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Saddle up for our latest travel review! We are excited to share lots of details about our weekend at Pine Ridge Dude Ranch, located in Kerhonkson, New York. Take a look at the fun we had, as well as what advice we would give to anyone considering a trip to the ranch!
I am SO excited to share today’s latest addition to our travel review collection with you! If you have been looking for a family-friendly, all-inclusive resort that is a drive-able distance from several major cities in the Northeast (Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, etc), keep reading. If you love the idea of breathtaking views, relaxing time in the great outdoors, plenty of activities, and a friendly staff, really keep reading.
Located in the Catskill Mountains in Kerhonkson, NY, we spent a long weekend at Pine Ridge Dude Ranch. We tried to use our time on the ranch to experience as many of their activities and amenities as possible, while also finding time to relax and do absolutely nothing. While this ranch has been welcoming guests for decades, its recent renovations under new ownership are hard to miss. Brew a fresh cup of coffee and enjoy the read as we dive right in and tell you what we thought of the ranch and tips we have as you think about planning your own visit.
Video of our weekend at Pine Ridge Dude Ranch:
Ranch Accommodations and Grounds
We arrived at Pine Ridge Dude Ranch tired and hungry. Despite our best intentions, we weren’t able to get to leave home (Philadelphia suburbs) until late afternoon. The drive was just under 3.5 hours and that includes a brief but strong line of thunderstorms that slowed us down a little. Dinner was served from 6-7 pm that night and we arrived at 7:30 pm, JUST after dinner was finished for the night. The employee at the front desk was so super awesome and gave us some free meal vouchers to use at the Chuckwagon Grill. We ate some tasty burgers and our first impression of the ranch’s customer service was that they really cared. That was a great note to start the trip on!
As I said above, the ranch was recently taken over by new ownership. The property has undergone some massive renovations and there are big plans still in the works. We thought that the actual grounds were pretty and very well taken care of. The central lawn area was sprawling and offered games like corn hole, bocce, horse shoes and of course a big campfire pit where nightly campfires take place.
We stayed in the Dakota Building, which from my understanding is the most recently renovated guest lodging. Our room was spacious and the kids loved the bunk beds. The rooms don’t contain a lot of “fluff” like refrigerators, microwaves, or coffee pots, but we found that we never really missed having any of them. We actually didn’t spend much time in our room because we were constantly out enjoying activities!
Food Options at Pine Ridge
One of the best things about an all-inclusive resort? Your meals are included in your stay. I don’t know about you, but I love that. Your “included food” begins with dinner on the day you arrive and ends with lunch the day you leave. All of your meals are served in the dining room, unless you happen to be there on a special dinner night, for example one night during our stay was BBQ night. This meal was cooked and served outside, which we really enjoyed.
Breakfast and lunch were buffet meals, dinner was served off a menu (again, the exception being BBQ night). The kids loved the buffets! The meals were good and filling. Again, no real frills or what I would call gourmet dining, but good food and plenty of options.
Also available (though not included in the price of your stay) are the Chuckwagon Grill which offers standard burger/sandwich/french fry fare and yes, can you believe I lucked out and landed at a ranch that serves STARBUCKS? It’s not a standalone Starbucks, but the ranch’s cafe serving Starbucks drinks. While they don’t have a full Starbucks menu, they definitely had the important basics including espresso drinks and Frappuccino drinks.
If you’re looking for adult drinks, you can head to one of two bars on property. The first is inside the main ranch building and the other is by the pool (I’m guessing that bar is only open seasonally).
The Horse Experience
When you stay at Pine Ridge Dude Ranch, your booking includes 1 trail ride for every member in your party (ages 9+). Younger kids have the option for a pony ride each day of your stay. You can purchase additional trail rides if you would like. Every night (during our stay it was 5 pm each night), they hold trail ride signups for the next day.
There are three different rides, based on ability. The rides are: walk only, walk/trot, walk/trot/canter. Based on your riding experience, you can choose which ability level and which time slot you would like and sign up during this time. Wranglers are on hand to answer questions. The line gets pretty long, and it is first come, first served, I’d advise getting in line a little earlier than the posted start time.
The barn is located directly across the street from the main lodge. It is a very easy walk, though please be sure to watch after little ones and look both ways (at least once) before crossing. The road has a steep rise and traffic definitely sped over the hill without much regard to pedestrian traffic.
I did not get a chance to ask how many horses the ranch currently has in its herd, but it’s a lot. Dozens and dozens of beautiful horses. Actually, they had ponies, too! Small ponies all the way up to bigger draft horses. All sizes, colors, breeds – we never got tired of ooo’ing and ahhh’ing over the pretty animals.
Landon was more than happy to go on a pony ride on two of the days that we were at Pine Ridge. Pony rides are easy, last a few minutes, and my only advice is to head to the barn 15-20 minutes before your ride time to get in line. Otherwise you will find yourself at the end of 10-15 kids on a busy day and the wait is about an hour.
Since Lily is our experienced equestrian, we let her go on two trail rides – a walk/trot ride with me and and walk only ride with Bob. They were great rides through some absolutely breathtaking scenery! This ranch has prime location in the mountains with many scenic overlooks. Every turn we took there was a pretty view.
Lily was pushing to go on the advanced ride by the end of our trip, but we simply ran out of time to do everything we wanted. Next time!
We loved the many opportunities to learn more about the ranch horses and horses in general.
One big thing that stood out for us was how many opportunities Pine Ridge offered to learn and enjoy the equine world. Through a variety of different programs, offered to all different age and ability levels, there were so many options for spending time around the herd.
In addition to our trail rides, we took part in several horse-related experiences at the ranch. On Friday night we went to the “Raising Juniper” session and listed to the wrangler talk about Juniper, the adorable yearling, and how they are working with her and what there plans for her are. It was very interesting!
One night during our stay, the usual nightly campfire included a cowboy talk. We sat around the fire, the kids roasted marshmallows, and the wrangler gave a great intro to horsemanship in general and talked about some of the available experiences that guests could sign up for. It was very informational without feeling like he was up-selling vacation packages. Very well done!
Other Favorites at Pine Ridge Dude Ranch
When we weren’t riding or learning about horses at Pine Ridge, we were enjoying some of the many activities that the ranch has to offer! In no particular order, they included archery, tractor rides, a petting zoo, nightly campfires and marshmallow roasting, swimming, yard games, listening to live music, jumping on the giant air pillow, rock wall climbing and hiking around the lake.
The ranch has a general store that sells all sorts of branded merch and other fun souvenirs. They also had cold drinks, candy and basic sundries. This store was only open until 5 pm each day of our stay. Would have been nice to see some evening hours – not sure if their hours change seasonally or if 5 is the latest they are ever open.
Final Thoughts on Pine Ridge
If our pictures didn’t adequately sum it up, I’ll put it into words now: we loved this ranch! We had such a fun time exploring the grounds and enjoying the many activities that are offered. From the beautiful views to the many opportunities for quality family time, we would recommend Pine Ridge Dude Ranch as a great choice for your next trip.
It was the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of our hectic, everyday lives and we embraced the chance to disconnect to reconnect.
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