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Week of trail riding in KY or TN or???

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  • Week of trail riding in KY or TN or???

    Well winter in Iowa has been brutal and has my friends and I starting to plan where we want to go for a trail riding vacation this summer. We all ride gaited horses and like to ride around 8 hours a day - have no problems doing 25+ miles a day. So, we are looking for places we could go for a week long stay and get lots of great riding in. We like to do some gaiting but really like to ride at least moderately challenging trails - not flat and out in the open as that is what we have around home.

    Anyone have any recommendations for nice campgrounds to stay at with lots of great riding available that would keep us seeing new trails for about a week?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Dupont and the Pisgah National Forest in western NC. The camp ground next to Dupont is supposed to be "challenging" to deal with but a place down the road is very nice. They will haul you to trail heads at the different parks and pick you up. Both parks are about 10 - 15 minute drive. Dupont is beautiful. I have never ridden Pisgah due to trailer parking being limited and we took the truck only up to the top horse camping spot. OMG the rode was bad with the truck. We stay at my moms so I can not imagine driving the trailer up there but we keep saying one day we will stay at the place I mentioned above and I would pay her to trailer us to the trail head. It is BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY!
    Pamela Ellis


    • #3
      Big South Fork, TN

      East Fork Stables, TN


      • #4
        Land Between the Lakes in Western KY IF they have things opened up from the ice storms.
        Big Idea Eventing


        • #5
          I've never ridden LBL, but back in October my b/f and I were camping/riding Shawnee in IL and took a "day off" to drive down to LBL. He's been there before and said there is plenty of riding to do - you can also ride near the bison and elk area and see them out grazing. Nice, big campground - some of the spots are really out in the open with no shade, though. We're planning to take the horses there some time this spring.

          I've heard good things about a recently-opened horsecamp at Mammoth Cave. We were going to camp there last summer, but temps were in the mid 90s and humid - not much fun for camping or riding. I think it's just called Mammoth Cave Horsecamp; the place has mixture of sites with electric/water, some have a teepee, and some that are primitive. Tie-up is allowed at some sites, and they also have a barn with stalls; shavings and wheelbarrows provided, bring your own muck fork, buckets, etc. They just opened in 2009; there are reviews on horsetraildirectory.com along with a link to the campground's site.

          East Fork Stables in Jamestown, TN is great. Nice variety of trails, from flat and smooth to steep and rocky. Very pretty scenery, nice overlooks when you ride on the ridges. I know we didn't do all of the trails there in a week, part of the reason being that the area had a lot of rain and the staff warned us at check-in to avoid certain trails.

          The staff is great and helpful, nice barns if you choose to stall your horse (which we did). The main barn's stalls are all interior but with plenty of open space for ventilation. Nice tack shop upstairs (above the check-in). The showerhouse and bathrooms were kept very clean and well-stocked with toilet paper. They also have laundry machines available on-site, which was helpful since it rained every day that week.

          While we were down there, we drove around to see some of the other campgrounds. Some were much nicer-looking than others. . .a few (like Station Camp) I probably wouldn't stay in even if someone paid me. There is also a little Amish place called Muddy Pond nearby. Just a couple of shops, but they do fast, inexpensive tack/leather repair and also sell tack. It's something to do on a rainy day, or if you just want to give the horses a break.

          Happy trails!!
          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.


          • #6
            Shawnee is glorious, too! You might consider riding there.
            Big Idea Eventing


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the ideas so far! Anyone else have any other places or more information / comments on the ones already mentioned?



              • #8
                Originally posted by eponacowgirl View Post
                Shawnee is glorious, too! You might consider riding there.
                YES!!! Totally agree. . .you can easily do a week's worth of riding at Shawnee. Absolutely gorgeous there. . .I would love to go back, since my one and only trip there was cold and rainy.

                Some of the trails don't allow for a lot of gaiting, and the NFS will close off the wilderness areas if they get too much rain. It was a 6 hour drive from Cincinnati - well worth it, though!

                If you wanted to do a longer trip, you could do a week in Shawnee and a week in LBL, since they're only a couple hours away from each other.

                Gahhh. . .all this talk about trail riding really makes me want to go camping again. . .soon!
                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.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JollyBadger View Post
                  There is also a little Amish place called Muddy Pond nearby. Just a couple of shops, but they do fast, inexpensive tack/leather repair and also sell tack. It's something to do on a rainy day, or if you just want to give the horses a break.

                  Happy trails!!

                  they are actually Mennonites....

                  Tamara in TN
                  30 min from the above mentioned
                  Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                  I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


                  • #10
                    I second Big South Fork and East Fork in TN. Great riding. Great trails.
                    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                    ¯ Oscar Wilde


                    • #11
                      I realize this is a little further but can't say enough about stable and trails at Acadia Nat Park in Maine. It is such a gorgeous area. Decades ago one of the Rockefellers built exquisite carriage roads throughout the park. I see it mentioned on the nickernews link that there were not any showers there. Im not so sure of that. Maybe there aren't right at Wildwood Stable, but there sure are at the non-horse campgrounds there, I have used them myself. There are two campgrounds besides the stable area, Blackwoods and Seawall.

                      I think the trick with Acadia is to go in off season, fall is beautiful. It IS quite a hike up there but well worth it, one of my favorite places for sure.




                      • #12
                        Big South Fork and East Fork X3. Stunning. The guys at East Fork are great too, very friendly and helfpul.
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                        We Are Flying Solo


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
                          Big South Fork and East Fork X3. Stunning. The guys at East Fork are great too, very friendly and helpful.

                          and one or two are real cuties

                          Tamara in TN
                          Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                          I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.