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Wranglers Campground near Cadiz, Kentucky is one of my favorite places to camp and ride. It’s located just over the northwest Tennessee state line in the heart of a 170,000-acre peninsula known as Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
The land was designated as a national recreation area in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy. Originally managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority, dams were constructed along the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers to create Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. In 1991 the land was then transferred to the U.S. Forest Service and remains in their care today.
Wranglers Horse Campground is quite large, offering its campers over 230 pull-through and back-in campsites of all sizes, complete with hookups. For riders without living quarters trailers, take your pick of 12 rustic cabins (be sure to bring linens). Heated shower houses and restrooms are centrally located throughout the campground and many of the necessities campers need, such as hay, ice, and shavings as well as food, toiletries, and apparel, can be found at the camp store. For the horses, there are six covered barns dispersed throughout the campground for easy access regardless of campsite location. There are 150 8’ x 10’ stalls, which are equipped with lights and water access. The campground offers events throughout the year like rodeos, organized trail rides, and clinics. Also located on site is a wrangler guided trail ride stable for non-horse owners.
My family has enjoyed over 100 miles of 12 different trails that connect through the area’s landscape. The landscape varies from woodland hills to grassy fields and meadows, offering something for any level of rider. Although I do recommend shoes or boots, as some areas are rocky, many of the trails are wide with easy footing. Be sure to grab a trail map at the office when you arrive, and then take time to ride out to some of the great destinations they have to offer. Some of our favorite sights on the trail are: “the chimney” on trail 9, “blue hole” on trail 8, and the barn on trail 7, as well as riding alongside the perimeter fence of the nearby buffalo herd.
If you get your fill of riding, jump in your truck and explore the park. Land Between the Lakes boasts many historical sites. “The Great Western Furnace” still stands in its pyramid structure near “blue hole.” Originally built to create iron, the giant furnace is a sight to behold, and the blue hematite rocks (a byproduct of the iron-making process) litter the trails and streams throughout the area. Just down the road from the furnace is “The Homeplace,” an 1850s farm that offers reenactments of the life of subsistence farming in that era. There are other opportunities for tourists as well. Our favorites were the Elk and Bison prairie, a 3½-mile paved loop drive in the middle of elk and bison herds, and the planetarium.
Our trips to Wranglers have always been fun and adventurous and we look forward to going again soon. If you plan to visit, check out their website and remember that if you’re going across state lines, get a health certificate from your veterinarian. For more reviews of Tennessee and surrounding trails, check out our new horse trail directory at www.tnhorsetrails.comand join me on my YouTube channel by searching Josh Guin. Happy Trails!
Find more about Josh Guin and Crossroads Natural Horsemanship at: www.nashvillehorselessons.com.
Crossroads Ranch is located at 1875 Burke Hollow Rd., Nolensville, TN 37135. Call: 615-818-7101.
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