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Author Topic: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)  (Read 869 times)

IRideMyRocky

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Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« on: January 09, 2016, 05:26:52 am »


Has anyone stayed at Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride in Tennessee? I'd love to hear any input on trails, campground, etc. thanks so much!
« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 05:41:48 am by IRideMyRocky »
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NoBite

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2016, 08:00:00 am »

Yes, we've been to both places. A favorite trail guide that we used to see year after year at Birdsong Trail Ride in Camden, TN, took a job at Circle E when it first opened up. So, we made plans to visit. We were there in their first year of operation. That has been quite a few years ago, so no doubt things have changed a bit! But, our impressions were this. The drive on the highway to get to Circle E is a very steep uphill climb right before you get to camp! That really stuck out! The camp itself is (was) split into two areas, one on either side of a road. The side with the restaurant was flat, wide open with, at that time, no trees for shade. The restaurant was first class!! Really, the entire facility was first class. On the other side of the road, the campsites had shade and appeared more established. Okay, that's the good news. To get to the trails, you had to traverse a steep downhill path right out of camp. Of course, that means at the end of your ride every day was that BIG hill to get back into camp! The trails were okay with several overlooks. But, compared to where we usually ride, the scenery was not as interesting. Having said that, it was worth the trip to find out. The Walls of Jericho are a popular destination. Nice ride, but it's out and back, so you cover the same ground twice. For us, it was a five-hour drive to get to Circle E. The people were nice. It was great to see our guide friend again. The scenery was okay. We haven't been back and don't feel compelled to go back.


Buffalo River in TN was fun! There are two distinct campgrounds. One is on the high ground with plenty of tall trees for some shade. The other was on the low ground near the river. DO NOT ignore warnings of rising water if it rains!! That river can rise very quickly. It is not uncommon for folks to underestimate that and have to get their rigs towed out of the low camp! The chow house had good food and friendly people. The trail system was poorly marked. We did enjoy the trails, though. One of the trails actually went right down the middle of the river for at least a quarter mile! We went there in the summer and that part of the trail was great fun. We had a couple guys with us on our rides that had GPS units. But, even those guys got messed up. (Note: there could have been a contributing factor to getting lost. Both of those guys had something in brown bags that they kept inspecting over and over.) Buffalo River was a fun trip, but we never did figure out the trails well enough to feel good about venturing out alone.  Now, our trip there was also about ten years ago. I have no idea what might have changed.
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- Life is short. Ride your best horse.


John Maldaner, western Kentucky
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KysaSD

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2016, 08:25:00 am »

Wow, John.  That is EXACTLY the sort of information I am often after.  If I ever trailer east, I will ask you for a review!
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, a Curly Foxtrotter, a TWH and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

IRideMyRocky

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2016, 09:06:36 am »

Thank you so much for the informal. Exactly what I was looking for! We'd be coming a long distance so maybe we'll pass on both places. The idea of someone cooking our meals for us is very appealing. We also liked the idea of the Bluegrass Festival. But we'd also be looking for some great riding with beautiful views.  Thank you again for your input. If you have any suggestions we'd love to hear them
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kckc

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2016, 09:11:17 am »

For views Mt Rogers in VA and that area has some great views.  Haven't been there in awhile so can't comment on current campgrounds. 
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Walkin45

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2016, 09:32:35 am »

Circle E has a nice hall, and facilities. I don't remember any steep hill to access trails.  On the sawmill side there is a hill, wide enough to drive on, but I don't call it steep.  You can ride to Richards if you want and tie up.  The hall, main barns, etc are on the new side.  The Walls of Jericho, they will,trailer you down to the parking lot, and you ride down, tie up, and hike in to the Walls, if you wish. The trail back up is not a back track trail.  The pull going in is like a 10% grade.  Trails can have some pretty muddy spots, best to go,with a guide.  Lloyd no longer leads at Circle E, I've been told.
The gravel drive- road - going into Buffalo River is 5 miles long , with 2 steep short grades as you near the camp.  I don't believe they allow use of the lower campground any longer.  I did the organized rides- medium and those leaders also led at Midwest.  I,can't stand that 5 mile entrance road, so after 2-3 times, I never went back.
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IRideMyRocky

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2016, 12:02:49 pm »

Thank so much for your input! Do you think Circle E is worth driving 10 hours and staying a week?
 We camped and rode in VA last summer (loved it!).  :)
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Walkin45

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2016, 01:06:31 pm »

Personally, I like Bucksnort Trail Ride.  You can either go on the organized, or,ride out on your own at either place.  I spent I think 57 nights at Bucksnort in 2015.
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TN Trail Rider

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2016, 03:55:28 pm »

Also went to Circle E years ago shortly after it opened.  No shade in main campground, stalls very small (8x8 maybe).  I didn't find the trails to be well marked, but may have changed.  It's only about 1-1/2 hrs. from me, but I never had the urge to go back there.
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kckc

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2016, 06:43:33 pm »

In Hendersonville NC there is Dupont Forest.   I think there is one campground (that I've not stayed at yet) that you can ride into the forest.... the other campgrounds (of which I'm aware) are within a couple of miles.   If you've never been, there are waterfalls, a covered bridge, lakes... 95 miles of trails (more?)  there are bicycles and some seasonal hunting but as I recall that is in specific areas.  Asheville is close with Biltmore (sightseeing & trails).
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Riderkat

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2016, 08:58:59 pm »

I don't care for circle E at all. Nice campground, boring trails with too much hidden slab rock ( under thick leaves). I would not go back.
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ponymare

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2016, 09:57:23 am »

The times we have been to Circle E it has been VERY muddy.  Then when so many people go around the mud, the trail becomes hard to follow because of all the detours from it! We saw a couple of beautiful waterfalls and at least one very clear picturesque creek there, but not really worth contending with the mud for us. 

Our friends love to go to Buffalo River and it is really fun riding in the river, but like Walkin45, the looooong gravel road makes it not worth it to us.  Especially since we just got a new LQ. So hubby says we probably won't ever go back there.  I hate it, because most of the trails are pretty and there are some pretty waterfalls and picture worthy creek areas.  We always stayed by the river -didn't realize they closed that area to camping.

We tend to go to Rock Bridge Canyon in Hodges, AL the most. It's a beautiful area. Also closer to home!  Another camp with nice creek riding is KC Ranch, but the creek beds are pretty rocky.  I don't guess you have to ride the creeks but the creek trails are some beautiful riding.  They also have the cliff walls like RBC, but nothing quite as high or impressive.  Sand Canyon in RBC is amazing. And I think this every time we go!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 09:59:05 am by ponymare »
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JMR - Scout and Cisco

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2016, 04:47:06 am »

We have been to both, but it has been many years.  I know we liked both when we were there, but not sure about either one after not being there in years.

Jeanne
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IRideMyRocky

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2016, 08:02:38 am »

Thank you for the all the info.  We are leaning more toward Buffalo River. I like the idea of meals furnished!  Not sure what else they offer on the organized rides. Anyone been to an organized ride there?
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Walkin45

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Re: Anyone been to Circle E or Buffalo River Trail Ride (Tennessee)
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2016, 08:23:47 am »

Circle E, Buffalo River, and Bucksnort all provide meals on their week long rides.  I have been on Organized rides at all 3 places.  You also get a campsite, stall.  Also some form of entertainment, usually dancing at night , an auction, and maybe a horse show or obstacle challenge.  I use the dump station at all 3 also. Bucksnort, Buffalo River, and Birdsong( closed now permanently ) are all an hour or less from me. 
Laurel Hill, which I love,  is more Buffalo River way.  But they don't have organized rides. 
I love organized rides.
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