I've seen a few trail horses here ( Central VA) under $1,000 but not gaited. They tend to be stock horses which are fine. Also, I've found a lot of times people will say that a horse is a trail horse when really he's just been hacked around in the field behind the barn. Finding a good, smooth, sure footed, non spooky trail horse that's gaited is not cheap.
I had first considered buying out of state but then I decided that when I do buy, I'd rather do an on farm lease for a while to be sure I click with the horse. That's a shame about the KY/OH market. Wow $500. I'd give a seller some side eye if they offered me a Cadillac trail horse for that price, lol.