In the fall of 2017, it looked like the end for the Pine Grove Dude Ranch, the homey, casually hip horse lover’s paradise in the foothills of the Catskills. Owner David O’Halloran had died in June. The horses were sold. The doors were shut. No one was happy about it; the Pine Grove had been an institution.
Then the humans—guests and barn crew together—intervened to save the animals they loved and, ultimately, the place, too. The Pine Ridge Dude Ranch that has been resurrected is an award-winning triumph of Hudson Valley hospitality and human—and equine—collaboration. Now they celebrate all the time at the ranch, with special deals, with new bands, with holiday feasts—and you’re invited to join them.
Pine Ridge has been listed in the Top 10 USA Family Resorts by Resortsandlodges.com for its stunning views, spacious and cozy accommodations, and first-class riding program.
Mike Offner discovered the Pine Grove as a seven-year-old, loved it there, and started working in the barn at 16. The ranch, and especially the herd of hardworking, well-tended horses, were his life. After earning his MBA and exploring the business world, he found himself drawn back to Kerhonkson by 2012, having realized it was where he most wanted to be.
The Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Appaloosas, Paints, Percherons, Clydesdales, Haflingers, Icelandics, Morgans, and Arabians had his heart. So, when the Pine Grove was struck by tragedy and it looked as though the place might close permanently, Mike knew he had to shake off his grief and step up for the herd.
“There’s nothing like riding in the mountains on new-fallen snow.”
“David had the heart attack in June, and the doors closed in September,” Mike says, “and the horses were taken to auction. The chances of saving the ranch at that point felt like slim to none, but we desperately wanted to save the horses.”
Working with rescues and organizing a GoFundMe, Mike spearheaded a campaign that bought 31 of the 34 horses at the auction. Half went to an equine retirement in Vermont, and the other half were situated in a donated field in Rifton. The plan was to rehome them slowly and carefully. Mike is still a little amazed at what happened next. Pine Grove regulars stepped up, purchased the property, and spent over $2 million refurbishing and renovating the guest rooms and dining facilities, and Mike—along with dozens of locals—had his dream job, running what is now the Pine Ridge Dude Ranch.
Since then, the Pine Ridge has been listed in the Top 10 USA Family Resorts by Resortsandlodges.com for its stunning views, spacious and cozy accommodations, and first-class riding program. It’s been voted a Top 10 All-Inclusive Family Destination by Family Vacation Critic. “Up there with places like Disney World,” says Offner happily.
There’s a Barn Buddies program in which young guests can get hands-on with the herd, and everybody—from experienced riders to the wee folk—can get plenty of time in the saddle. There are sunset wine-and-cheese rides and a new “Own a Horse for a Day” option. Barn and riding programming is designed by and for horse lovers. The Pine Ridge is the place to bring your horsey-loving kid—or your horsey-loving self—for total adventure-filled immersion.
Holidays at Pine Ridge sell out quickly; families gather around the tree for tea and cookies with Mrs. Claus, lovers and friends dance the night away on New Year’s and feast on a midnight buffet, and Valentines enjoy revelry. There are specials for military and first responders, and a midweek $99/night special for everyone.
These deals are all-inclusive and feature Chef Jeremy’s house-made classics (vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free eaters are all accommodated). And for a celebratory gathering of your own, there’s a private 85-person space for your dream event plus all the help you’ll need to make it a lifetime memory....
There’s a Barn Buddies program in which young guests can get hands-on with the herd, and everybody—from experienced riders to the wee folk—can get plenty of time in the saddle.
So chase your cabin fever with a day or a stay at the Pine Ridge, and help celebrate the victory of life, legacy, and horses. “There’s nothing like riding in the mountains on new-fallen snow,” says Mike.
“And then we’ve got tractor rides, snow tubing, ice skating, the rock wall, the bounce pillow...we have snowman-building contests, an indoor pool with waterslides, a spa, and all kinds of live entertainment for kids and adults. There’s just always something great to do.”
pine ridge dude ranch
30 Cherrytown Road, Kerhonkson
866-600-0859 | pineridgeduderanch.com