Amelia Island offers perfect horseback riding experience for visitors

If you were a horse-crazy kid growing up in the ’80s, you read all “The Black Stallion” books and knew whenever the film was on HBO — entire sleepovers were organized around this movie.

If your family didn’t have cable, one of your friends did, and you’d all arrange a living room campout in which the night’s highlight was that part when Alec (Kelly Reno) befriends The Black on the deserted island and they gallop across The beach, ocean waves spraying in the sunset — a masterpiece of synergy, freedom, connection — pure magic.

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I was that kid, sans cable TV, who always wanted to ride a horse just like that. If you can relate, I want you to know you can indeed ride on the beach on Amelia Island in Florida. And if you really want to tap into the roughing it ethos of the film, you can even camp almost-on-the-beach at Fort Clinch State Park.

Here’s how.

First, you’ve got to reserve your campsite as soon as possible. Six miles of biking and hiking trails wind through Fort Clinch’s 1,400 acres of dunes, coastal marshes, and live oak forests. It’s a natural gem, and RV spots book up as much as 11 months in advance. Plus, though the park is sizable, it offers only70 campsites with just 12 for tent campers.

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