View Full Version : Camping/Riding best places - NC/SC/GA/VA

Jan. 11, 2010, 06:06 PM
Hi all,
We are outside of Charlotte, NC and I am looking at campgrounds/stateparks/private places to camp and ride. Must be dog friendly and have a bath house. We camp in a tent.

Places we love:
Blowing Rock, NC
H. Cooper Black, SC

Places we have day rode and plan to camp in 2010:
Dupont, NC
Camp Croft, SC

Places we are going based on friends input:
Double J, SC
Hungry Horse, VA
New Hope, NC

Anyone have good places to suggest? Anyone been to Poinsette State Park, SC? Lakeview Plantation, SC? Fort Mountain State Park, GA?

As a norm we like to stall or corral as we have an older and I just **think** she likes to rest (never seen it LOL). But we might get a portable corral and that would be a none issue. Also please let me know the terrain. One is barefoot - has amazing feet but would like to be prepared.

Jan. 12, 2010, 01:35 PM
check out Kelley's Ford Equestrian Center in VA- it is part of a 500 acre estate

Jan. 13, 2010, 04:43 AM
Leatherwood Mountains in NC looks interesting, they have a detailed website. I have never been there, but since you live in NC might be worth trying. I have camped in Montebello Va( semi-annual organized ride) off Blue Ridge Parkway. Also camped in Fort Valley Va, and at Bull Pasture Mountain. All of these are in the mountains so some steep terrain and pretty rocky. I have never been to Hungry Horse, but it looks nice from the website. I would assume it would be rocky terrain. I like James River State Park in Va, but you must reserve very far in advance. It is very popular with some hills and some trails along the river, not very rocky as it is not quite to the mountains. Graves Mountain Lodge has primitive camping with porty potties and there are some stalls that can be rented or there is a permanent paddock. I don't mind primitive camping as I purchased a shower/potty tent with solar water/shower bag. When I camp, I usually set up an electric paddock. I have some friends that live in SC that have been to Lakewood Plantation and like it there. I think the terrain there is pretty flat, wooded, and sandy.

Jan. 13, 2010, 07:54 AM
I have not ridden at Ft. Mountain but have heard great things about it. However, it is very rocky.
A VERY nice place to ride in Georgia is Hard Labor Creek State Park. They have cabins if you need them, allow dogs and have stalls. I have a barefoot horse and he did not have any problems.


Good Luck!

Jan. 13, 2010, 10:13 AM
Thanks everyone. I will have to check them out.

My husband went to Leatherwood two Thanksgivings ago with friends. I got the flu and didnt get to go but he loved it!!! Went ahead and are planning Hungry Horse Memorial day with some friends.

I have the winter blahs ****boo winter**** need to find new places to ride and plan to lift my spirits!

Jan. 13, 2010, 10:32 AM
I've ridden at Hard Labor Creek State Park and Watson Mill Bridge State Park. Both in Georgia. Both have nice barns and well marked trails, quality camping spots with heated bath house. Both offer cabins as well. Watson Mill Bridge State Park is friendly for the barefoot horse, I suggest shoes or boots for Hard Labor creek.

Jan. 13, 2010, 11:37 AM
Fort Mountain is simply too darn rocky. Endless softball sized hunks of rock. It's just not worth it. And all the trails can be ridden in one day.

Pigeon Mtn is not that far away from there, if you don't mind primitive camping.

Jan. 13, 2010, 12:15 PM
Willis Knob campground in Clayton GA is great. They don't have stalls or bath houses but have water/power hook ups. The trails are amazing - shaded thru the whole mountain and you ride along the river part of the way, which is very cool in the summer. There are hours and hours of trails. The mane loop on the outside is a good 6 hour ride but there are other trails within. There is a campground about 10 minutes from the trail head (warwoman campground) that has stalls and a bath house - very friendly environment. We just haul up to the trail head..you can ride the road down as well, its not the main road but takes you about 1 1/2 hour to get to the willis knob trail.

Watson mill is a nice ride, but it's very flat and only a 2 hour ride. Really nice for beginner's or kids tho.

Jan. 15, 2010, 05:25 PM
Hungry Horse Farm is very nice. Make sure your horses are fit, as there are some tough climbs on these mountain trails.

Also, check out 4B Farm outside of Troy, NC. It is adjacent to Uwharrie National Forest, which has miles and miles and miles of well marked horse trails. The campsite is family oriented and is very nice. If you are tent camping, don't go in the heat of summer, as there is no shade at the campsites. Check out www.fourbfarm.com

Jan. 17, 2010, 09:29 AM
Another vote for Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia. Many of the trails go up into the Shenandoah National Park. I've heard Fort Valley Stable, (In Fort Valley Va.) is excellent too as the Old Dominion 100 Endurance ride has been staged from there over the years.
Have fun!

Daydream Believer
Jan. 17, 2010, 10:59 AM
I have heard great things about Graves Mtn in VA also. A friend goes there and the ride all over the Shenandoah...and that is a very beautiful area.

Jan. 17, 2010, 11:16 AM
I've ridden at Graves Mountain Lodge (both on their rental horses and my own) and really enjoyed it. Of course, being mountain trails, they can be pretty rocky in spots. Here's their website which includes photos of the stalls you can rent (they also have paddocks available for up to 6 horses/paddock):

There are several big, independent rides that use Graves' camping field as home base. Trails are extensive and go up into the Shenandoah National Park. Most people set up portable corrals. There are cabins to rent if one doesn't want to "rough it" with the horses.

Here's another link to trails, overnight spots, B&B's. It's organized by state (scroll down to the map to pick your state):

The above link contains links to available websites such as Graves Mountain, Fort Valley, Hungry Horse, etc.

Have fun!

Jan. 17, 2010, 01:28 PM
Thanks Gallopher. We camped at 4B last year at Easter. What an excellent campground. The trails we just so so but it was after some heavy rains so probably not the best time to be up there. We like Morrow Mtn down the road but no camping. I had forgotten and left them off my list but had already put both Uwharrie and Morrow Mtn on it.
Got to ride yesterday is NC is finally out of that cold snap. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!

Mar. 15, 2012, 09:44 AM
Another vote for Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia. Many of the trails go up into the Shenandoah National Park. I've heard Fort Valley Stable, (In Fort Valley Va.) is excellent too as the Old Dominion 100 Endurance ride has been staged from there over the years.
Have fun!

We went to Fort Valley years ago and the problem is you have to ride the road for 15-20 minutes or more before you get to the actual trails and it's very rocky.

My favorite place ever is Hungry Horse in VA. I had gone from when is was 7-8 until I was about 14 every year. I then started horse showing and rarely went camping. I just went back last year at 22 and it is still my favorite. It is absolutely beautiful, quiet and the facilities are very nice. It has new (well, they've probably been there 4-5 years now, but new to me!) owners and they have done a great job maintaining and continuing to improve the facilities. The manager they have there is wonderful.

Mar. 15, 2012, 11:12 AM
I just did a site visit for a potential clinic at Grove River Ranch in Gillsville GA and whooooooeeee! that place is NICE! I didn't go out on the trails, but they have a lovely cabin (sleeps 4) you can rent w/ hot tub & back porch overlooking Grove Creek, there is a bunkhouse (sleeps 8), and I think 6 hook-ups. There are stalls, outdoor runs, an indoor ring, indoor round pen, outdoor lighted ring, and miles of trails. And the owner was ridiculously nice.

Mar. 15, 2012, 12:57 PM
Make sure anyone bringing a horse to the clinic at GRR is accompanied by hay that is fully contained inside those whole-bale nylon bale covers.

I drove 6+ hours to get there through Labor Day weekend traffic (including the ATL) and was not allowed to unload my hay and break a bale open to feed it to my horses....until her staff found a big enough trash bag to contain the stray bits of bermuda that might soil her pristine property.

No, I am not kidding.

Mar. 15, 2012, 05:47 PM
I haven't been here yet but want to go after happening across it on TV: the Anita-Alta Horse Camp outside Lenoir, NC. It was privately owned and was recently "given" to the Blue Ridge Horseman's Assn to maintain and continue development as a horse facility. They have X miles of their own trail and abut the Pisgah Natl Forest for many more, camp sites, cabins, bath house and other amenities. Can't speak to the quality other than it looked good on TV. The deets are on their website: http://www.brha.us/

Mar. 15, 2012, 07:33 PM
Have you ever considered the Eastern Shore Trail Ride? Yes, only held twice a year, but the most amazing organized ride on our coast, IMHO.


you've missed the upcoming May 12 ride (these rides sell out in hours)
but you might consider the fall ride?

Weekend Camping...plus up to three? (if wanted) days of riding...friday, Sat and Sun (sat and Sun going to the bay...and IN THE WATER!!!) Sat lunch half way provided, Sat night dinner, and the most fab trail bosses / hosts/ fire dept. benefitting this you could want.

The beautiful Eastern Shore of VA...riding out on the bay deep into sand bars, and wonderful footing (NO ROCKS or HILLS) across gorgeous farms and forests and onto the sand beach of the bay.

Apr. 20, 2012, 05:54 AM
I think Ranoch moor is a good bet for you. There is a bunkhouse at corrour station, some decent riding around those parts as well. . If you have a free weekend, take a trip to northern Wisconsin for a ride. Try the Nicolet National Forest (1 hr. NW of Green Bay) or any point along Lake Superior in Wisconsin or Michigan. IMHO, northern Michigan is one of the best places to go for hiking, biking, motorcycling (touring), and camping.

Apr. 21, 2012, 03:10 PM
IF you are able to consider coming a bit further North, to Pa. just over the Mason-Dixon line is Gettysburg.

Artillery Ridge Campground offers you Everything.
tents, cabins, stalls, corrals, battlefield rides, the historic Gettysburg. ! The whole of Gettysburg is gearing up for the 150th year reenactments.~

Trivia: JFK was asked to speak at the 100th year Dedication Day , but he declined as he had a previous engagement ..Nov 19, 1963 (when Lincoln penned the Gettysburg Address for the original dedication of the National Cemetary

Fascinating place~!

12 miles West of that is the Michaux State Forest of 85K acs with days on end of horse trails, boating(for lease -- canoe, kayak!), swimming (at 2 lakes or 1-pool), hike the Appalachian Trail - fishing stocked trout streams / fly fishing is the best in the state here.