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The Following is a list with directions, for Trails in the Carolina area.

Biltmore Riding Trails

BILTMORE Riding Trails, NC - Over 100 miles of mapped and marked trails are available to non-members for a per person fee (YOU MUST CALL AHEAD).IT IS WELL WORTH IT!!!
You can bring your carriage as well, many of the roads and trails are fine for that. Hunting is only allowed one week a year, and no riders are allowed out during that week. On the upper pastures overlooking the Biltmore House, there are cross-country jumps, and many of the trails have optional jumps for your enjoyment. You will ride along the edge of the beautiful French Broad River and criss-cross safely under the Blue Ridge Parkway and Interstate 26.

Additional Information:

Biltmore Riding Trails
(Biltmore Saddle and Bridle Club)
Phone: (828) 277-4458
The saddle and bridle club allows camping without facilities, and hosts several endurance rides and a major horse show each year. The 100 miles of trails are in the valley with no great views, and many of the trails are within view of each other.
The Mount Pisgah area has better rides, but no winery. Visiting the house is extra.
Croft State Park
Spartanburg: PH 803-222-3209
Facilities include a barn with 51 large stalls. There are shavings available at no extra cost, and water is at the barn. The campground used by riders is near the barn and has shower facilities. You can make reservations by contacting the SP.

Dupont State Forest (Not Far from Hendersonville, NC)
90 miles of trails (mostly gravel roads) around beautiful waterfalls that were just barely saved from a developer. One of the waterfalls was used in Michael Mann's "Last of the Mohicans" as the waterfall they walked behind to hide from the Indians.
No camping is available. Unofficial Web Site is
Web page
Dupont State Forest Click Here
Kings Mountain State Park
Blacksburg: Kings Mountain State Park is great! It is in Blacksburg. About 15 miles of trails. Has a barn, numerous trails, and cabins with electricity (plus a lake for swimming), on Natl Park Lands.
Exit 2 North on 85 in North Carolina. Go to exit 2 and come back to Blacksburg.
PH 803-222-3209

Whetstone Campground and Rocky Gap Trail
Right on the Chatooga River, this is the closest you can get to Appalachian mountain riding with the convenience of a warm camp with water, bathrooms and electrical hookups!!! You have to picket your horse, or use the tie-stalls provided. Trails go steeply up to Rocky Gap, or cross to the GA side at Adline Ford, Earl's Ford, and Big Island Ford, and connect with a group horse camp on the GA side. You wind through stately forests of huge hemlock and mountain laurel, most of which have not been cut over in many years. Animals and birds are commonly seen, and many wildflowers and mushrooms are abundant. These are popular trails that are often filled up on weekends, (NO RESERVATIONS TAKEN) but are sparsely populated during the week or off-season. Plenty of day-rider parking, and if the kids want to canoe, raft or tube down the river, that's possible close by. You will need shod animals, and in decent shape, and if the river has so much water in it that you can't see the bottom, DON'T CROSS!! Many people have drowned themselves and their horses in this river! (Take off your tie-downs!)
Directions: Take Hwy 28 up from Walhalla, at the Recycling station before the junction with 107 take Wetstone Road to the West. THIS IS NOT AN INTERSTATE - big hills and sharp curves - stay on this road thru the 4 way stop and until it becomes gravel. About a mile later the turn for the camp is to the Left, Day riders parking to the Right.
Rest: PH 803-638-9568

Parson's Mountain Horse Trails
Parson's Mountain Horse Trails, SC- Parson's Mountain is the highest hill in this mid-state area - if you ride to the fire-tower at the top there is a great view of the surrounding countryside. You cross a river and several creeks on over 50 miles of trails (some are shared with ATVs and bikers and hikers), foliage is spectacular in spring and fall, very hot and little shade in mid-summer. Most trails are open and well marked, many on gravel roads, you will need shoes on your horse/mule, safety vest in hunting season.
Directions: Take Hwy 28 towards Abbeville, slightly east of the town follow the signs to Parson's Mountain, there is a lake with picnicing, fishing, firing range and maps are available at the ranger station. Or you can park at the horse/hunt campground, there is a small overnight camping fee on your honor, but fresh water is available, some sites with electric. There are alot of hunters during hunting season, might not be much room on the weekends!


SMELTZER MOUNTAIN Horse Trails, SC - These trails go for many many miles into the back country of the Upstate, and actually connect with others in NC. They are wild, no-one improves them, no maps exist, the timber and power companies own the land and let hikers and riders use them. They are really just the logging and fire access roads that local riders have been enjoying for many years. The views of Lake Jocassee and Lake Keowee in the Golden Corner from the fire-tower hill are worth the steep climb, as is the tour of the rock quarry. You will need shod animals, a GPS or tour guide, and they need to be in good shape - very little water is available on these trails.
Directions: Hwy 11 to between Salem, SC and Lake Jocasee's Devil's Ford State Park.

Turkey Pen Horse Trails

Turkey Pen Horse Trails, NC - In the heart of the NC mountains, this part of the National Forest is absolutely gorgeous!! Mountain laurel, rhododendron, fire pink, and river crossings galore - absolutely quiet as church except for the birds!!! However, like all beautiful places, the reason it is still pretty is.... it is HARD to GET TO!!! The Mills River community horsepeople opened up the parking area, but it is nigh impossible to turn around in if more than 3 horse trailers or 6 mountain biker's cars are already there, and there is no place to turn around on the access road, much less back up!!! Advice: you can park at the bottom on the highway and ride one mile up the gravel road to the trail-head.

Illustrated has printed a topo map of the area, "Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina, USA", # 780, Revised in 1998. ISBN: 1-56695-037-6.
It is the best map of the area I've ever seen and shows all the trails in the area color coded for different uses.

(A misnomer - USFS calls this South Mills River - Turkey Pen is just one trail head and the worst). In Pisgah National Forest. 34 miles of trails developed by a group called the Pisgah Trailblazers. The trails were originally narrow gauge railroad beds used when George Vanderbilt (of Biltmore Estate fame) owned and logged the land, and created the first forestry school in America near Brevard.
The site of the School is now called the Cradle of Forestry. (The Blue Ridge Parkway from US 191 to Mount Pisgah is built on Mr. Vanderbilt's carriage road to his hunting lodge at Buck Spring Gap near Mt. Pisgah.) The trails are wonderful rides along mountain streams, with many stream crossings. Primative camping is available at another trail head, Wolf Ford, off US 276 near Pink Beds.

Nearby is North Mills River Trail and Bent Creek. North Mills River has 15 miles of trails, more logging roads, and some primative camping sites. Bent Creek has probably 10 miles of trails open to horses, but is day use only. Many mountain bikes use the North Mills River and Bent Creek trails. The three groups of trails were at one time connected to the Biltmore Estate.

Hitchcock Woods Horse Trails
Hitchcock Woods Horse Trails and Park, SC - In the very center of down-town Aiken, SC, there is a huge reserve called the Hitchcock Foundation, with over 50 miles of trails. Trails are sand so you do not need shoes, and there is no hunting, except fox-hunting with hounds on Saturdays from October to March!!! This is something to see!!! The park is criss-crossed by many mapped and marked trails, and provides riding space for trail-riders, hikers, hunter jumps and optional cross-country jumps. A guide map is available at each entrance to the park.
Directions: From I-20, take Hwy 19 into downtown Aiken. Access is available off of Whiskey Road, from the Foxchase subdivision, and off Dribble Road.

Fant's Grove Horse Trails
Fant's Grove Horse Trails - 17,000 acres of property owned by Clemson University is covered with over 70 miles of horse trails (see also Issaqueena Lake Horse Trails, and 5-Acre Lots Horse Trails, below). Trails go along Hartwell Lake, as well as scenic views of pastureland, and trails thru deep woods. No overnight camping facilities are available at this time, but large groups can reserve the T. Ed Garrison Arena horse stabling facilities thru the Clemson University switchboard. There is no official trail map, but the trails are very obvious and well-used. WEAR YOUR SAFETY VEST DURING HUNTING SEASON - deer and turkey hunting is allowed on this land.
Directions: From I-85, take exit 19 towards Clemson, after you go thru the 4th light (about 7.5 miles), you will go down a hill and cross a bridge, be in the left lane and turn LEFT on W. Queen Street. You will pass the CLemson University Horse Farm on the left, then pass the Main Gate to the Arena complex. Take the next Left behind the Arena, and go straight. You will see a parking area in the grassy area under the big oak trees on your right at the intersection with the next road. The trails leave from the parking spot.

ISSAQUEENA Lake Horse Trails
ISSAQUEENA Lake Horse Trails - Extension of the Fant's Grove Horse Trails (see above), there are over 30 miles of beautiful trails winding around the lake, over numerous creeks, and thru rugged mountain-like scenery. Populated by hikers and mountain-bikers on shared and seperate trails, the main gravel park road (4.5 miles long) splits this park in half, the gate is opened for public vehicular access during the summer, closed to traffic in winter. No camping facilites are available, but numerous over-night stables in the area.
Directions: From I-85, take Exit 19 towards Clemson. It will dead-end 10 miles later into HWY 123, turn to the Left and follow 123 until the next light, get in the right-most lane, and turn on Hwy 133 going North towards Six Mile. You will dead-end at a 3-way intersection, turn Left passing Daniel High School on your left. About 3/4 mile later, turn sharp LEFT between the country convienience store and the church, you should see the orange water tower. Continue on around this road about a mile and look for the gravel parking area on the RIGHT (one way in and out). The trails leave from the parking lot.

5-Acre Lots Horse Trails
5-Acre Lots Horse Trails - Extension of the Fant's Grove Horse Trails (see above) there is approximately 15 miles of trails bounding on the edge of large corn fields (big enough for carriages and GREAT for a gallop work-out) and winding thru the deep woods, over small streams, and visiting the Clemson University cattle and horses on their pastures.
Directions: From I-85, take Exit 21 and Hwy 178 North towards Liberty. At the first FLASHING LIGHT, turn Left at the Church. You will go several miles to the first FOUR WAY STOP, go straight about 1/2 mile, and you will pass an old white mansion on your right, take the second dirt road past this to the RIGHT. You will approach some fenced paddocks, pull off the road and park on the grass anywhere there. The trails go thru the woods and down the dirt road to the fields to the North.


Carolina Equine Services * PO Box 1127 * Travelers Rest * SC * 29690
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