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Which local beaches allow horseback riding on the beach?

Shannan Bowen
Beach horses

Friends ride horses on Topsail Beach. (StarNews file photo)

While many local beaches have considered allowing horseback riding, Topsail Beach and Carolina Beach are the only ones where you can participate in the pastime.

Horses are allowed in Carolina Beach’s Freeman Park from Oct. 1 to March 31 during daylight hours only, and not on private property.

Topsail Beach issues free permits from Oct. 1 to March 30 for horseback riders to use the beach during that time. The area where horseback riding is allowed is a one-and-a-half-mile stretch between the Drum Avenue beach access and the southern part of Topsail Island.

A couple of conditions apply, including riding only between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and sundown, keeping horses at least 50 feet from the toe of dune and vegetation lines, and cleaning up after the horses.

But the beach soon could charge horseback riders. A proposal is on the table to charge a fee on the permits.

Beyond the local area, Myrtle Beach State Park allows horseback riding on the beach from the third Saturday in November through the last day of February. In addition to paying park entry fees, each horse is charged $25 for entering the park. They cannot stay overnight, according to the state park’s website.

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