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Buffalo National River Horseback Riding

One of the many ways to enjoy the Buffalo River is by horse. Designated trails for horseback riding are located in all districts of the national river. In the upper district, the Old River , Cecil Cove Loop, Center Point, and Sneed Creek Trails are horse routes. In the middle district, riders enjoy the Buffalo River Trail. In the lower district, the Cook Hollow/Cow Creek trail accessed at Hathaway Gap is the most-used area.

Two camping areas in the upper river are designated for visitors with horses - Steel Creek and Erbie. Steel Creek horse camp offers 14 sites, and Erbie horse camp offers 5 sites. Use is limited to 6 persons and 4 horses per site with a 7-day limit per stay, first-come, first-served. In the middle district, Woolum Campground is a designated horse camp. In the Lower Buffalo Wilderness Area, visitors may camp at Big Creek or Hathaway Gap trailheads.

Horses have a greater impact on trails than do hikers, so please keep horses off -trails marked with a white blaze and designated for hiking only. All trail users should make decisions and choose practices that will cause the least amount of damage and leave only short-term impacts on the environment.


Horses may not be tied directly to trees. A high picket line rigged outside of your camp area or hitch racks, where provided, prevents unnecessary damage to trees. Traveling outside the established tread, to ride abreast or to avoid rocks or mud, breaks down the trail edge and widens the trail. It can also lead to the development of multiple trails. Riders are responsible for removing or scattering horse manure from camp areas, trailheads, and loading areas. Where available, camp in previously used sites on durable surfaces away from streams and trails. Tie horses off the trail and away from wet or boggy areas. Rocky ground that catches a breeze will discourage insects and allow horses to stand quieter. When you leave, there should be little or no evidence of your stay. Pack it in, pack it out. Recommended group size no more than 10 horses.

There are no commercial horse outfitters operating at Buffalo National River .

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