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Douthat State Park (VA)

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  • Douthat State Park (VA)

    Went to Douthat state park today to ride now that their horse facilities are up and running. They have 14 very nice stalls that are probably 20x12. There is no barn per say just 14 big shed like things. The trails were awesome and even though they only advertise 6 miles of trails, their trails do hit the national forrest trails, so you can ride to Roanoke if you really had the notion. The horse campground has 28 spots that are pretty far apart from each other considering it is a state park. I would like to see more stalls, maybe say at least one stall per spot? Overall I really liked it and they have enough other activities to keep non horsey family members entertained
    Just thought I would post a review since they had kicked the riders out for a while and now allow horses in again.

  • #2
    It sounds nice - so their trails actually link into the larger trail system? Six miles of trail is barely even a day's worth of riding.
    Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.


    • Original Poster

      Yea, their trail system links to the national park system. We rode out onto national forrest, over to Sandy Springs Rd. (Dirt Rd.) and then turned around and came back the same way. You can go all the way up Sandy Springs and come back from the other end of the park, that ride is about 18 miles, or stay in the national forrest and ride one of many trails. We had a late start and had some beginners with us so we didnt want to over do it. We were out about 4 hrs. The scenery was beautiful, waterfalls, mountains, some stands of young growth, some really old growth. Nice place and happily only a half hour from my house but they had kicked us out for about three years while they were building the stalls and equestrian campground.


      • #4
        Thanks for the review. Some friends of mine drove up there and looked around and wanted to go up to ride and camp also. Were their sites big enough for big rigs? Electric and water at the sites? Did they have nice trail maps? How rocky is it?

        Thanks! I think that is about 5 hours for us to haul up. Everywhere worth going is a haul for us. We have very little locally for riding and nowhere you can camp and ride.


        • Original Poster

          Hey Daydream,
          Yes their are sites big enough for big rigs, the ones in the center are best if you have a really big rig, the rest will fit a 3 horse plus 8ft living quarters fine. They do have water and electric hook up. There is also a wash rack for the horses. They provide wheel barrows and forks to clean the stalls with, but they do not provide shavings. The stall floors are crushed stone dust, and you can put your own bedding in as long as you take it back out.
          Some of the trails are a little rocky, but nothing to terrible, not like Mt. Rogers rocky. They provide a trail map of their trails but not of the national forest trails. You can get those trail maps from the national forest office in Covington, right off of exit 16 on rt. 64. (Douthat is exit 27, so about 10 miles further down the road) The trails were pretty well marked on both the state and national forrest land.
          The one issue someone might have is that non horsey folks do stay in that campground because of the stalls to campsite ratio. We had no problem with it but if your horse is not used to kids, bikes, scooters etc, it might be interesting. The non horsey folks staying there were great and said the park did tell them it is a horse campground and to expect the noises and smells that go along with that. The only issue we had was some kids playing wiffle ball in front of the stalls and hitting toward the stalls, but when asked to stop they were respectful and moved to another area.
          5hrs is a long trip, I do love living up here because of all the riding available. If you do come up I would be glad to show you around a bit and bring you some of the maps of the area. I also usually put on a ride in June at the farm I board at and you are more than welcome to come and enjoy.


          • #6

            Thanks so much for the additional info and especially the invitation to come up and ride with you!

            I've been to Mt Rogers so I know what you mean...more rocks than dirt. Sounds like front shoe or boots for sure and maybe rear boots. We rode at Ft. Valley back in May at it was a shoes/boots all the way around sort of place.

            Sounds like it's definitely worth a trip. Thanks again!


            • #7
              I just caught a recent episode of the "Best of America by Horseback" series on RFDtv channel and they featured Douthat State Park's new horse campground.
              It looks super nice. And of course, thanks to the show's narrator, now I know how to pronounce "Douthat"
              Anyway, just a fyi in case anyone watches RFDtv.


              • #8
                Thanks for your post about Douthat. I live south of Lexington and Im always looking for trails to ride and people to ride with.

                You mentioned you were with beginners, and also offered to show a poster the trails. I would love to take you up on that offer. What kind of pace do you do?

                I'm riding a three year old. He's been on quite a few trail rides, but I don't want to over face either of us. Truth be told, he's a lot braver than I am. We came upon a bear and he didn't even flinch. I did.
                Jody Jaffe
                PS So how do you pronounce it?


                • Original Poster

                  Jody, I don't know how to spell it out but maybe like Dowth-at. I think I have said it in my head about 50 times now lol.
                  I usually mostly walk, and add some trot and canter work here and there. I can do any pace and I always love to meet new people, so I would be happy to show you around. Maybe we should have a COTH trailride?
                  With winter coming the trails at Douthat will get icy, there are a few local winter trails that are good, the greenbrier river trail is ususally nice and there is no hunting there. That one is right off of 64 in White Sulphur Springs, WV. With snow expected on Wed, and snow last week, I am not optimistic for a lot of winter riding.
                  Feel free to PM me anytime
                  Last edited by MMacallister; Nov. 4, 2012, 08:13 PM. Reason: trying again at explaing douthat


                  • #10
                    Say it as: doth it