Date(s) - April 15, 2023
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Chickamauga Battlefield National Park
Time: ride out at 11 am
Rain Date: TBA, if there will be one.
Hosting Ride: Candance Parham
Horse trailers may be parked in the gravel lot at the west end of Dyer Road. This is the only area where horse trailers are allowed inside the park.
From I-75 North, take exit 350 for Hwy 2/Battlefield Parkway.
Turn left (west) off the exit ramp onto Hwy 2/Battlefield Parkway.
Drive about 6.5 miles (rough estimate).
Turn left onto Hwy 27/Lafayette Rd (this is a very large intersection – Wendy’s will be on your right, an Arby’s is across the street on the left)
Lafayette Rd takes you into the National Park. After passing the large visitor center on your right, continue straight on for about two miles until you come to Dyer Rd on your right. This one sneaks up on you, so slow down and keep a sharp eye out for it. There will be a small wooden cabin on the right just PAST Dyer Rd, so if you pass the cabin then you just missed the road.
Drive to the end of Dyer Rd – the gravel parking lot is at the end
No fees; the ride usually takes me about 3 hours, but I usually take the shortest route and at a nice, slow amble.
Bring your own lunch, snacks, and drinks. Also bring food & water for your horses (no water is available for the horses except possibly a small creek that we ride through near the Visitor Center but I can’t guarantee that the creek will have water).
Bathrooms are available at the Visitor Center but not at the trailhead. The riding trail does go by the Visitor Center and hitching posts are available there, so we can take a break mid-ride if needed.
We will split into two groups – one for the “more go than whoa” riders and another for the “more whoa than go” riders.
Trails are mostly rock free, although there are a few very short moderately rocky areas. Your barefoot horses should be fine. Mostly flat but some short moderate climbs/downhills.
We may encounter hikers with or without dogs and almost certainly other riders. When parking, please try to back in at an “angle” as the parking lot is just a large gravel lot and, while it can fit a lot of trailers, we want to be respectful of all who wish to park there, particularly if the weather is perfect for riding.
From the National Park brochure:
The horse trails are marked with red, blue and white blazes. Riders are required to stay on these designated trails. The red trail is the loop trail and is 7.68 miles, while the white trail cuts the red trail in half, for a trail of 5.41 miles. The blue trail is a connector trail and is .74 mile long. All other trails are CLOSED to horses. Horses are not permitted on park roads or in historic fields unless they are marked as designated horse trails. Those riders found in undesignated areas will be fined. Please ride in single file only and be mindful of hikers passing by. The only restrooms located in the park are at the visitor center. Please remember, the park closes at dusk, and you should be off the trails by that time.
Map of battlefield with trail marked can be found here: CHCH-TRAIL-MAP.jpg (3292×5100) (nps.gov)