South of Etowah, the Starr Mountain Horse Trail Complex consists of about 20 miles of horseback riding trails ranging from short loop trails to long overnight rides. Trail options include the Starr Mountain Horse Trail, a 5.5 mile-trail that follows the crest of Starr Mountain, or Chestnut Mountain Horse Trail, a 5.7-mile trail that winds along the border of the Gee Creek Wilderness (horses prohibited in Gee Creek Wilderness).
The Bullet Creek Horse Trail, a 2.7-mile trail, passes through the bottomland forest along Bullet Creek. For a short challenging ride, try Burkett Ivens Trail, which takes riders through both forested and rocky terrain. Both trails afford riders breathtaking scenic views.
Trails can be accessed from the Lost Corral Trailhead, which is located across from Gee Creek Campground (Tennessee State Park) on Spring Creek Road just off Highway 411 between Benton and Etowah, TN or off Forest Road 44 of TN 315, Tellico Reliance Road.
A new horse camp is open in the Ocoee-Hiwassee Ranger District of the Cherokee National Forest. Lost Corral Horse Camp is located in Polk County off Forest Service Road 27 near the Hiwassee Ocoee Scenic River State Parks Office. Lost Corral Horse Camp is near the Starr Mountain Horse Tail Complex, Gee Creek Wilderness, Spring Creek Shooting Range and Hiwassee River.
Lost Corral features 20 developed campsites, each with its own picnic table, fire ring, lantern post and horse hitching area. Each site will accommodate up to five people and two vehicles. Portable water and vault toilet facilities are located in the campground. The fee for camping is $15 per site per day.
Directions to Lost Corral Horse Camp:
When coming from the South: From the intersection of US Highways 64 and 411 drive north on HWY 411 12.7 miles to Spring Creek Road - Forest Development Road 27 (FDR 27) and turn right. The turnoff is 7.0 miles north of the traffic light in Benton. There is a Hiwassee Ocoee Scenic River State Park sign marking the turn. After turning off HWY 411 continue on Spring Creek Road, Lost Corral is just past the State Parks Office and across the road from Gee Creek State Park.
When coming from the North: From Etowah travel approximately 5 miles south on US Highway 411. Continue on Hwy 411 .8 of a mile south of the junction of US HWY 411 and State Route 163 (Benton Banking Company located on the right at this junction) and look for Spring Creek Road and the Hiwassee Ocoee Scenic River Park turnoff sign (turnoff is on the left). After turning off HWY 411 continue on Spring Creek Road, Lost Corral is just past the State Parks Office and across the road from Gee Creek State Park.
Overall, Starr Mountain Horse Trail Complex is the 19th most popular horseback riding trail of all 21 horseback riding in Tennessee.