07-14-2013, 08:51 AM
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We ride frequently in the Cherokee National Forest of E. TN and the Chattahoochee National Forest, along with the Cohutta Wilderness area of North Georgia. When anyone asks about riding in the area, the first question I ask them is do they have 4 wheel drive. It's not necessary for access, but it can prevent a lot of issues.
Many of the trail heads are via forest service roads which get very little maintenance. They are, in places, quite steep, very narrow, and pot hole filled. Some of them ford creeks.
One trip, the forest service had just dumped about 6 inches of gravel in a very steep and narrow place and we got stuck on the road. Had to unload the horses and after a very scary series of white knuckled maneuvers by another fellow we made it out.....We're now in an F350 4x4 after that episode. We've had trees down across the road, and we always carry a saw and log chain.
The more remote the region, the less maintenance there is on the roads.
The key is to go slow so as not to break an axle or bust a tire.