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Camp with Horses: Exploring Beautiful Tennessee on Horseback

Camp with Horses: Exploring Beautiful Tennessee on Horseback

Its time once again for our Travel with Horses Series. I’m here to share a horseback adventure that’ll make your heart gallop with excitement! Buckle up those riding boots, ladies and gents, because we’re venturing into the soul-stirring beauty of Tennessee with the incredible Saddle Valley Campground as our equine playground.

camp with horses

Camp with Horses

Saddle Valley Campground, nestled in the rolling hills of Tennessee, is a bona fide equestrian camping paradise. It’s the kind of place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and find solace in the rhythmic beat of hooves on dusty trails. With 25 well-maintained campsites, each complete with horse corrals, Saddle Valley Campground understands the needs of both the seasoned equestrian and the inexperienced horse lover. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a newbie like me, their new owners are always ready to lend a helping hand and ensure your adventure is nothing short of extraordinary.

Q and A with Saddle Valley {Horse} Campground

I am so excited to have a Q and A with one of the new owners of Saddle Valley Campground, Shannon Beaudry! I can’t wait to hear about her plans for the campground, any new amenities she might be adding, and her vision for creating unforgettable experiences for campers. It’s an incredible opportunity to directly connect with Shannon and have my questions answered, learning more about the person behind the scenes. This Q and A session promises to be an exciting and enlightening experience, and I am counting down the days until I get to explore Saddle Valley Campground!

Q: You are a new owner! What inspired you to buy Saddle Valley Campground? 

A: My Husband Glen and I had been interested in owning “a” camp since 2015 or so. I’m a trail horse person, and he’s the hunting/fishing guy from WI, and having traveled to many states in our 16 years of working jobs for construction, we just found TN to be a nice centrally located area in the US for us to get to many areas, plus get away from the northern winters.

Fast forward to 2 years ago…A friend of mine in WI was looking to purchase property in Big South Fork and invited me to stay with her at a friend’s, go riding, etc. I just fell in LOVE and wanted to do the same, SO much, that I came back down in September for a week. I just didn’t want to leave, yet couldn’t find the right deal that worked for us.

This past February ’23, another camp came up for sale here, but it was WAY out of our price range, so I reached out to the agent that my friend worked with, who put the word out on FB. We got a hit! The couple that owned this place had been at it 20 years and wanted to retire. We went to look at it, and again, I did NOT want to leave, so we put our house and a 30 acre plot we owned up for sale. The land sold in 9 hours, and the house in 2 days! I was convinced it was meant to be, and here we are! We took over in June 2023!

Q: Can you share a memorable moment or story from when you first got started?

A: The previous owner took me out to show me the trails that head out from here, and took me to an overlook. We tied the horses, walked down a long sweeping staircase to a bluff with a view that was SO grand, it took my breath away! I knew I had found home, and couldn’t wait to share it with people!

Q:What is your favorite part about owning and operating Saddle Valley Campground?

A: After the scenery, the people and their stories that have been coming here for years!

Q: Is there a specific area for horse trailer parking, and are there any restrictions or fees?

A: Every site fits a trailer, and if we have room, people are welcome to come park and ride out from camp in a day riding situation. We just ask that you call ahead to make sure, and clean up after yourself. No fees.

Q: Can you give us a little idea of what is around the campground – do you have to trailer off site to get to the trails?

A: We are 16 miles Southeast of Jamestown. There are places to trailer to that make rides to certain places shorter. Popular places near here are Bandy Creek and Pickett State Park where people can hike, bike, kayak, fish and hunt. People like to camp here and ride to Charit Creek Lodge, spend a night or 2 there and ride back the next day, also the O&W Railroad Bridge is a popular destination from here. We have 1 3 horse trailer we can rent out, and plan on getting stock trailers to use in the future.

Q:What do you think campers love the most about Saddle Valley Campground? 

A: The history, the numerous shade trees, coziness, and the hospitality.

Q: Can you get into Big South Fork National Recreation Area from the campground or would you have to trailer over?

A: Yes! We have an easement to Boone Ridge Rd (gravel with no traffic) that takes you to the Cumberland Trail head, or people can ride from here to Spruce Creek to access Yellowcliff, Wildcat, and Hippy Cave.

saddle valley campground map

Q:  Are there designated horse trails within or near the campground and do you have any organized Trail Rides?

A: Yes, and we plan to start adding organized trail rides in 2024!

Q: Are there any horse rental services nearby available for those who do not own their own horses?

A: Not rentals, but people are welcome to camp here and book a gaited horse or mule guided ride next door at Southeast Pack Trips!

South East Pack Trips

Q: Are there nearby equestrian-friendly attractions guests can explore while staying at the campground?

On a rainy day, people LOVE to drive to Muddy Pond, which is a Mennonite community that has a General Store with a deli counter and gifts, Jay’s Custom Saddles, and a few other shops. There are also tack shops just down the road a couple of miles (Chrome Acres), in Oneida with a beautiful gorge to drive thru, and Rim Riders Outfitters near East Fork Stables which also has a gift shop and holds many events during the year!

Rim Riders Outfitters
Rim Riders Outfitters

Horse Friendly Campgrounds

After a day of horseback exploration, there’s nothing quite like returning to the warm embrace of Saddle Valley Campground. Relax around a crackling campfire, swapping stories and laughs with fellow riders, under a star-studded sky that seemingly stretches on forever. It’s these moments that remind us of the beauty of life and the joy of new experiences shared with like-minded adventurers.

travel with horses


So, my fellow horse enthusiasts, if you’re looking for an unforgettable journey into the heart of Big South Tennessee, Saddle Valley Campground is the place to be. With their unparalleled horse amenities, wonderful new owners, and the raw beauty of Tennessee’s wild landscapes, it’s a horseback adventure you won’t soon forget.

See also  Travel With Horses Series: Wilderness Run Vineyards Equestrian Center

home of horses travel feature

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