Registration for the Howell Woods Hunter Pace is now closed.

Co-sponsored by Eastern NC Trail Riders Association,
North Carolina Horse Council and Carolina Hoofbeats TV


  • All proceeds and donations benefit Howell Woods equine trail expansion. Howell Woods is easily accessed from I -40/I-95/Hwy 701 and is close to Newton Grove.
  • Gate opens at 7:00 am, April 1st, Hunter Pace riders begin at 9 am.
  • Unlimited primitive camping available for $20. Horses may overnight in temporary horse enclosures (paddocks, panels) provided by riders. Campers and riders must provide camp-site and horse clean-up.
  • Bunk Houses with bunk beds: $20/person available for overnight accommodations.
    Only 8 beds available — reserve your spot early.
  • All trail jumps will have go-arounds and are optional.
  • Plenty of parking, bathrooms, and water provided for horses.
  • Helmets, boots and Coggins required.


  • 6 and 8+ mile courses
  • 3 Rider Divisions:
    First Flight -- intermediate/advanced riders
    Hill Topper -- novice riders
    Non-timed Course -- any level rider
  • COST
    $50.00 -- adult rider
    $25.00 -- youth rider under 16 years old
    $5.00 -- Spectator fee
  • Sign-up deadline: March 27th, 2017. Entries includes lunch. Snacks and other items will be available for purchase. NO REFUNDS
  • Howell Woods Sponsorship Information

  • Contact Ann Donaldson for info and ride times at 910.470.3291
  • Volunteers and donations needed and appreciated.
    If you would like to volunteer for this event, please indicate so in the comment section of the shopping cart during check out.
    (see below)


Registration for the Howell Woods Hunter Pace is closed.

What is a Hunter Pace?

A hunter pace is a low-key competitive event derived from foxhunting. Teams of two or three riders follow an outdoor course laid out over terrain which is meant to simulate the riding conditions encountered during a foxhunt - that is, a mixture of gaits that a foxhunter typically uses as a fox's scent is found and followed by hounds through open country and along wooded trails. There is no set length for a hunter pace course, although courses are typically around eight miles and can take up to two hours to complete.

It is up to each team to guess what the organizers of the pace have decided is an ideal time to complete the course and to adjust its progress accordingly. The ideal time is determined by sending out one or more test teams to ride the course before the event. On the day of the event, the team which completes the course in a time closest to the ideal is placed first. Most hunter paces are divided into two divisions, with different ideal times. The Howell Woods Hunter Pace will offer a “First Flight” division for those experienced in the hunt field who wish to take the course at a faster pace, and a "Hill Topper" division for those who wish to travel more slowly. Although jumps are found along the course, taking them is always optional for both divisions. Even though there is a competitive aspect to a hunter pace, most riders simply regard it as an enjoyable way to spend a day in the countryside with their mounts and congenial company. The placings are almost secondary.

Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center

The Rudolph Howell & Son Environmental Learning Center, or Howell Woods, is a unique 2,800-acre natural resource designed to provide excellent educational experiences while fostering environmental stewardship. At Howell Woods, you can experience a variety of environmental education programs and recreational activities such as hiking, camping, canoeing, bird watching, hunting, fishing, horseback riding and more.

What Makes Howell Woods Different?

In 1993, Rudolph Howell donated the property to Johnston Community College with hopes that it be used as an outdoor classroom. Because of its size and variety of activities, Howell Woods has some rare offerings for nature enthusiasts of all skill levels. Nestled in a natural wooded setting between the Neuse River and Hannah and Mill Creeks in southeastern Johnston County, Howell Woods incorporates hunting, outdoor recreation, wildlife and forestry management, as well as ongoing environmental research across its professionally maintained hardwood wetlands habitat.  Children, adults, and families can explore and discover native birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, freshwater fishes and numerous plant species in the natural wetlands atmosphere.  The Learning Center showcases live exhibits of native reptiles and birds of prey.

Natural Communities

Howell Woods contains a great diversity of habitats and wildlife species within 2,800+ acres situated between the Neuse River and Hannah and Mill Creeks.  The property consists of over 1,600 acres of bottomland hardwood forests, over 600 acres of mixed hardwood/pine, nearly 400 acres of pine forest (both longleaf and loblolly type), and nearly 100 acres of early successional habitat.  A new 60+ acre wildlife and outdoor recreation lake is currently under construction.  It will be surrounded by roughly 20 acres of upland early successional and marsh/wetland habitats.

For additional information on Howell Woods, visit: