Do you have a question?
It is important that you read the email confirmation we send to you when you make a reservation; it will answer many of your questions. However, this page was put together to help address some of the more frequently asked questions not covered in our confirmation or found elsewhere on our website.
What does HORSEpitality mean?
HORSEpitality is what True West does best. It will be difficult to find another place in the county that gives as much attention to your horse, as we do to you. That's because we feel your horse is just as important a guest at True West as you are. I mean, we are a HORSE campground, right? So you'll find us keeping an eye out for your four-footed friends whenever they are in the barn. The chalkboards outside their stalls will help people locate you should there be an issue. And we will "tuck them in" at night before we go to bed - which means we check on all of them to make sure everyone is comfortable, all stalls are locked and all obstacles away from the gates, before we retire for the evening. A happy horse is a happy owner, and a happy owner is a happy camper. We like happy campers. HORSEpitality. It's what we do best.
Does my Horse need shoes?
Often we are asked if horses need shoes in Big South Fork. This really depends a lot on the horse itself and whether or not they are used to the types of surfaces that they will travel while in the park. Therefore, the best way for us to answer the question is to tell you what types of trails you may encounter.
The trails in Big South Fork vary in degree of difficulty but the ones closest to our campground are easy, mostly sandy with very little rock. You will encounter some rock when crossing rivers and streams, and some rock or mud where erosion has occurred. You may also find gravel placed in areas to prevent such erosion. If you are looking for more challenging trails, we can point you in that direction and you will find some with lots of loose rock, large step-ups and sandstone surfaces.
If your horse is barefoot and is used to variable types of surfaces he/she should be fine. But if your horse is only used to soft sandy surfaces, it may be a little hard on their feet. Many people have successfully used boots instead of shoes. That may be an option for you.
Ultimately it is up to you whether or not you should shoe your horse. If you are unsure, then you may opt to put shoes (or boots) on just to be on the safer side.
Do you rent horses?
No. We do not. You have two options available if you do not have a horse but want to ride in Big South Fork. You can either rent a horse from Cedar Creek Cattle Company, or make arrangements for a guided ride with South East Pack Trips. Links to both companies are available on our Links page.
How do I get there from here?
Well... We're not sure. We've never driven to here, from "there"...where ever "there" is. So, to make things a little easier we have provided directions to our campground from major surrounding cities. Additionally, if you plug our address into your GPS, it will get you here too. Just be sure to check the directions on our site to make sure you are not going to end up going through "the gorge". If you are coming from the east, through Oneida, you will want to consider taking an alternate route (see below)
What is "THE GORGE"?
A gorge is a narrow valley between hills or mountains, typically with steep rocky walls and a stream running through it. In this case, the gorge is the valley that was created by the Big South Fork River. If you are coming from the east, and your directions take you through Oneida, you will be directed by your GPS to go through the center of Big South Fork, which means traveling through the gorge. The directions you download from Mapquest or the instructions you receive from your GPS will not tell you about the gorge. You will be descending 600 feet through a series of switchbacks, on a narrow road that has hills up to a 13% grade (down and then up). It brings you down to the point where you cross the Big South Fork River. It's not dangerous but, if you're towing a big rig, there are a few spots that can be pretty hairy. You'll want to downshift into a lower gear and not "ride your brakes!" Or - you can take the alternate route found on our "Rates and Directions" page. If you are not sure if you should go through the gorge, our recommendation is to use the alternate route coming in, and then when you are unhooked from your trailer, drive the gorge with your truck and decide if you want to travel back home that way.
What kind of papers do I need to bring for my horse?
Regulations can change. So we recommend checking the USDA website for the regulations on travel papers before you head out. Each State has different requirements so if you are traveling outside of your home State, you will want to be sure to have the proper traveling papers. Your vet can help answer that question for you or you can go to the USDA website. There is a link directly to the "Export" page on our LINKS page. Here at True West, we require a Negative Coggins at the very least. Without it, you can NOT unload your horse. So please be sure you have it before you leave. Late night calls to the veterinarian for Coggins papers is not always easy.
Can I bring my own firewood?
Big Sough Fork NRRA has issued a ban on firewood of all hardwood species (non coniferous). True West does have firewood for sale on the premises. Please do not bring your own unless it meets the below standards. Any wood coming into the National Area from outside the following Counties: Fentress, Morgan, Pickett and Scott counties in Tennessee, and McCreary County in Kentucky. Non-coniferous firewood brought into the park from outside of these counties is prohibited, unless it is bundled and stamped with USDA, State of Kentucky, or State of Tennessee stamp, certifying that the wood meets USDA Heat T314-a treatment standard. Firewood brought in from within the five aforementioned counties will be permitted.
Do I need to bring my own shavings?
We bed with sawdust. The sawdust is free of charge and comes with your stall rental. You are welcome to rebed as needed but we ask you to be conservative so we can keep it free. If you'd rather bed with shavings, you can bring them if you'd like. We also have them for sale. Please call for availability and pricing.
Do you have hay available?
Typically we do have hay available for purchase, but it really depends on the time of year. If you need hay, please call in advance for availability and pricing.
Are there any fees associated with riding in Big South Fork?
Big South Fork is a NATIONAL park - so your taxes pay for the care and maintenance of the park. There are no additional fees needed to ride the trails. No hidden fees, no bridle fees, no trail fees, no maintenance fees! However, if you are planning an event in the park (such as an endurance ride, guided ride or other organized event) you will need to contact the park for the proper licensing and impact fees that would be associated with that. Otherwise, for just riding the trails with your friends?... You're free to do so. Happy Trails!
Still have questions? You are welcome to contact us directly by either Email or call us at 931-752-8272.
We'll be happy to answer them for you!
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