Our 12,000 mile, 13 state equitrekking adventure was nearing completion. After visiting Kentucky Horse Park, we headed for Natchez Trace State Park in Tennessee. The original plan was to set up camp, get the horses settled, and then spend a day in Nashville. I searched, and searched, and searched for a place to camp near Nashville. The best I could come up with was Natchez, and it was still a hundred miles away!
I found out about this park through a suggestion made on a Facebook horse camping group. The gal who mentioned the park indicated they had a horse barn. Despite deep-diving into the information on their website, I couldn’t find out anything about the barn. Here is what the website says about Wrangler Camp:
Natchez Trace Wrangler Camp is located 2.2 miles south of I-40 on Hwy. 114. The Bucksnort Wrangler Camp features 62 campsites with electric and water, two bathhouses, and a dump station. All electrical hook-ups are 50 amps. Each site has a picnic table, ground grill, pedestal grill, lantern holder, water and posts to picket horses. There are 250 miles of riding trails in the park and forest.
I vaguely remember calling the camp office and having them confirm they had a barn. The park staff member never volunteered any information about the barn.
Obviously, I was not interested in picketing my horses or tying them to posts and leaving camp all day. We had to have stalls. We have ID MyHorse Emergency Identification Tags woven into their manes. I am fine with being gone all day, knowing someone could reach us if needed. But I had to know the horses were in a secure environment.
Finding our campsite
We arrived at the park around 4 PM. We had a site number already, and assigned stalls, so we didn’t stop at the park office. It was a dreary, rainy day. It would have been a good plan if I had really studied the park campsite map… but I hadn’t. We pulled into the horse campground and randomly chose which of two directions we could go to find our site.
The leaves were covering the ground and the road, and campsite pull-offs were very hard to visualize. We tried to pull around a tree and circle out of that area, only to have some difficulties with trees and mud. We finally got straightened up and set off once again to find our campsite. It was then that we learned that the barn was about a half-mile away, in a separate area.
We finally found the barn. It was built about 15 years ago, specifically for horse folks using the park. It really was a pretty nice setup… just not anywhere close enough to your campsite to be able to see your horses. The stalls we were assigned were wet, so we chose a couple of different ones. There were only two other equines in residence… and the barn had 10 stalls. The campground itself was all but empty.
It was still pouring rain when we unloaded the horses. The driveway in front of the barn was gravel, level, and visible. Alan looked at me and said, “Why don’t we just stay right here?” And so we did! We were not in anyone’s way. We dry camped, and could readily keep an eye on our horses. Because our Nashville plans fell through, we planned to leave early the next morning.
A beautiful park
The next morning, we decided to check out the official camping facilities for possible future reservations. The campground is quite pretty, and the sites are fairly large. We certainly would be willing to return to this location, preferably on a nicer day!
While we were there, we were approached by a gentleman who was looking for his old dog. Apparently, the man thought his dog had jumped into his car, when in fact the dog had jumped in and then jumped out again. The old dog was blind and deaf. The man was worried sick, as all of us would be. The man wrote his name and phone number on a piece of paper and gave it to me.
I struggled to get this lost old dog out of my mind. Throughout the day, I repeatedly reached out to the guy to see if he had found his dog. I was happy to learn that later that afternoon, the dog was rescued!
Our next destination was Little Rock, Arkansas to see friends. After that, time with Alan’s sister in Dallas, and then a layover in New Mexico. Next week I will tell you about those places, and then I will be writing about life in Arizona!