Timber Ridge Horse Campground, adjacent to The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Jamestown, TN, narrowly edged out Heart of Dixie Trail Ride, Troy, AL, to be voted the best horse campground for 2010.
Timber Ridge received 158 votes to Heart of Dixie’s 150 in the closest race yet to win the coveted “Five-Star” Award, according to John Thurow, trail boss of HorseTrailDirectory.com, a website created by and for trail riders. “When you read the reviews written by their guests, you understand why these outstanding campgrounds received so many 5-Star votes,” Thurow said.
To earn the award, a campground must receive the most Five-Star ratings from trail riders, who post their ratings on HorseTrailDirectory.com during the year. In 2010, trail riders wrote reviews and recorded more than 800 ratings on 267 different horse campgrounds, with 135 campgrounds receiving at least one 5-Star rating. For a complete listing of Five-Star campgrounds and trails, visit http://www.horsetraildirectory.com/fivestars.
According to Lee and Denise Stevens, they re-opened Timber Ridge Horse Campground just over a year and a half ago, and are consistently working to exceed the expectations of trail riders who come from all over the United States and Canada. Lee says that they are continually making changes based on their campers’ recommendations and needs. Denise’s and Lee’s goal is “to make this little paradise a horse lovers dream.”
The trail system close to Timber Ridge keeps growing as Lee and Denise, working with park management, are clearing neglected trails and putting in new ones so that riders can enjoy more of the beautiful scenery. Timber Ridge Horse Campground offers 25 electric/water sites and cabin rentals, two large barns, turnout corrals and mile after mile of trail access right from camp. Lee and Denise believe that the size of their facility allows them to be readily available and spend time with their guests, meeting their needs and developing long lasting friendships! Denise says, “When you come to Timber Ridge, you come as strangers and leave as friends!!”
Second place winner, Heart of Dixie Trail Ride, was last year’s number one pick, and is still a favorite. Owned and operated by Richard and Pam Dunn and family, Heart of Dixie offers trail riders miles of picturesque trails through Alabama's woodlands with pines and giant hardwoods, over gentle hills and rolling pastures, and along the lovely Conecuh River. While not riding, guests can enjoy the golf driving range, pool, volleyball, horseshoes and fishing in farm ponds and the river. One of their guests writes in her review: “AWESOME! Beautiful trails, clean facility with bath and shower house, nice covered stalls, food is amazing :) Richard and Pam treat you like family. Can't wait to go back!”
Thurow said that HorseTrailDirectory.com currently has over 900 trail and campground locations in its database. They have been put there by people who have ridden at the trail locations or by campground owners. Most of the locations are in North America but there are also listings in countries around the globe, including Argentina, Spain, Hungary, and Russia. Each listing is described in a brief narrative, accompanied by information about the location, such as number of trail miles, trail difficulty, number of campsites, and directions to the location. After visiting a location, riders can comment on their experiences by posting reviews.