Formed in 2020, Starr Mountain Riding provides short guided trail rides in the southern part of the Cherokee National Forest. Pending approval from the National Forest Service, trail rides are planned to begin in Spring 2021 at:
- Miller's Ridge Trail System in the Indian Boundary Lake area located near Tellico Plains, Tennessee.
- Starr Mountain Trail System located around the entrance of the Hiwassee Ocoee State Park near Delano, Tennessee.
All rides will be conducted on trained horses with experienced guides. Please see information below on the trails, guides, and horses.
Rides are offered on a rotating basis at two locations. Please see our reservation portal and calendar for the riding days and times for each location.
MILLER'S RIDGE : this trail system is located in the Indian Boundary Lake area near Tellico Plains, Tennessee. The ride departs from the Miller's Ridge Trail parking lot and directions are marked by National Forest Service "horse trail" signs.
- Distance: The departure location is approximately 5 miles (15 minutes) from the parking lot of the Indian Boundary Lake Recreation Area or 15 miles (25 minutes) from the Tellico Beach Drive-In on the Cherohala Skyway.
- Directions: To reach the departure point for riding, 0.3 miles from Indian Boundary Lake Road, turn off the Cherohala Skyway (HWY 165) onto Raftner Road . Raftner Road is a gravel road. Head straight and follow the road for approximately 1.6 miles until you reach a sharp left turn. Follow the road left and continue driving for another 1.4 miles until a sign for Miller's Ridge appears. Turn right and follow this road a short distance to a large gravel parking lot.
STARR MOUNTAIN: this trail system is located around the entrance of the Hiwassee Ocoee State Park near Delano, Tennessee. The ride departs from the Lost Corral Horse Camp and directions are marked by National Forest Service "horse trail" signs.
- Distance: The departure location is approximately 1 mile (3 minutes) from HWY 411/Spring Creek intersection or 7 miles (11 minutes) from Starr Mountain Outfitters (no affiliation) in Etowah, Tennessee.
- Directions: To reach the departure point for riding, south of Delano, Tennessee turn off the HWY 411 onto Spring Creek Road. Head toward Hiwassee Ocoee State Park for 1 mile. Immediately after passing the main state park building and parking lot on your right, turn left and follow the road until reaching the Lost Corral Horse Camp.
Reservations are not required, but are recommended. Reservations cancelled at least 24 hours in advance of departure will receive a full refund. If a rider fails to be on time for their assigned departure or to appear for the reserved time, refunds will not be given.
FORMS OF PAYMENT
Reservations can be made online using a credit or debit card. Cash-only for walk-up/on-the-spot riders.
To ride, individuals must:
- Be at least 6 years of age. Children under the age of 6 are not allowed to ride under any circumstances, including in the lap of a parent or legal guardian.
- Weigh less than 250 lbs.
- Be physically and mentally capable of mounting a horse from a platform, maintaining balance in the saddle, and following the instructions of trail guides.
- No previous riding experience necessary.
RIDER SAFETY AND LIABILITY
Riders should understand that while every precaution is made to have a safe and enjoyable ride, they are engaging in the activity at their own risk. As such:
- All riders are required to sign a waiver.
- Riders under the age 16 are required to wear a helmet, which will be provided at no charge.
- Riders over the age of 16 will be offered a helmet at no charge to be worn at their discretion.
- Riders under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian present, be available to sign the waiver and to ride with the minor.
- Any electronic devices, such as phones and cameras, must be secured. Any damage to personal items is the responsibility of the rider.