Do you have a question?
It is important that you read the email confirmation we send to you when you make a reservation; it will answer many of your questions. However, this page was put together to help address some of the more frequently asked questions not covered in our confirmation or found elsewhere on our website.
What does HORSEpitality® mean?
HORSEpitality® is what True West does best. It will be difficult to find another place in the county that gives as much attention to your horse, as we do to you. That's because we feel your horse is just as important a guest at True West as you are. I mean, we are a HORSE campground, right? So you'll find us keeping an eye out for your four-footed friends whenever they are in the barn. The chalkboards outside their stalls will help people locate you should there be an issue. And we will "tuck them in" at night before we go to bed - which means we check on all of them to make sure everyone is comfortable, all stalls are locked and all obstacles away from the gates, before we retire for the evening. A happy horse is a happy owner, and a happy owner is a happy camper. We like happy campers. HORSEpitality®. It's what we do best.
Does my Horse need shoes?
Often we are asked if horses need shoes in Big South Fork. This really depends a lot on the horse itself and whether or not they are used to the types of surfaces that they will travel while in the park. Therefore, the best way for us to answer the question is to tell you what types of trails you may encounter. The trails in Big South Fork vary in degree of difficulty but the ones closest to our campground are easy, mostly sandy with very little rock. You will encounter some rock when crossing rivers and streams, and some rock or mud where erosion has occurred. You may also find gravel placed in areas to prevent such erosion. If you are looking for more challenging trails, we can point you in that direction and you will find some with lots of loose rock, large step-ups and sandstone surfaces.
If your horse is barefoot and is used to variable types of surfaces he/she should be fine. But if your horse is only used to soft sandy surfaces, it may be a little hard on their feet. Many people have successfully used boots instead of shoes. That may be an option for you.
Ultimately it is up to you whether or not you should shoe your horse. If you are unsure, then you may opt to put shoes (or boots) on just to be on the safer side.
Do you rent horses?
No. We do not. Unfortunately we do not have horses for rent here at True West. You must bring your own. The horses that live at True West are personally owned by Donna & Shawn. Trooper, Skye, Jaeger, Chimera and Bogo can be seen in the pasture by the barn and round pen. Say hello if you have a chance. They like attention just like your horses do.
How do I get there from here?
Well... We're not sure. We've never driven to here, from "there"...wherever "there" is. So, to make things a little easier we have provided directions to our campground from major surrounding cities. Additionally, if you plug our address into your GPS, it will get you here too. Just be sure to check the directions on our site to make sure you are not going to end up going through "the gorge". If you are coming from the east, through Oneida, you may want to consider taking the alternate route (see below)
What is "THE GORGE"?
A gorge is a narrow valley between hills or mountains, typically with steep rocky walls and a stream running through it. In this case, the gorge is the valley that was created by the Big South Fork River. If you are coming from the east, and your directions take you through Oneida, you will be directed by your GPS to go through the center of Big South Fork, which means traveling through the gorge. The directions you download from Mapquest or the instructions you receive from your GPS will not tell you about the gorge. You will be descending 600 feet through a series of switchbacks, on a narrow road that has hills up to a 13% grade (down and then up). It brings you down to the point where you cross the Big South Fork River. It's not dangerous but, if you're towing a big rig, there are a few spots that can be pretty hairy. You'll want to downshift into a lower gear and not "ride your brakes!" Or - you can take the alternate route found on our "Rates and Directions" page. It does add time and miles to your travel, but it's a much easier way and for some, much less stressful! If you are not sure if you should go through the gorge, our recommendation is to use the alternate route coming in, and then when you are unhooked from your trailer, drive the gorge with your truck and decide if you want to travel back home that way.
What kind of papers do I need to bring for my horse?
Regulations can change. So we recommend checking the USDA website for the regulations on travel papers before you head out. Each State has different requirements so if you are traveling outside of your home State, you will want to be sure to have the proper traveling papers. Your vet can help answer that question for you or you can go to the USDA website. There is a link directly to the "Export" page on our LINKS page. Here at True West, we require a Negative Coggins at the very least. Without it, you can NOT unload your horse. So please be sure you have it before you leave. Late night calls to the veterinarian for Coggins papers is not always easy. As a suggestion, when you get your Coggins, take a CLEAR picture of it with you phone - then you will always have it. We require a copy to place in your file and to show to the State Vet when he visits, so you should bring a hard copy with you - but if you forget it, you can email the picture from your phone.
Can I bring my own firewood?
Big South Fork NRRA has issued a ban on firewood of all hardwood species (non coniferous). True West does have firewood for sale on the premises. Please do not bring your own unless it meets the below standards. Any wood coming into the National Area from outside the following Counties: Fentress, Morgan, Pickett and Scott counties in Tennessee, and McCreary County in Kentucky. Non-coniferous firewood brought into the park from outside of these counties is prohibited, unless it is bundled and stamped with USDA, State of Kentucky, or State of Tennessee stamp, certifying that the wood meets USDA Heat T314-a treatment standard. Firewood brought in from within the five aforementioned counties will be permitted.
Do I need to bring my own shavings?
We bed with sawdust. The sawdust is free of charge and comes with your stall rental. You are welcome to rebed as needed but we ask you to be conservative so we can keep it free. If you'd rather bed with shavings, you can bring them if you'd like. We also have them for sale. Please call for availability and pricing.
Do you have hay available?
Typically we do have hay available for purchase, but it really depends on the time of year. If you need hay, please call in advance for availability and pricing. The hay will be a timothy/grass mix from the local fields in our area.
Can we ride the trails right from the campground?
Yes! The Cumberland Valley Trail Head is located one trail mile away from True West. You access the trail head via a private trail through Spruce Creek - an Equine Community (many of our campers now live there because it's such a pretty place!). You would simply cross the road, ride about 100 yards and you will see the entrance to the trail. You can go left towards the Trail Head to gain access to trails in Big South Fork. The road you cross is Leatherwood Ford Road, also known as "TN-297". It is simply a 2 lane road, not very busy, and easy to cross. Visibility is good and you should have no problem crossing safely. In fact, there are a couple of trails in BSF that also bring you across this road.
Are there any fees associated with riding in Big South Fork?
Big South Fork is a NATIONAL park - so your taxes pay for the care and maintenance of the park. There are no additional fees needed to ride the trails. No hidden fees, no bridle fees, no trail fees, no maintenance fees! However, if you are planning an event in the park (such as an endurance ride, guided ride or other organized event) you will need to contact the park for the proper licensing and impact fees that would be associated with that. Otherwise, for just riding the trails with your friends?... You're free to do so. Happy Trails!
Do you have a trailer to rent out in case we want to trailer to a different trail head?
We do not. However, we do HAVE a trailer that we use to transfer our guests to different trail heads and enable them to access more trails. We don't rent it out because we only have one trailer and if someone needs to be rescued, we want to make sure we have the ability to do that. We can trailer you to four different trail heads: Bandy Creek, Blevin's Field, Middle Creek Equestrian Trail Head and Charit Creek Trail Head. From each of these locations you can ride trails back to True West. You simply need to set it up with Shawn the night before so he can work it into his schedule.
Where is the closest gas station?
Beatty's Wildwood Grocery is approximately 7 miles from True West. If you arrived via Jamestown, you'll have passed it on your way here. If you came from Oneida (via the gorge) then it's the opposite direction. They also have diesel. It's also a great place to get a burger.
Where is the closest place to get propane?
You're in luck! True West now distributes Propane and has a propane filling station on site. We can replenish your tanks while you are here. No more running out of propane while camping!
Do you need to have a license to fish in the pond?
No. you do not. Because you are fishing on private property, no license is required.
Still have questions? You are welcome to contact us directly by either Email or call us at 931-752-8272.
We'll be happy to answer them for you!
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