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Reviews for Big South Fork Lodge & Horse Campground  
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Jamestown, TN

Overall TRAIL RATING with 24 votes:
Overall CAMP RATING with 26 votes:

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Individual Reviews

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My family had a great time. The rooms were very clean and lots of room. Claudia took great care of us at the lodge. It was nice to have the hitching post right there also. Food was great also. They are also the only lodge with the trails right there. We didn't have to hook the trail up to go riding. We could go out for a ride come back in to eat and there go back out again. I forgot my boots and she sent them back to my home asap. Wish we could have stayed for a month!! I would highly recommend the lodge for couples and family for a vacation.
Reviewed by: Amy weber on 1/1/2017 2:47:07 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 12/29/2016 Hometown: Whittemore, Mi

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Jim and Claudia were fabulous hosts, going above and beyond in every way. They gave us detailed guidance on all the trails, made us feel comfortable and welcome and made delicious food for us! The horses had nice big stalls that we very clean. One of the best parts about staying at Big South Fork Lodge & Campground is that you don't have to trailer your horse to get to the trails! They're located right next to the trails! I highly recommend this place to everyone!
Reviewed by: Eryn McGary on 11/24/2015 10:30:41 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 11/21/2015 Hometown: Nashville , TN

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Jim and Claudia were the best hosts! They make an amazing breakfast and the accommodations were first class. Our horses were in nice, large, clean stalls. Electricity in the barn was a huge plus. We miss calculated our ride and ended up far away in the dark. Claudia happily drove out to pick me up so I could get the horse trailer. I cannot wait to go back!
Reviewed by: shellyzeigler on 11/22/2015 8:39:54 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 11/21/2015 Hometown: Livingston, TX

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I am not rating the campground, only the owner. We rode into the owner's store asking for directions to True West and was verbally chastised for staying at the competitor, he verbally bashed True West owners, and was rude, loud, and shockingly distasteful. Our group is returning to the area next spring and would not entertain staying there after this experience. We will return to True West.
Reviewed by: June Aldredge on 9/25/2015 9:11:23 AM
More reviews by June Aldredge
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 9/24/2015 Hometown: Springfield, OH

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If you truly wish to camp with your horse, BSF Lodge & RV Horse Camp is THE place for you AND your horse. Having our LQ trailer parked by the 2-stall barn that the campowner assigned us was wonderfully convenient (we didn't even use our trailer awning since the barn had an awning). The barn provided large clean stalls w/fresh sawdust, a feedrack for hay and trough for grain, lights, a water spicket w/a hose and a split, saddle-racks, hitching hooks, a wheelbarrow and a picnic table. All we had to provide were the horses buckets. And, if you forget or need something, chances are better than average that Jim (the campowner) has it @ the Hitching Post (store) just across the road. Trail access is a dream when riding out from this campground since there is a trailhead located South and North of the campground. The trails were in pretty good shape having only a few scattered spots of deep mud. We rode one day for 20+ miles, got back to camp, unsaddled the horses, washed them off @ the camp's designated wash bay and instead of throwing them in their stall for the night was able to turn them out in the paddock of their 2-stall barn for them to graze and roll 'til we stalled them for the night (they could have even sat by the campfire with us if they wished). Campowner Jim Vandermolen was accommodating to our every need and a very gracious host. We will most definitely stay at this campground again because it is definitely a 5-star in our book.
Reviewed by: Tim & Shelley Garrett on 11/1/2014 4:55:29 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/27/2014 Hometown: Lynchburg, TN

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Really enjoyed my stay!!! Loved the friendly atmosphere! Jim and Claudia were excellent host and helped make our stay memorable. Already planning our NEXT trip!
Reviewed by: Dana long on 10/13/2014 6:52:29 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/12/2014 Hometown: acworth, ga

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Trails were great - a few could have been marked clearer. If there was an updated map that would have been helpful. However, I will not ever go back to this campground. First, the owner lady was one of the rudest persons I have ever met. Never said 'welcome - enjoy your stay.." Didn't even smile. Downright unfriendly. Second: The office/mercantile/restaurant was dirty! Dust was at least 1/2' thick on many items. Third: The bathhouse was ridiculously in the holler. 1 bathhouse for 25 sites. It was clean, I will give it that much. Fourth: The water was horrible!!! The horses refused to drink it,, we cleaned out the water bucket and filled up,, within a few minutes rusty matter settled to the bottom of the bucket. VERY HEAVY metallic taste. I filled up a water bottle for the ride and then dumped it out. It went from clear to BROWN in less than 30 seconds. Water in the shower also made my hair feel like straw. Fifth: The STALLS were very nice. They were clean and LARGE - my guy had plenty of room to lay down and roll if he chose. They did provide wheelbarrels so you could clean the stalls yourself, but had to carry it down a hill and through gates to dump.. The barn with the roof was nice as well, and the aisle gave enough room for you to tack up under cover. The barn is the only reason I give them a 2. Otherwise I would select one star. Very disappointed.
Reviewed by: TEVANS45 on 8/30/2014 9:01:07 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 8/7/2014 Hometown: Dowelltown , TN

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We've been going to BSF since 2005 & we have always stayed at Big South Fork Lodge. We wouldn't think of staying anywhere else, we love camping with our horses & the Cumberland Trail Head is across the road. The barns are nice, our stalls always have fresh bedding, when we arrive. We cook a lot when we camp, but we always eat breakfast at the Hitching Post before we leave, Jim makes an awesome western omelet !! Jim & Claudia are always nice to us, I can't wait to spend a week @ BSFL in October !!!
Reviewed by: Tina Cantrell on 7/21/2014 6:59:41 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/20/2013 Hometown: Flat Gap, KY

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Reviewed by: eric on 7/9/2014 8:41:44 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 4/20/2014 Hometown: murfreesboro, tn

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My husband and I went to Big So. Fork Lodge & Horse Camp for our anniversary week. My husband doesn't ride as much any more so we looked for a camp that had nice facilities for the horses since they would be stalled more than ridden. We loved the fact that we had our own paddock area and two stall barn. The stalls were clean and bedded when we got there. The paddock was well mowed. We could turn the horses out for short periods and let them stretch their legs and pick. They have other paddocks with more stalls great for a group of friends. Claudia was very nice and gave us information for other activities in the area we could do. She gave us the run down on the trails to take that wouldn't be too long for my husband. We had just a very short ride across the street and up to the parking area for the trail heads. Great for us that didn't want to ride a long way to start any loops. Although we didn't ride very many miles out, the trails we took were very nice trails, well maintained and not rocky. We rode to an overlook that was a short ride out of camp that was beautiful. There are several other overlooks in the area. Their store across the street was very nice and handy. They had several items in stock. We didn't get a chance to eat there at the grill, we brought too much food:) Next time! We met Jim later in the week and he too was very nice and helpful. He made sure we didn't run out of firewood or horse bedding. Another thing we really liked, Jim and Claudia are dog lovers. We bring our dog camping with us all the time and it was nice to have him loose in the paddock area...his own yard! As long as your dog is well behaved and listens they didn't mind him being off leash. Such a treat for him since most camps you have to keep dogs on a leash at all times. Leatherwood Ford was just a short drive down the Gorge. We would take a picnic lunch and go to the river to cool off and let our dog swim and play. Jamestown and Oneida are both within a reasonable drive from camp that offers shopping and a variety of restaurants. We drove down to Gatlinburg one day and it was just a 2 hr. drive. We really liked this camp and Jim and Claudia made us feel so welcome. We will definitely be back!!
Reviewed by: Leslie White on 6/28/2014 4:59:48 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/21/2014 Hometown: Bedford, IN

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My family and I had such a good time. The owners went above and beyond accomidationis. The trails are right next to the campground. Just drop your trailer for the week and leave it. I would recommend Big South Fork Lodge to anyone with or with out a horse. Thank you Jim and Claudia for a great vacation.
Reviewed by: Jackiek on 6/18/2014 8:05:14 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/7/2014 Hometown: algoma, wi

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A great place to go for a trail riding vacation. Jim and Claudia are awesome and we loved being right next to our horses. Quick access to the trails and every level of trails are available. Would highly recommend this place to camp and visit.
Reviewed by: Dawn Pratt on 5/31/2014 6:51:22 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 5/25/2014 Hometown: Broadway, VA

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This is the place to stay when you visit Big South Fork! The lodge and horse campground are located directly across from the trail access. There is also a general store where you can have a hot breakfast, grab a few drinks and a snack before heading out to ride for the day. When you arrive back at camp in the evening you can relax, sit on the porch at the lodge and stargaze. This lodge/horse campground is the closest proximity to the National Park, with the convenience of a general store that has wi-fi. The owners Jim and Claudia are the nicest people you will ever meet, true southern hospitality!!
Reviewed by: Melissa on 4/16/2014 6:35:03 AM
Experience: Beginner Ride Date: 5/23/2013 Hometown: yorkville, il

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The campground is beautiful with two big ponds for fishing. I couldn't wait to get up in the mornings and go walking with a cup of coffee. I saw wild turkeys one more which was exciting. The room in the lodge was spacious and I cannot say enough about the owners. I immediately felt as though I had found new friends. Jim and Claudia are the best! Claudia makes the best burger in the world. It rained on us a bit, and I felt comfortable going to the "General Store" and just hanging out with Claudia and Jim. You couldn't ask for better folks. The trails are soft and sandy, and most times wide enough for two horses to ride side by side. We ride Tennessee Walkers and had quite a good canter through the woods. Wild flowers were blooming and it was simply beautiful and soooo peaceful!
Reviewed by: Debbie Brooks on 5/2/2013 6:01:58 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 4/26/2013 Hometown: Corryton, Tennessee, TN

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This is our 8th year riding at Big South Fork and everyone has been spent at the Big South Fork Lodge and Campground. We would never consider staying any place else. Claudia and Jim, the owners have become our second family and the lodge our second home. Big South Fork Lodge is conveniently located just across the road from a major trailhead into the park. There are trails for all levels of riders and experience on trails. The lodge and campground meets all a riders needs...there are stalls for horses, rooms for riders or if you like it more rustic there is also places for tents or campers and a bathhouse. Right across the street is a store and restaurant, and the food is yummy. Jamestown is only 18 miles away if you need to run to a Walmart. My sister and I tried riding in the Smokey Mountains one year but we always return to the Big South Fork and the Big South Fork Lodge and Campground...it is home and Claudia and Jim are now part of our family.
Reviewed by: Jean on 11/26/2012 11:50:12 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/5/2012 Hometown: Kennesasw, GA

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We always have a great time at Big South Fork Lodge. The only negative for them is that they are not closer to this Ga girl so that I can visit every day. You two are always so helpful and quick to respond to any need or any emergencies that pop up! Thanks for the jokes, the surprise to James (which by the way he cracked up over)the fun, the food and most of all, your friendship. Best of the best for your business for the rest of the year and over flowing blessings for 2013. :-)
Reviewed by: Pam Mullins on 10/16/2012 3:15:45 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/12/2012 Hometown: Ringo, GA

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The place was different. I stayed in better but I've also stayed in worse. We were suppose to stay down the road, but the woman wasn't there and I had no cell service, the horses wanted out bad, we didn't know where to go, so went back to a little store that we had passed and thought we would stop in a call the woman...And then we met Jim. Jim took us up the street to look at his campground, so we just stayed there. It was kind of cool to camp in your own little paddock with the stalls right there. The trail head had 2 trails, which you had to ride awhile and go down a long steep rocky hill to get to the bottom to ride the o & w. My husband thought the owners wife was very grumpy, I am hoping that she was just having a bad day. Jim, however was very helpful and always there if we needed anything and made sure we knew where everything was at. We drove around and checked out the other campgrounds and they were all full. Our campground however only had us and another couple. He needs to replace alot of the woodend fence. I just hardly touched one section of the fence and it popped off. He was $10 higher than the other place we were suppse to stay at. My husband thought he nickled and timed us too much. We stayed 8 days, most every place will give you 1 bag of shavings then if you stay more than 7 days they will give you another bag, not here. We had to pay $16 for 2 extra bags. Also, most places will give you a free map or charge you $1.00. We had to pay for our map, which was either $12 or $15...I can't remember. They have a small store/resturant right down the road. I can not tell you if the food was good. #1 we had brought plenty and #2 it was a little run down (not realy dirty--just old looking) for my taste. All and all, a good time was had. Didn't realy get to ride as much as I would have liked. Also, it wasn't a problem for us just an fyi---to get to the trail head you have to ride by the road, cross the road than ride by the road again until you get to the road that takes you to the trailhead parking. Its not along side of the road--maybe 20 ft. It only takes about 5 mins to get to the trailhead parking also it isn't a very busy road either. Theres another trail that we didn't take. If you ride down the side road, maybe 10 mins or so its off to the left.
Reviewed by: Teresa on 10/15/2012 11:16:37 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/1/2012 Hometown: Freedom, OH

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Great riding.Good room and great food at the Hitchin Post Cafe across the road. The horses were comfortable and so were we.
Reviewed by: Carole Pinion on 10/13/2012 6:12:10 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/12/2012 Hometown: LaFayette, GA

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Jim and Claudia were very nice, and accommodating. Everything was ready, and clean when we arrived. Jim went above, and beyond in every way to make sure we were taken care of. One of the best part about staying with Jim at Big South Fork was the convenience of the Store, and the best Trail head was right there.
Reviewed by: Rex Laymon on 10/9/2012 8:17:49 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/7/2012 Hometown: Soddy Daisy, TN

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Site not taking reviews...gonna try one more time..We come to the lodge every year and we love it. Great accommodations, food and trails. Don't let the "sour grapes" keep you away from the best location and campground.
Reviewed by: Charley Towne on 9/28/2012 8:25:40 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 9/28/2012 Hometown: Bowling Green, KY

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Great campsite. Wonderful to have both stalls and a pasture when you are staying for a week. Friendly owners, quiet and well maintained.
Reviewed by: Julie on 9/27/2012 3:36:43 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 9/27/2012 Hometown: Huntsville, AL

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Stayed the whole weekend. Homemade breakfast before our rides and when we got back in at night made the visit nice and easy. We'll be back soon.
Reviewed by: Caroline on 9/27/2012 6:34:39 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 9/23/2012 Hometown: Hayes, OH

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I have been a regular at Big South Fork Lodge for many, many years. The camp is always clean and the food is good. Claudia and Jim are great people. Claudia has had some severe depression this year and does not mean to hurt anyone. She would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. I hope folks will give this place a chance as those of us who continue to return every year know it for what it really is...a great place to stay and ride.
Reviewed by: J. Davis on 9/21/2012 6:39:37 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 9/12/2012 Hometown: Hebron, IN

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This past weekend was my first trip to Big South Fork Lodge and it will also be my last. The room we were in was nice and so was the barn. However, the service is horrible!! Claudia, the owner, is the rudest person I have ever met! Even though the BSF lodge is a little bit cheaper, I would much rather pay more and stay a couple miles down the road at True West!!
Reviewed by: Janie on 7/16/2012 10:36:29 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 7/14/2012 Hometown: Maryville, TN

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My friend swore Big South Fork Lodge was under new management and said it was great so I called to make a reservation. I was told that they were filling up fast so I reserved a campsite. Well, she meant that the campground a mile up the road, TRUE WEST, is under new management. Big South Fork Lodge is the same run down dump it always was and the owners, Jim and Claudia, are as surly as ever. Turns out we were the only ones staying there and it was no wonder! As soon as they get your money, they could care less if you're a happy camper. Or NOT. Claudia mumbles and doesn't meet your eye and neither one is very helpful. The food in their Hitching Post store across the street is so-so and the restaurant isn't very clean and the prices are high. We stopped at true West and it is clean and seems very well run and it was packed. The new owners are very friendly and they have a lot of activities throughout the year. I'm sorry I wasted my vacation time and my money at Big South Fork Lodge. I'd rather sleep in my truck than stay there again!
Reviewed by: Teeny on 7/14/2012 12:30:50 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 5/30/2012 Hometown: Knoxville, TN

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Been horse camping for many years and really enjoy the Big South Fork trails and the Big South Fork Lodge Campground for facility and that feeling of "home". Had the best breakfast and burger & fries at The Hitching Post Grill. I recommend this campground where we parked at the barn. Owner showed us the rooms in the lodge and we plan to stay there next time.
Reviewed by: J. Stone on 5/22/2012 11:14:41 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/17/2012 Hometown: Harrisburg, IL

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So sorry Candance, if I was rude that day. I must have been having one of my famous PMS days. I was late for my appointment and I do try to accommodate all my customers, whether they are for real estate or the campground. Glad you enjoyed our food. Hope you will give me another chance and come back soon!
Reviewed by: Claudia on 4/14/2012 6:43:33 AM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 4/14/2012 Hometown: Jamestown, TN

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The location was nice and close to the trail head at BSF. The owner, Jim, was very fun and accommodating to us; but his wife was too busy trying to sell real estate than to deal with us. When Jim was talking to us, she snapped at him to come back inside to help her with some real estate clients, which we thought was rude. I felt sorry for him, since he was obviously embarrassed. She was nitpicky and not friendly, and the place is starting to look a little run down. The little store they run across the street was convenient and had good food, and right down the road behind the store is the Cumberland Valley trailhead, and another trail that goes to Hippie Cave (a nice ride, though treacherous in one spot, going up a slippery, steep, rocky hill where my horse fell (unhurt). The place has it's good points, and was reasonably priced. It needs a little TLC and would be a top notch place.
Reviewed by: Candace on 4/13/2012 8:39:11 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 11/12/2011 Hometown: Chattanooga, TN