The Most Popular Activity in The Big South Fork

Horseback riding is very popular among visitors to the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, especially in the fall months when the leaves begin to change. With over 212 miles of horse trails available throughout the Big South Fork National Park, it's no surprise that horseback riding is becoming one of the most popular activities in the park. Keep on reading for more information and tips (including a *Bonus Tip!!!) for horseback riding in the Big South Fork!


The park offers trails for every rider whether you are a beginner or highly experienced. Trails vary in length and are all signed and marked with red blaze. You can take a short easy ride or there are loops that may take several days to accomplish. Riders staying at Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat have access to Salt Pine Ridge Trail at the end of Retreat Road and also have easy access to the Yellow Cliff Trailhead (also known as Troxel-Wood Trailhead) just outside the retreat's gate off of Obey Blevins Road. For a complete list of the area's most popular horseback riding trails click here.

Photo by: Larry McMillan of Southeast Pack Trips

Photo by: Larry McMillan of Southeast Pack Trips


You will need a horse, of course! Whether you bring your own and stable them at one of our cabins with stalls or rent from Larry McMillan, owner and operator of Southeast Pack Trips, you'll have an unforgettable experience in the Big South Fork! If you bring your own horse you will need proof of a negative Coggins Test for Swamp Fever in order to ride in the Big South Fork National Park.


You may purchase a National Geographic Trails Illustrated Topographic Map (waterproof & tear-resistant), from Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat, or from one of the park's visitor centers.



While horseback riding in the Big South Fork, make sure you plan to check out Bronco Overlook: Still Largely Unknown to Visitors of The Big South Fork! Bronco Overlook is one of the few overlooks in the Big South Fork where you can RIDE YOUR HORSE RIGHT UP TO THE EDGE!