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We've recently moved our 2 THW's to a new barn, and found out its only 11 miles from Henry Horton State Park. Is there good trail riding there?
only a 5 mil river ride on river rd. Better ride at Fountain Creek on Hwy 50 going to Columbia. And there are other places you will discover in time.
Thanks, Herbert! Fountain Creek sounds much better. We'll give it a try soon! How are the bugs out that way - problems with deer flies, etc? And are the trails very rocky at all?
Fountain Creek is a bit rocky in places. I have never had much problem with bugs there. But, spray just to be sure. You can go to the TWRA website and follow the WMA maps link to Region II, scroll down and you will find the trail maps for Yanahli/Fountain Creek, Williamsport Lakes and Laurel Hill. Happy Trails...
Some may like Fountain Creek but I personally dislike the trails very much. They are not marked so if you don't know where you are going it's easy to not find the correct trail especially when you come to the road. Also the wooded area was not well maintained last time I was there and there were a lot of downed trees. You don't want to go after a big rain as there are a lot of areas that get thick gooey mud, my horse hates going through them. I didn't really find it scenic but you may think otherwise. Never rode at Henry Horton and don't think there are that many trails there. Where are your horses, just curious?
Thanks for the reply on the trails! Definitely not a fan of thick, gooey mud, so will keep that in mind. We're originally from Michigan, which has many fabulous and well-maintained horse trails. We are a bit spoiled about that. Coming to TN has been an eye-opener regarding trail riding. We've been to Percy Warner and Percy Priest Lake trails and were not impressed. Want to try Pennyrile Forest and LBTL in KY at some time. Our horses are now boarded at Bella Vista Equestrian Center between Eagleville and College Grove, right off Hwy 31. Lovely place, my horses sure love it!
So, how does everyone feel about Williamsport Lake trails??
Fountain Creek/Yanahli, Williamsport Lakes and Laurel Hill are all TWRA properties but the trails are built and maintained by VOLUNTEERS! We get together during the winter when there are no critters and trim and mark, I even spray painted the trees with a hot pink circles this last year. We welcome all riders to become part of our work team. Fountain Creek is close to my house but usually only ride it during the Fall or drier months, but it does see lots of riding because of its location. Williamsport Lakes is a very good ride in the Fall-Winter but not during the summer months. I have a Benefit ride there the 2nd Sat of March each year. My pick is Laurel Hill, the trails are marked but can be confusing if you don't know your way. I am always happy to guide anyone who asks. All the trails have been marked with small plastic horse signs also, even Fountain Creek but they seem to disappear fasting than we can put them out. That is one reason I am trying to get TWRA to let us switch to a paint marking system. One great thing TN has over Michigan is that we ride year round...There are lots of other great trails here in TN.
We are looking forward to a long riding season into fall/winter here in TN! I think that is the major difference between MI and TN regarding the park system, all of MI parks are fee-based and maintained by the park rangers and volunteers. But MI winters are killer! I'm done with that. ;-)
Thank you all for your input on local trails!
Pennyrile Forest is not impressive. They have cleared lots of the trees, but there is nothing much to look at. The trails are not challenging. LBL (Wrangler) has beautiful trails. Some challenging in spots -- others not so much. Can take the trail along the lake, and in some places you can take your horse through the water to the other side. Rocky in spots, but great riding overall. The campground is well maintained, and there is plenty of room between camp sites. I am also from Michigan, but have been in Tennessee for 20+ years. Welcome!!!
I agree with you on what you say about TN trails, I don't find them very scenic either at least not when compared to Brown County in Indiana which is my all-time favorite. The week long ride at Loretta Lynn's ranch is fun but it wasn't pretty scenery. I have heard good things about Land Between the Lakes (want to go there) and you may also try Chickamagua in Northern GA which isn't far from this area at all.
You must try LBL. Camped there the past two weekends. Make reservations if you are staying all night. Also have the option of day riding. Trails are rocky in spots, but can move on out on TWH's. The lake trail is very scenic. See reply above...
I went to Fountain Creek recently, it wasn't muddy at all but the trails were a little over grown. It's an ok place to ride ,if you don't mind easy trails. Fountain Creek is probably the closest trail to you. There are all kinds of trails, but most are at least an hour or more away. Laurel Hill is one of my favorites too, it's a little more challenging, but beautiful!!! I live about 9 miles from Henry Horton State Park on Highway 431. Goodluck finding good places to ride!
If you do not mind going a little ways away, we really like Circle E Guest Ranch, Belvidere, TN (near winchester, TN) We like the Sawmill side which has awesome rock formations, Pretty Place overlook, a very large treehouse, old wooden house, etc. They have a new maps &it is pretty well marked. We have not gotten lost yet, but have backed tracked when we were uncertain. Could be too muddy after large rains. The other side of the highway has some pretty places as well, but lots of rock so we do not ride there.