Horses at the shelters
Just curious as I have never backpacked overnight into the Smokies, how likely is it that you will run into a horse party at the shelters (where they are allowed)? I am sure it depends on the time of year but I am thinking mid week during the summer. Is this something that the park can tell you when you register? Nothing against horses, I just don't care for them for several reasons, especially in a camp site, and would like to avoid a group if possible. For myself I plan to stay in a regular site but this may be the year that I take my kids with me and I was thinking that a shelter would make the trip a little more comfortable for them for the first time. My first trip was to a shelter in upstate NY and that was a great first trip for me.
Thanks in advance.
Hoosier, assuming you will be staying on or near the AT (there are shelters off the AT, but not many), the GSMNP "dollar" map shows where on the AT horses are allowed and not allowed.
My favorite shelter is Tricorner Knob, but its also a favorite stop for horseback riders who have ridden the Balsam ridge from Catalooche.
I don't know your kids, but I know if I was a kid (kindof still am), I would rather stay in a tent with my family than be forced to sleep with a bunch of strangers in a critter infested shelter.
Remember that peak times for Northbound thru-hikers in the smokies is right around the corner.
Have fun! its good to hear about parents taking their kids past the front country campgrounds.
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