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2003/04/03

Chickasaw Tenn. State Park, Suits Many Trail Riding Needs Chickasaw State Rustic Park is situated on some of the highest terrain in west Tennessee. Of the area's 14,384 acres of timberland, 1,280 acres are used for recreation. At least for most people...with out horses that is. Many visitors bring their own mounts to explore the remainder of the state forest, managed jointly by the State Forestry Division and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which is adorned with over 100-miles of tails for those on horse back. Chickasaw Stables manager, Phil "Blondy" Arnold will provide riders with maps of trails in the forest. "All the trails are well marked...and are old fire roads. They are made mostly of rocks and gravel, but are well packed," Blondy says. Blondy will also rent you a horse the park stables, which he has been leasing now for three years to run Chickasaw Stables. This a forty year veteran of the trail can also takes you on a one hour guided trail. Children under 9 years of age may not ride on the trail. Stables are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summer months, daily, except Mondays. Unless there is a holiday weekend. The stable is open weekends in the spring and fall. The fee for horseback riding at the stables is $12 per person. Riding with your own horse is free, and is open all year round. Blondy will also be more than happy to help with information and help you keep properly tacked up if you happened to leave something at home or you breakdown on the trail. Located near the stables, the Wrangler Campground is designed to meet the needs of the park visitors traveling with horses. The Wrangler Campground features 32 sites with water and electric hookups. Horses may be picketed at the campsites. A bathhouse with shower and restroom facilities is available, as well as a lighted arena and playground. Please note that horses are not allowed on paved roads within the park. Chickasaw State Park is host to numerous horse events put on by groups. One of the events which the Park coordinates occurs in June. Frontier Days is held the second weekend in June each year. This event honors the frontier spirit of the early settlers of West Tennessee. Friday night features a street dance with a live band. On Saturday, from 9:00am through 4:00pm, a variety of old-time games are held, including egg toss, sack race, log sawing contest, and lots more. At 5:00pm, there is a non-motorized parade. At 7:00pm, there is an 18 class horse show with $800.00 added money. The park's 100-seat restaurant offers excellent Southern cuisine in a restful atmosphere. The restaurant is open throughout most of the year, Thursday through Sunday, serving dinner on Thursday nights from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday nights from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with hours from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The restaurant features homestyle country cooking and delicious buffets. The park is located on State Hwy. 100 in Chester and Hardeman Counties, 18 miles south of Jackson, Tennessee. For more information about trail riding at Chickasaw State Park, call 731-989-9494.

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