Four concessionaires offer horseback riding trips in Great Smoky Mountain National Park, starting in mid-March and ending in November. These outfitters will rent you a horse for about $20 an hour. Overnight packages are available.
Tennessee outfitters are Cades Cove Stables (Cades Cove, 865/448-6286), Sugarlands Stables (865/436-5634), and Smoky Mountain Stables (Gatlinburg, 865/436-5634). In North Carolina, Smokemont Stables (828/497-2373) is located near Cherokee.
Horses are allowed on certain trails inside the park. The NPS trail map indicates horse trails, as well as backcountry campsites where horses are allowed. In addition, there are five drive-in horse camps that provide access to backcountry horse trails.
These camps are located at Cades Cove, Big Creek, Cataloochee, Round Bottom, and Towstring, and are open from April through mid-November. Reservations may be made by calling 877/444-6777 or visiting www.recreation.gov.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition