Cherokee National Forest

Horseback Riding

All open public roads are available for horseback riding. Any gated and numbered gravel road in the forest is available for horse use. Horseback riders should not use roads that do not appear on recreation maps.

Pine Ridge - Trail #99
Tellico Ranger District
Length: 3.6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Description: The trail begins from North Fork Citico Road (FDR #29) and goes up to Pine Ridge to end at its intersection with the Fodderstack Trail #95 at Big Fodderstack. Some scenic views are along the way. Roadside parking available at North Fork Citico Road.

Chestnut Mountain Trail - #104
Hiwassee Ranger District
Length: 5.7 miles
Description: This horse trail begins at the Lost Corral parking lot off Maggie Mill Road FDR #27 and ends at Iron Gap on Starr Mountain. The portion of the trail near Iron Gap is moderate to difficult due to steep terrain. The remainder of this trail Is easy to moderate to travel and passes through the Gee Creek Wilderness. This trail winds its way over Chestnut Mountain. Directions: Take Highway 411 south from Etowah and turn left at the Gee Creek Campground entrance sign (FDR #27). Take the first left (past Gee Creek Maintenance barn), cross the railroad tracks and park in the parking area. Follow 4-WD Road 2004 to junction of Chestnut Mountain trail #104 trailhead.

Brookshire Creek - Trail #180
Tellico Ranger District
Length: 6.68 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Description: This trail begins on Chinquapin Ridge Road (FDR #385A) off Bald River Road (FDR #126) and continues to Sled Runner Gap where the trail follows an old roadbed. The trail ends at Beaver Dam Bald. Parking is available on the Brookshire Creek extension at Bald River Road (126).

Fodderstack - Trail #95
Tellico Ranger District
Length: 8.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Description: This horse trail begins at Farr Gap and follows the ridge top for long distances providing scenic views of the surrounding area. It ends at FDR #217-H. Several campsites are along the trail. Water (not potable) is easily accessible from several stream crossings. Parking is available at Farr Gap Trailhead and the roadside at FDR #217-H.

Unicoi Mountain Horse Trail - #1
Hiwassee Ranger District
Length: 9.9 miles
Description: Easy to moderately difficult. This loop horse trail begins at the Joe Brown Highway in Monroe County on (FDR) #40. The trail has several access points to provide shorter or longer riding opportunities and offers many overlooks and vista sites on the Tennessee-North Carolina border. A spur trail to the former Doc Rogers home site is also available. Parking is available at the Joe Brown Highway parking area.

Directions: From the Hiwassee Ranger District Office, turn right onto Mecca Pike (Highway 310) and proceed 13.8 miles to Highway 68 in Tellico Plains. Turn right onto Highway 68 (south) and go 10.1 miles to the Coker Creek Post Office. Turn left onto Joe Brown Highway (there is a horse trail sign here). Proceed 0.3 miles and park at the fields on the left. From this parking area proceed two miles to a second parking area (only one vehicle pull off available here) to the trailhead.

Starr Mountain Horse Trail - #185
Hiwassee Ranger District
Length: 17 miles
Description: This horse trail currently traverses portions of Starr Mountain. The trail follows a combination of open Forest roads and wooded trails with abundant water. Dispersed camping sites are available within close proximity of the trail. There are several loop trails which are designed to access the entire Starr Mountain complex and provide rides that can be tailor made to the experience level and time constraints of each individual rider. Directions: From the Hiwassee Ranger District Office, travel east on Mecca Pike (Highway 310) to the junction with County Road 315 and turn right. Take the second Maple Springs Church exit (County Road 44) to the Forest boundary and continue on FDR #44. Several horse trail signs are along this road and Forest Roads #220 and #297 on top of Starr Mountain.

Little Citico Horse Trail System
Tellico Ranger District
Trail #165-1 - 1.5 miles
Trail #165-2 - 5.62 miles
Trail #165-3 - 2.9 miles
Trail #165-4 - 1.75 miles
Trail #165-5 - 0.40 miles

Horse Trails on the Ocoee Ranger District
Chestnut Mountain (Trail #63) - 1.5 miles
Part of Wolf Ridge (Trail #66) - 1.5 miles (from Chestnut Mtn. Trail #63 east to top of Big Frog Mtn.)
Part of Licklog Ridge (Trail #65) - 0.5 miles (from top of Big Frog Mountain east to Hemp Top Trail #145)
Hemptop Trail (#145) - 0.8 miles south to the Georgia State line
Sylco, Ridge Road (#302T) - Moderate to difficult riding. Off-road vehicle road.
Jake Branch Road (#101) - Easy Riding. Off-road vehicle road.
Sylco ATV Way #75 - 8.2 miles - Moderate to difficult
Blue Ridge Motorcycle Trail #62 - 2.9 miles. Moderate to difficult.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »