the beginner can enjoy a round of golf crisscross the Auburn area. Auburn Municipal Airport makes flying in and out of the area a piece of cake. Horseback Riding, historical tours, shopping, fine dining are just some of the activities available to you in Auburn. Known as the Endurance Capital of the World because of the 5 annual large endurance rides in the greater area.

Acton/Santa Clarita, California

Acton is located between the Santa Clarita Valley and the Antelope Valley, about 45 minutes north of downtown Los Angeles. Most people in Acton live on a minimum of one acre and a large percentage of people live on much larger parcels up a dirt road! This community has regular Gymkhana meets and many of local students participate in rodeo and 4-H clubs. Acton definitely has "horse people" living in a "horse town", and fight very hard to keep our community rural. Named after Acton, Massachusetts, this is a great little town that has a history of gold mining and at one time was considered to possibly become the state capital. Governor Henry Gage (1899 to 1903) once owed a gold mine here in Acton (the "Governor Mine") and sought to relocate the capital here, but his efforts failed and it remained in Sacramento. With a population of only about 7500 people, Acton is a hidden treasure in Northern Los Angeles County. With it's higher elevation of 3,000 to 3,200 ft, you will experience the four seasons here. This high desert community is kissed by light snow almost every winter and enjoys clear spring and summer skies with an afternoon breeze and a show of stars at night. Acton has all of the necessities: stores, post office, bank, pharmacy, gym, hardware, feed stores, restaurants, gas stations, local park, county library, fire stations etc, and in 15 minutes you can be at the shopping mall or large department stores in our neighboring community of Palmdale and Santa Clarita. There is a local elementary, middle school and high school in Acton where children enjoy being a "big fish in a small pond"! There are also private schools and larger high schools within a 20 minute drive if desired. Children in Acton are given the opportunity to experience 4-H clubs, Junior Rodeo, Gymkhana meets as well as traditional clubs, sports and activities. Acton is a great place to be a kid! Part of the Pacific Crest Trail as well as hundreds of others, weave thru Acton. With spectacular views of the Sierra Pelona Mountains, this area is a rider's dream. Homeowners need only to open their gates and ride thru miles of open land, with trail easements that run through the commercially developed areas and neighboring properties. Acton is as accessible by horseback as it is by car. The town of Acton makes every effort to control its growth and has community standards in place which require commercial projects to reflect an 1890's or western look. If you like a small, equestrian town with big city proximity, then Acton might be a place you'd want to call home. NOTE: There is also a community just west of Acton called Agua Dulce that is also known for it's beautiful horse properties.

Check Los Angeles County, Area #9, for Acton & Santa Clarita property.

Penn Valley, California

Penn Valley,  6 miles from Grass Valley, remains a community of peaceful natural beauty with a tranquil lifestyle. It is the horse town of Nevada County. Lots of large, beautiful horse ranches. Yet, it continues to grow and provide opportunities as evidenced by new commercial ventures. The area still maintains a "small town" atmosphere which has attracted both retirees and families. Residents may see horses on riding trails, llamas peering over fences, deer and wild turkeys. Today, more than 8,000 call the area home. In recent years, Penn Valley has seen completion of a new post office, fire station and performing arts pavilion. The Maidu Indians were the first to reside in what is now known as Penn Valley. The4y migrated from the Sacramento Valley in 1833. Four camps settled in the area at sites now called Bridgeport, Lake Wildwood, Mooney Flat and Indian Springs.  In 1848, discovery of gold in California brought the first white settlers to Penn Valley which is believed to be the earliest settlement in Nevada County. Many feel that Penn Valley is named for a Madame Penn who had a 320 acre homestead at the intersection of Squirrel and Grub Creeks. Eventually the 320 acres grew to 700 and became a good part of what is now Penn Valley. Penn Valley was an important stop with livery and blacksmithing services available. Growth of the area came about when discouraged miners gave up their gold pans for plows and the valley became an agricultural community. The area has some of the finest land in the state and supplied fresh fruit, vegetables and meat to freight wagons heading to mines as far away as Nevada. It also became home to a thriving dairy industry which took off in the late 1800s with completion of a creamery which became one of the best known in the state. All that remains of this important industry is the rebuilt Butter Maker's Cottage in Western Gateway Park.

Rough and Ready

Rough and Ready was founded by miners led by Captain A. A. Townsend who served under "Old Rough and Ready" Zachary Taylor. Early mining operations were very successful, so when the government imposed a Mining Tax the town seceded from the Union on April 7, 1850, and formed an independent state.  The new republic lasted until July 4, when Old Glory went up the flag pole, and that was that. Secession Daly, complete with a Chili Cook-Off, is celebrated the last Sunday in June. And for some lively free down-home music, join the Fruit Jar Pickers each Sunday from 10 am to noon. Bring a chair and sing along.

Grass Valley

There are a number of good riding areas and trails in Grass Valley. Lots of horsey set love it here. Steeped in Gold Rush history, today Grass Valley has a vibrant downtown section that has been serving the community since 1849. Downtown buildings constructed in the late 1880s co-exist with architecture of later eras like Art Deco. In the 1980s, Grass Valley was recognized as a self-initiated Main Street City by the State of California Main Street Program. Services included an evaluation of store fronts by an architect who visited the area and suggested ways to preserve the historic character. Main Street received a facelift in 1998 complete with trees, flower boxes and a Victorian clock strategically placed at the corner of Mill and Main Streets, serving as the area's centerpiece. Looking back, the first white men to set foot in the area were from Oregon, and came in 1848 after hearing that gold had been discovered. Soon, the rush for gold was on and a group of 20 formed the nucleus of the town. In 1850 there was the first store, hotel, and family. In 1855 the population rose to 3,500, and a devastating fire destroyed 300 buildings including virtually all of the business district. Closing of the mines by the war production board n the 1940s along with the government's fixed price of gold at $39 an ounce, contributed to the end of mining in Grass Valley as did labor disputes.

Nevada City

A little cooler in the summer here, the horse people appreciate the weather, and don't mind trailering out a little to find more trails to explore, such as in El Dorado and Placer counties. In its heyday, Nevada City was the largest and most prosperous mining town in California
--a title that it later had to relinquish to neighboring Grass Valley. As the obsession with sudden wealth began to subside, a tranquility began to emerge. Merchants and others brought their families, an air of permanency took the place of restless change. Today, it is a charming, restored mining town. Visitors to the downtown area will made discoveries at every turn from an historic theatre to museums, charming bed and breakfast inns, a winery, unique shops and fine restaurants. Its motto of "Nevada City's future is preserving its past."

Meadow Vista, California

Small town ambiance where everyone knows everyone else - (just up the road from Auburn) that's Meadow Vista in a nutshell. It has its own horse trail system and soccer matches on Saturdays at Meadow Vista Park in the heart of town and canoe rides on Lake Combie are some of the activities that can be available to the residents of Meadow Vista. If you select one of the homes at Winchester for your residence you can add an incredible round of golf to that list. Take a short drive up to Colfax and enjoy a first run movie at a totally renovated Art Deco Movie theater that was definitely a labor of love for the owner of this theater. And still Meadow Vista is only 10 minutes northeast of Auburn making it an easy commute to Roseville or Sacramento. The houses mirror the eclectic nature of the area. Ranches and Lakefront cottages are also available to make your own. Mansions and architecturally unique residences dot the landscape. Meadow Vista could be your best decision ever for a horsey community. Lots of horse trails in the area.

Herald, California
Sacramento County

Herald Day is a great example of community effort and old-fashioned country charm. It's Americana at its best. Its sister city, nearby, Galt, is also much desire Western horse community because all of that flat land for large arenas. A great community day, "Herald Day" is held the first Saturday in August and it seems everyone in the community drops by. It is a great way to spend a beautiful summer day. What is especially nice to see was the mixture of young, old, and everything in between throughout the crowd having a great time together. It is like the way things used to be.

Temecula, California
Riverside County

Temecula is often referred to as the Jewel of the Inland Empire. Known for it's wineries and the western charm of Old Town, Temecula is a highly desirable place to live. Temecula is home to the Southern California Equestrian Center which hosts many horse shows including the Galway Downs International Three-day Event. Many world class trainers are in the area as well as several racing stables. Temecula also boasts several communities that favor a lifestyle with horses. Meadowview and Los Ranchitos are located in the heart of Temecula while Oakridge Ranches and Glen Oaks are just a short drive through wine country.

Clements, California
San Joaquin County

Clements, CA, in the San Joaquin Valley is a major horse town. Since the 80s and earlier, horsemen come here to showcase their skills at our Rodeo Grounds and we have a Saddle Shop right on the highway. Also, many high end horse properties are located here just before you reach the foothills.

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Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) nor Garden Valley Enterprises,, or Marie Griffith shall be responsible for any typographical errors,  misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.