Hi Sandi, Starr Mtn. trails are nice and well marked although it has been a few years since we rode there. As for a long weekend you can ride Starr Mtn. then trailer your horse south on 411 to Jack' s River or Willis Springs (bottom of the mtn). Hunting season is around the corner so we always wear orange.
Thanks for the input, a couple of questions. When you say Jack's river do you mean the Cottonwood patch area (Iron mt trail?) Or are you accessing Jack's from a different area? I have a friend with a cabin close to cottonwood so we have explored that area but have never really gone much north of beach bottom Jacks river on that side as far as it disappears to hiking trail. So if I was coming s. on 411 what do I look for? Also Willis spring? checking on map looks like I would turn at Old Fort? Love the Cohutta's one of my favorite places, but it's a tricky place! have had many 3 hr ride turn into 7 one over nite! But I am learning! lesson #1 loops are fine, but there is no shame in turning back. lesson #2 when following a river note which way it is flowing! Lesson #3 always over pack on supplies, at least you won't be hungry and thirsty. And last and most importantly give thanks that I have a really smart mare that will take me anywhere I ask her to go, and can figure out the way back when I can't!
Anyhow looking forward to exploring the area, and yes during Hunting season we both wear orange and a cowbell!
Thanks for your help
Willis Springs is one of our favorites if we want a short ride close to home and still see the beautiful scenery we usually go there a couple times a month. From Starr Mtn. go south on 411 to Ladd Springs, turn left towards the mtns. stay on this paved road until you cross a small bridge and then the road forks on gravel. Turn immidiately left over the bridge and then you will see the parking on the side of the road. Trailers come in early and the parking is limited so we try to aim around 10 a.m. We do not ride on the gravel road we park on but on the other gravel road (south side of the fork) then head up the gravel road (2-3 miles ?) and the trail is on your right side. After reading this back to myself It sounds so complicated but it is not at all. Shoes are a must and crossing the river can be tricky at times depending on the rain. We will be going over there in a couple of weeks if you would like to come along you are more than welcome.