We found a piece of paradise at the Briones Regional Park in a recent trip we took to Martinez, California. With its rolling, grassy hills and secluded, shady canyons, Briones is a secret wilderness surrounded by the towns of central Contra Costa County. Although the park is close to Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Concord, and Martinez, there are peaks within it from which you can see only park and watershed lands for miles in every direction.
From Briones Peak, the highest point in the park, there are panoramic views of Mount Diablo and the Diablo Valley to the east, the Sacramento River and Delta to the north, the East Bay hills and Mt. Tamalpais to the west, and Las Trampas Regional Wilderness to the south.
We stumbled upon a wonderful ranch called Briones Horse Ranch. The owners of the ranch created a old West town look to the buildings on the property. We were able to spend some time meeting the owner and his staff and what we learned will surprise you.
The owner named Karl, turned out to be a guy from Brooklyn, N.Y. who transferred to California in the sixties. I asked him how did a New Yorker become a rancher. He told us how one thing led to another and he purchased the ranch as an investment and felled in love with horses. He redid the whole property creating a old west facade and improving the grounds. He also had built a covered riding arena. He told us that during the winter months riders appreciate the covered riding arena to escape cold wind and nasty weather. The owner went on to explain that an indoor riding arena offers a safe, controlled environment to ride.
The ranch offers plenty of room for horseback riding; in the meadows, on trails and on the old logging roads. You can ride a horse right into the pastoral, 6,255-acre park with rolling hills riding trails directly from Briones Horse Center.
Briones Horse Center is operated as a boarding stable and can accommodate 50 to 74 horses. The Briones Horse ranch has in addition to the beautiful covered riding arena box stalls, corrals and pasture. We talked to some the boarders and found a team spirit amount the family of horse people who board their horses there. They shared with us that the arena is groomed daily and that security is good there because the ranch manager lives on the property. They told us that Carlos the resident manager is always ready to help as needed. The horses get a steady diet of Alfalfa hay, Orchard hay and Timothy hay. The stalls are cleaned daily as is the ranch.
The ranch does not offer horse rides or horse renting and is only for use by the people who board their horses there. We have had never ridden horses so were not disappointed that rides were not available.
If you are in the area stop by it is located at 2525 Reliez Valley Road, Martinez, Ca. 925-228-8989
We are attaching a PDF with more information: click here:Briones Horse Center Boarding Application