This is garlicbunny’s hubby. Truly appreciate all the words of advice. Since I am an admittedly a green trail rider, with nowhere near the trail experience/confidence of my wife, I am particularly interested in any recommend trails to hit that don’t have treacherous assents/descents/near cliff-experiences. To say I am not fond of heights is an understatement, and my mare has a tendency to suddenly spook on occasions, with no forewarning. We went to Hocking Hills earlier this summer and I was totally uncomfortable with some areas on the trail. So much so, that I told Patti I never want to go back.
I am particularly interested in any recommended trails. I took note of Gunslinger’s and RhondaLynn’s comments on specific trails and I also saw Rhonda’s offer to check out the map and tell of the trails “we love”. Also took notes of comments you made in another thread. That would be great if you could do such, and it would be most appreciated. Also would welcom Gunslinger’s recommendation on if the two “ridge” trails are something we might want to avoid, given my adversion to dropping off cliffs .
This trip is celebrating our 35th and I’d rather not have it be our last. We’ll be making plans for six days of riding and very much looking forward to it.
The nature of Big South Fork is to ride up and down, or top to bottom and back along the Cumberland Plateau. Most of the trails are going to start at the top and descend into the gorge and then at some point climb out and that's what the Cumberland Valley trail does.
The Jacks Ridge Trail starts near Bandy Camp and while you can drop down into a ravine or gorge you don't have to.
Truthfully, I didn't find either to these trails to be very challenging. The trails were groomed where they could be, and although they're steep in places and muddy as well, they're still a somewhat easy ride for the most part. By groomed, I mean many places had been sanded and blow downs cleared. Low limbs cut etc. The NPS really seems to put a lot of effort into these trails. The trails are wide allowing for side by side riding in most places, but not all places.
Maybe my perception is a bit biased because the trails in SE Tennessee and N. Georgia in the Cherokee and Chattahoochie NF's are poorly maintained and seldom cleared. Just getting to the trail heads is an adventure.....The mountain trials are steep and blow downs can be problematic. My ride at Sumac creek yesterday required the use of a saw .....
So really, while our ride at BSF was very nice, it was also a little boring as I didn't find it technically challenging at all.
I've been told there are some trails that are somewhat difficult but the two I mentioned should be good for you, but then again, there is the drop off into the gorge which is a little rocky and steep in places, a beautiful ride along the river in the bottom and then a climb out. I don't remember cliffs so I think you're good there....
You're going to love the place....really....it's set up for the equine community.......a true equine Disney land.....