Gilbertsons Lazy Horse Retreat
Josh Guin
/ Categories: Campground

Gilbertsons Lazy Horse Retreat

200+ miles; trail difficulty - intermediate to advanced

Address:938 Schoolhouse Gap Rd Townsend TN 37882
Phone: 865 448 6810   Email:
Website: Social Media:

Here's what you need to know:

  1. Getting here -mostly rural highways leading into gravel driveway, no large trailers.
  2. Parking & Trailers - not a horse campground but does accept horses, parking for small to medium sized trailers.
  3. Family Friendly - yes
  4. Trail Difficulty - intermediate to advanced.
  5. Trail Info - access to smoky mountains, tunnel under road, middle prong river, panther creek.
  6. Amenities - showerhouse, restrooms, no hay, no ice, shavings available, onsite office.
  7. Events & entertainment - organized rides, rendezvous, clinics, atv rides, racking horse competitions.
  8. Lodging - 4 fully furnished cabins, jacuzzi, kitchen, etc.
  9. Hookups - RV sites available.
  10. Stalls - 2 barns, 12 stalls with lights and water.


  • From their site-

  • Welcome to Gilbertson’s Lazy Horse Retreat – we appreciate your visit to our website!

    We are a family owned and operated business located in beautiful Dry Valley, just 3 miles from Hwy 321 and Townsend, TN. 

    Dry Valley is a lovely, quiet valley surrounded by majestic mountain ranges. It’s similar in appearance to Cades Cove but with real working farms and magnificent, panoramic views. We are surrounded by Rich and Scott Mountains with the Chilhowie Mountain Range right in front of us.

    We have four rental cabins, plus optional facilities for horse owners to bring their horses on vacation with them. We welcome guests with or without horses. You will find our tranquil ranch setting a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the beauty of God’s work.

  •  Why not plan a vacation with your horses and REALLY see the Smokies! We have a stable with 10 indoor box stalls, 2 80’x100’ wooden fenced paddocks, 3 roundpens and a half acre lot to accommodate your horses. We also have a barn with 2 stalls and a corral near our camping spot.

    Twelve major trailheads for riding horses into the Smoky Mountain National park are 1.5 to 14 miles from the Lazy Horse Retreat. You can either ride directly into the park from here (or to Cades Cove) or trailer to various trailheads. 

    There are a little under 200 miles of trails in this area. The trail riding varies from easy to moderate to more difficult. The scenery and views are spectacular. There are trails rolling through the woods, some that switchback up to the mountain tops 5000 feet in elevation, or some that are along beautiful streams with waterfalls. We have trail maps to purchase and we help you plan rides. After you enjoy a leisurely ride for the day, you can come back to the comfort of a jacuzzi! All of our cabins are convenient to the stable, or corrals, yet private from each other.

  • All horses entering Tennessee must have an official health certificate and proof of negative Coggins Test (EIA) current within 12 months. We will make every effort to ensure you and your horses’ safety, however, Lazy Horse Retreat cannot assume any liability for personal injuries, livestock injuries, or equipment damages – pursuant to The Tennessee code annotated, Title 44, Chapter 20, Part 1.

    Professional Veterinary and Farrier Services are available. Bedding is furnished.

    Camping is available along with a bathroom and shower, electricity and water is also furnished. Because of limited space we only take a maximum of two campers at a time. We also don’t take LQ trailers that are over 40 ft. long.  It is a circular camping area, not pull through.

    There is a 16 ft. gooseneck stock trailer available to rent for $20/day ($15/day for multiple use). Dogs are not allowed in the National Park or on trails, but some of our cabins are dog friendly. Please call for permission if you want to bring a dog.  We have specific rules, limits and a pet guest fee in the pet friendly cabins. There is also a boarding kennel 8 miles from the Lazy Horse Retreat.

    If you want more information on riding the trails in our area I recommend the book “Horseback Riding In The Great Smoky Mountains National Park” – Cades Cove Area by Jody Burrage. You can purchase it on

  • Nearby attractions and activities include hiking, horseback riding, bike riding, trout fishing, swimming and tubing in the beautiful Little River. The Tuckaleechee Caverns are within a mile of the Lazy Horse Retreat.

    If all of this isn’t enough to keep you entertained, action-packed Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are about 20 miles away, but don’t forget, some of the best restaurants and crafts shops are located right here in Townsend!

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