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Josh Guin Rides at Circle E Guest Ranch
As you head up the mountain toward Circle E you’ll find the country highways to be wide and well-kept with beautiful mountainous views. The mountain pass from the north has an 11% grade, so be sure your brakes are up to spec, and you are not overloaded.
The obvious entrance to the ranch has a ranch style overhang across the driveway, signaling that you have arrived at your destination. As you enter the property, you will check in at the office on the right and then drive to your designated barn and site.
The campground is located on both sides of the road, one side being more shaded than the other. The grounds are large and equipped with day use and camping facilities with 400 stalls, 250 campsites with hookups, furnished cabins, 4 “cabarns,” plenty of primitive camping, and multiple bath houses. All your necessities are available onsite from stall shavings, and firewood to ice.
There are over 120 miles of marked riding trails ranging from beginner to advanced level riders with mountainside views, large rock formations, caves, and waterfalls. Be sure to ride down to “Pretty Place.” It’s a grassy hillside with a view that I would venture to say covers 100 miles across the valley. I consider Pretty Place an easy ride down a wide gravel road. One of my favorite things about Circle E trails is the diversity you’ll find along the way.
Grab a map in the camp office when you arrive and then choose what kind of ride you want each day based on the trail descriptions and skill levels described on the map. The overall footing of the trails is comprised of a mixture of sandy soil in some areas, gravel and larger rocks in others, and sometimes muddy area. I recommend shoes or boots on your horse for this terrain.
One last note about the trails is that Circle E Guest Ranch, like many other campgrounds, allows ATVs to have access to some of their trails on a scheduled basis. The trails are never shared by equestrians and ATVs simultaneously, but some horse trails may be closed to horses during the scheduled ATV rides. Keep this in mind when choosing your dates and plan accordingly by calling ahead of time and asking the staff about the ride schedule.
Finally, Circle E is known far and wide for great events like organized trail rides, horse shows, clinics, competitions, and parties in their famous dining hall and outdoor amphitheater complete with a dance floor.
My family and I have enjoyed many great stays at Circle E through the years.They have hosted our organized rides and clinics, as well as my backcountry survival rides. They are always great hosts to my campers, and I continually find myself returning for their exceptional campground and the great views from their trails.But what really draws me is that every time I stay there, I feel like it is a home away from home. Thank you to all the Circle E staff for making my rides there memorable and fun.
For more information visit www.tnhorsetrails.com.
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