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jtrider's Reviews

Alafia River State Park, near Lithia, FL

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Great day riding yesterday. There is a nice variety of scenery. Enough trails for a couple of days of riding. A Paso Fino club was holding a poker run. Thanks for the prize and lunch!
Reviewed by jtrider on 5/1/2005 8:06:45 AM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 4/30/2005 Hometown: Sunbury, OH
Highlands Hammock State Park, near Sebring, FL

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There is only one marked trail, which is 10 miles. The first part is a straight path that is out and back from a loop. This part of the ride is very enjoyable. The loop itself is not pretty at all. It circles an area that they had a controlled burn within the last year or so. There are some two track dirt roads that are not official trails that are pretty nice to ride also. We stayed here a few years ago but I wouldn't go again because it seems like there were more trails back then. We rode most of the rideable area in about three hours. Certainly not enough trail to justify camping.
Reviewed by jtrider on 2/21/2007 10:58:54 AM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 2/20/2007 Hometown: Okeechobee, FL
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, near Okeechobee, FL

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The winter is the best (only?) time to ride here. Much of the riding is on open prairie so the sun can be hot. We had a great ride. The sun was bright and a cool breeze was blowing from the north. We rode a loop from the camp to the Kissimmee River and return. About 18 miles total. On the way we gaited across prairie, enjoyed walks through a few hammocks, and cantered (gaited horses can canter, you know) on some back roads; oh yes, we also splashed along about a mile of trail that was under water. My two friends on Paso's got their boots full of water but my Walker kept me above most of the wet. All in all a fun day. We didn't camp but I don't remember seeing any hook-ups. Better check on that if you need them. There is plenty of watering holes for the horses.
Reviewed by jtrider on 12/28/2003 10:04:22 AM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 12/27/2003 Hometown: Okeechobee, FL
St. Sebastian River State Buffer Preserve, near Sebastian, FL

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The north trail head is the better with more variety of scenery. On the day we rode it was cool (50's) and windy. Much of it is very open so the sun felt nice. The leaves on the cypress were just starting to come out. It was very dry and the areas that normally have water standing were completely dry.
Reviewed by jtrider on 1/30/2007 7:32:51 AM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 1/29/2007 Hometown: Okeechobee, FL
Brighton State Recreation Area, near Howell, MI

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We were impressed with how well the trails are maintained. There is a variety of terrain from flat to short fairly steep climbs and decents. We drove through the campground and it also was well maintained. The only downside to the camp is that there are very few level spots, especially for larger rigs.
Reviewed by jtrider on 9/3/2004 10:36:10 AM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/2/2004 Hometown: Sunbury, OH
Ionia State Recreation Area, near Ionia , MI

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We rode most of the available trail system (one loop was closed due to conditions), in between three and four hours. It is very well maintained. The campground looked nice too but we were there just for a day ride.
Reviewed by jtrider on 9/3/2004 10:47:46 AM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 8/31/2004 Hometown: , OH
Sleepy Hollow State Park, near St. Johns, MI

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This is a great place to ride for an easy day ride, especially if you like to gait or trot your horse. Over mostly level terrain, the trail snakes through forest, meadows, and brush on a well maintained route. It was fun racking along the twisting turning trails.
Reviewed by jtrider on 9/3/2004 10:41:23 AM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/1/2004 Hometown: , OH
Deep Creek Boarding Stable and Camping , near Bryson City, NC

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The Smokies are one of our favorite places to ride. It is rigorous so your horses should be in good condition. It's also rocky so shoes or boots are a must. The camp is well maintained. Ask for a spot on the river. The only reason I didn't give the camp 5 stars is that it's about a mile from the trail head. He does have trailers he let's you use (free). If you're there for more than a couple of days it's nice to got to different trail heads anyway.
Reviewed by jtrider on 9/12/2009 6:20:14 AM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 7/20/2009 Hometown: Columbus, NC
Dupont State Forest - Holly View Farm, near Brevard, NC

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This review is about the trails at DuPont. We always enjoy riding there. If this is your first visit, I would recommend riding out of the Lake Imaging trail head first. It's easy to get to all the falls, plus other nice riding. The Corn Mill shoals trail head has more single track trail through very scenic terrain (and some more difficult). There's quite a bit of road riding out of the Buck Forest trail head. The Fawn Lake and Guion Farm trail heads offer interesting riding but aren't used as much. You can get to most all of the riding from any of these trail heads. Oh, you should have a map of the forest, which Tracy or the park office should be able to give you.
Reviewed by jtrider on 11/14/2009 9:30:39 AM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/15/2009 Hometown: Columbus, NC
Nantahala National Forest - Fires Creek Area - Walnut Hollow Ranch Trail Vacation Stables, near Hayesville, NC

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The Fires Creek area is a beautiful place to ride. Lots of mountain streams, and in the late fall and winter, there's great views also. Of course, with mountain streams comes moutains, so your horse better be in great condition. A word to the wise, this place is not for timid riders or out of shape horses. Charlis and Barb are great folks. The only downside is you have to trailer to the trail heads but it's the only place I know of in the area where you can get hook-ups. The campsites at Fires Creek (Bristol) and Standing Indian are both primitive.
Reviewed by jtrider on 8/14/2006 5:46:17 PM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/14/2006 Hometown: Columbus, NC
Pisgah Natl Forest - Holly View Farm, near Brevard, NC

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Pisgah is one of my favorite places to ride. It can be rugged in spots. In one section, you cross the South Mills River 13 times. Probably not for the beginner without a guide. Horses should be in reasonably good condition and shoes are a must. We stayed at Holly View Farm, which offers a "Class A" campground with hook-ups, level pads, a toilet with shower, and a small bunk house. Horses can be kept inside in stalls or in paddocks with covered shelter. Holly View Farm is about 8 miles from the Turkey Pen trailhead. Tracy will take you and your horses there for a small fee.
Reviewed by jtrider on 2/23/2007 12:15:50 PM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/15/2006 Hometown: Okeechobee, FL
Pisgah Natl Forest - Wolf Ford Campground, near Brevard, NC

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Our favorite trail out of the campground at Wolf's Ford is to take the old logging road to Horse Cove Gap and down to Cantrell Creek then follow South Mills River, crossing 13 times, then either follow the South Mills River trail or go up to Squirrel Gap. The Pisgah Trailblazers have done some nice work putting in stone pads at the campsite. They are working with the Ranger District and hoping to put in toilets also. This is only a 4 star camp if you like primitive camping. There are no showers and you must bring your own water. There is a creek for horse water.
Reviewed by jtrider on 9/12/2009 6:39:47 AM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 7/15/2009 Hometown: , Select State

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OK Jamie, I goofed and picked the wrong experience factor. Actually, my wife and I and our horses have ridden more than a few miles.
Reviewed by jtrider on 8/21/2004 3:22:14 PM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 7/31/2002 Hometown: sunbury, OH

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We really enjoyed our stay in Pisgah. We rode the trails marked on the National Geographic Illustrated Trails map. We stayed at a primitive camp near the Pink Beds area. There was no facilities but a nice stream flowed through the camp.
Reviewed by jtrider on 9/9/2002 5:35:43 PM Experience: Beginner Ride Date: 7/31/2002 Hometown: Sunbury, OH
South Mountain State Park, near Morganton, NC

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We rode here for the first time in several years and I can say "What an improvement." The park has (and still is) put a lot of effort into improving the trails. We only rode about 10 miles of the 30 or so but all of them were in excellent shape. The views were terrific (no leaves in Dec). We walked to the top of the High Shoals Falls (about a couple hundred yards from where you tie the horses). I understand that the water falls about 80 feet from the top and there is a staircase to take but we didn't take it. I didn't rate the campground because we were there just for the day
Reviewed by jtrider on 12/11/2011 8:52:08 PM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 12/11/2011 Hometown: Columbus, NC
Gettysburg Horse Park, near Gettysburg, PA

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All I can say is "What a disappointment." We signed up for the four hour tour. We expected to be given a feel for the battle by being shown key locations and being told of troop movements, etc. There is a very nice driving tour where you can park you car and go up to monuments, etc. However, there is no place to tie your horse so we only got to see one monument, which was somewhat out of the way. We were told by the guide that the park didn't want horse trails and tie-up rails spoiling the sense of history of the battlefield (like cars, paved roads, and parking lots don't...).
Reviewed by jtrider on 8/2/2004 5:15:27 PM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/8/2004 Hometown: Delaware, OH
Michaux State Forest, near Gettysburg, PA

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This was a nice place to ride but the Forest Service office told us to stay at the Big Flat campground, which turned out to be marked for and used primarily by people with four wheelers. Most of the horse trails are about 15 miles from this camp so the next day we moved and rode out of, and stayed at the horse parking area the second night. What fun going someplace for the first time, eh? (especially if your horse, like mine, is scared to death of 4 wheelers)
Reviewed by jtrider on 8/2/2004 5:19:03 PM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/6/2004 Hometown: Delaware, OH
Double J Ranch LLC, near Whitmire, SC

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Dave and Jan are great folks. Dave rode with us on our first day and among other things showed us the river ride. It was great! The water was up a little so we got wet up to our knees. There's a swimming hole too (not hot enough for us to swim) so in the summer it would be fun. Very varied terrain...mostly single track with some dirt roads... from easy to almost extreme. My horse was green and barefoot and he did great. The only negative relates to the fact that this is a new campground with new trails; there is a lot of bare clay in the campground because the grass hasn't grown in yet. However, the roads and parking pads have good rock/gravel base so even if it rains you won't get stuck. It's likely to be muddy walking around if it rains much, which is the reason I only rated the campground three stars. I see this as a temporary thing. Also, some of the trails are recently bulldozed, which I think is kind of ugly but once again, when the grass grows in they should be fine. As far as the trail rating goes, you can find what you like because of the variety. My wife didn't like some of the steeps we found (which I do like) but Dave can tell you where to go to avoid this terrain if you don't like it. I didn't rate the trails five stars because I don't care for bulldozed trails, but in total mileage these trails are probably less than 10% of the total so don't make too much of this comment.
Reviewed by jtrider on 5/12/2008 4:31:35 AM Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 4/18/2008 Hometown: Columbus, NC
Sand Hills State Forest, near kershaw, sc

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Class A campground with lots of room on each site. The trails were well marked and in good condition. Very easy riding...good for fast riding. It rained once when we were there, which was good because the trails get dusty when it is dry.
Reviewed by jtrider on Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/29/2006 Hometown: Columbus, NC
Great Smokie Mountain National Park, near Townsend, TN

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For us, there is no better riding than the Great Smoky Mtns. There is a lot of elevation change but the trail grades are not severe. Some trails are cut into fairly steep slopes so if you're not used to mountain riding, it can be exciting. If your horse isn't in great physical condition, don't take it! You could easily ride through 5000 feet of elevation change. Most trails offer many small stream crossings so water for your horse isn't a problem. We don't like the camps in the park and haven't stayed in the park. The parking spaces are small and you are required to tie your horse in a narrow tie stall with concrete footing. We always stay at one of the private campgrounds and trailer to the trail heads. Many, if not most of the campgrounds (listed separately) have stock trailers you can rent for a nominal fee to trailer to the trail heads.
Reviewed by jtrider on 3/30/2007 5:19:29 AM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/15/2006 Hometown: Columbus, NC
Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Orchard Cove Stables, near Townsend, Tn

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One of the nicest campgrounds we have visited. All sites have water and electric. The stall barn is new with water convenient to every stall. I used the arena to exercise my horses after arriving. The trails in the park are great, although be prepared for very rocky footing on many of them. There is about 3 to 4 days of riding from the campground and it is well worth it to visit other trail heads. I understand that you can borrow/rent one of their trailers if you want to go to another trail head. We used the Tremont trail head one day and rode past a bear that was about 90 feet off the trail. He was just sitting there watching us ride by.
Reviewed by jtrider on 6/15/2008 12:00:49 PM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/12/2008 Hometown: Columbus, NC
Rocknhorse Stables, near Townsend, TN

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You ride the Great Smoky Mountain Natl Park from here. The Park is one of my favorite places to ride. RocknHorse is a nice place to stay. The parking areas for RV/Trailers is a little tight but they have a choice of stalls or paddocks for the horses, as well as a wash rack. You have to trailer to the trail heads. I think they have a trailer they will loan/rent.
Reviewed by jtrider on 2/23/2007 1:10:56 PM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/15/2006 Hometown: Okeechobee, FL
True West Campground, Stables and Mercantile in BSF, near Jamestown, TN

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Hi Donna, Thanks for giving me a heads up on the stalled website. I had been doing some maintenance and didn't correct the file location when I uploaded a change. I appreciate you keeping your eye on things. John.
Reviewed by jtrider on 1/16/2016 4:32:09 PM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/20/2015 Hometown: Columbus, NC

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I would like to add a point of clarification regarding Bill's comment. True West is on the highway and to get to some of the trails you must cross the highway and ride a couple of hundred yards on a gravel road before you reach a trail. Or, you can leave from the back of the campground and avoid the highway altogether...note from this direction you ride some beautiful trails and there are a couple of interesting hills that might be exciting to a flat lander.
Reviewed by jtrider on 7/1/2011 7:19:55 AM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/15/2011 Hometown: Columbus, NC
Zenith Stables & Campground, near Allardt, TN

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Very clean campground. Sharon was very helpful even though we were there for just a day ride. Trails out of camp are interesting. They had had a lot of rain so there were muddy spots but overall very nice riding. They are located on the south side of the Big South Fork Recreation riding so there's lots of riding.
Reviewed by jtrider on 6/11/2017 9:28:52 PM Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/9/2017 Hometown: Columbus, NC