Horses Trail Riding Travel Adventures

Camping and Trail Riding at Leatherwood Mountains

I think I have found a new favorite spot to go ride. Leatherwood Mountains was absolutely beautiful and such a lovely place to stay.

As you know from my previous post, I’ve been wanting to go trail riding at Leatherwood for quite some time. Everyone that has been there has talked about how nice the facility is and how beautiful the trails are. Well they weren’t kidding.

I took lots of photos for you guys but unfortunately I decided not to carry my camera with me riding so don’t have any of the trails. However, I plan to go back very soon and I’ll get pictures of the trails then.

So Friday we arrived a little after lunch and my first impression of the place was not the greatest. My thought was, “Wow, this is it? I thought this place was bigger and much nicer. This just looks like a campground stuck on the side of a mountain.”  All the buildings are rustic and nice but I expected something a little more grand.

My impression started to change after we walked in and were greeted by the friendly receptionist though. She was quick to say hello and make us feel welcome, not to mention, she got us excited about being there. She loaded us down with lots of trail maps and gave us some pointers about the trails. Then showed us where our stalls and campsites were.

Before I talk about Leatherwood anymore let me share some pictures with you.

Leatherwood Mountains

This is the view of Leatherwood if you standing in the parking area for the West Barn.

Leatherwood Mountains Camping Area

This is the Camping Area. Trailers park on both sides of the dirt road and on the left side is a creek that runs through the camp area.

Leatherwood Mountains West Barn

Here’s another view of Leatherwood’s West Barn. There are 4 small corals for turnout in front of the barn.

Leatherwood Mountains West Barn Outside Stalls

These are the outside stalls located in the West Barn.

Leatherwood Mountains Stall

This is what the inside stalls look like in the West Barn.

Inside Leatherwood Mountains West Barn

Here’s the aisle view of the stalls in the West Barn.

Leatherwood Mountains Wash Stall

This has to be the biggest wash stall I’ve ever seen in a barn. It has hot and cold water.

Leatherwood Mountains Shower

This is the shower room for the West Barn.

Leatherwood Mountains Indoor Arena

If you’re horse needs to be worked before you trail ride then the indoor arena is available. Beside the indoor arena is the outdoor arena which is grass footing.

So now you’ve seen some pictures let me tell you some of the pros and cons of Leatherwood in my opinion.

Pros:

  • On-site Restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The prices are really reasonable too. Not only do they serve food but they also have a bar that serves alcohol!
  • All of the staff that we spoke to was super friendly.
  • Despite my first opinion, the facility was very nice.
  • There were trails for every level of trail riders and they were very well kept.
Cons: 
  • The barn was very dark and you couldn’t let any sunlight into the stalls because the windows aren’t usable since horses are in the outside stalls.
  • You’re given one bag of shavings for your stay and that was not nearly enough for a two nights and three days. If you have a horse that pee’s a lot  then one bag of shavings is ruined in a matter of a few hours. Additional bags cost $6 which is very pricey.
Here’s a picture of the trail map and trail descriptions hanging in the barn. As you can see there are a number of different trails ranging from easy to extreme.
Leatherwood Mountains Trail Map

Leatherwood Mountains Trail Map

On Friday, we started out riding the Ambush trail which was marked as moderate to difficult. Let me say, it was more difficult then I wanted to do. Vinni is new to trail riding and I didn’t feel comfortable riding him on that trail. The trail starts off at the barn and its a steep climb up the mountain in deep sand. Major butt workout for my horse that was for certain. Once we got past that hard part it wasn’t too bad but then we go to another long steep climb and I decided I wasn’t ready to put Vinni through it. He was acting up a little and I honestly didn’t feel comfortable on those steep climbs with him. So we took the road to another trail called the Tom Seay Trail which was marked as easy and it felt like it after the Ambush trail!

Saturday we stuck to the trails that were marked easy to moderate. Let’s just say their idea of easy to moderate is like riding the hardest trail at Mt Rogers. While the trails weren’t nearly as rocky there were more steep climbs. On one of the easy hills we had to climb a long ways up and poor Vinni was struggling. He did it like a champ but we had to rest a while at the top so he could catch his breath. The trails for the most part were pretty narrow and through the woods with quite a few creek crossings. We rode for a good 5 hours on Saturday and only rode a couple of the trails on the map, so I can imagine it would take a few days to see the entire trail system.

I really wish I would have had a small camera with me so I could have showed you pictures of the trails but I promise I will be going back and will take pictures next time!

Until next time, Happy Trails!

5 Comments

  • Reply
    Ann
    April 6, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    I’ve been wanting to camp and ride close to home near Boone. Would love to hear more about places near.
    ann

  • Reply
    S. FREEMAM
    November 10, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    I’ve been going to leatherwood for about 15 years now I like the trails some of the best trails are across the street. you can no longer use the trail I am not sure why but the waterfall was good in the hot months because you could play in it also you climb out on a rock and look down at the barn and camp ground we still like going and try to goat least once a year. the one thing I wish is that the barn was not so far from the camp ground other than that nice place and good trail

    s. freeman

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