Flyinby, I have been reading this post with a great big question mark in my mind, and after this last reply from you, I'm going to recommend that you rethink this trip. You may be able to do the Little Horseshoe, but you will have lost an hour and 1/2 of daylight at the end of Sept. That is going to put you in a critical situation, time wise, to be able to get thru the Big Horseshoe before dark, even if you get an early start. Since you are going to have several folks that are new to this area, you're really going to be taking a gamble with someone getting hurt. Some alternatives to the full trip would be going in at the upper end and walking downstream for a short distance and fishing back up to the trail. Another group could walk down below the lower entrance to the Big Horseshoe and fish back upstream for a short distance into it and in a few hours you could walk back down stream to the trail. Four hours is long enough either way and that would give you plenty of time to get back out. Good luck and be safe.
Hugh Hartsell---East Tn.