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“Bit of the Old West in East TN”

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French Broad Outpost Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Calhoun, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
77 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Bit of the Old West in East TN”
Reviewed 11 November 2013

A four night stay in the peace of the mountains, rustic comfortable rooms, excellent plentiful food, sweet well trained horses. I am the complete greenhorn, been on a horse a dozen times, but before we left felt quite comfortable on the sometimes steep trails. We had read the fine print and were not expecting a band or dancing. What we got was better. We had the place to ourselves most of the time. Views, quiet, dark skies full of stars, turkeys calling the rising sun, saw deer on every ride. Serious down time away from phones, email, etc. you don't even have to take a book as they have lots in many genres, but you can just sit on the porch and watch the light on the mountains. Contact me for more info.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Judy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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122 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2013

My son (11) and I spent our 2013 summer vacation at the FBO ranch. It was a wonderful experience. Who knew we could have a great western experience in the east! I liked that we were given the same horse to ride throughout the week; my son really bonded with his horse, Ginger. We normally rode twice a day. The cattle drive and team penning were a great addition to the weeks activities which also included white water rafting and river tubing. Unfortunately because the week we were there, there weren't enough people, some of the events were cancelled (rodeo games and the live music/dancing). We were able to enjoy all the riding/activities available and didn't have rain dampen our fun (pun intended).

The room and meals were very good. The staff were excellent and enhanced the vacation.
We took advantage of the upstairs game room (pool, air hockey, and chess). Please note there is little-to-no cell coverage. My AT&T phone had no service. I loved being totally disconnected for a week.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mar223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hammond, Louisiana
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2013

Wishing our sons had settled closer to home in Louisiana, we try to get our two sons and their families together for a summer trip every year. Last year (2012) we heard about and decided to try French Broad Outpost Ranch.

This year (2013) we suggested a beach trip. All four granddaughters (ages 7 to 9) said no! Can we please go back to the Dude Ranch? So, we did. How’s that for a 5 star endorsement?
If anything, this year was even better than the last year.

It’s all wonderful – the staff, the food, the accommodations, the activities, the mountain scenery. And it’s a very real learning experience – after an instruction class the first evening and the wranglers assisting if needed, everyone gets to retrieve their horse from its pasture, lead it back to the livery stable, brush it down, saddle it up and head out for trail rides, cattle drives, cattle penning, and kid’s rodeo events. Plus, there’s swimming pool, tubing, white water rafting, square dancing, and the list goes on….

Constant activity, but our family found it just right with enough downtime for reading or just enjoying the view from a comfortable rocking chair. Another nice thing is the limited number of guests. The maximum occupancy is about 30. A good size to get to know new friends (if you want to) without the chance of feeling lost in a crowd.

Our thanks to the Gannons for this special place.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ralph R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2013

This trip was for sure different than anything we have done before. I typically look for a great spa or a tropical destination for our trips. I am so very glad we had this experience! My 13 year old loved the new experiences of riding horses,herding cattle and the other events such as team penning and the rodeo games. The whitewater rafting and tubing with such a gorgeous backdrop was awesome!
Our lives get so busy and are filled with technology and constant work and family matters. This experience makes you slow down and remember what you work so hard for....the family. This trip was filled with memories that I know my daughter and myself with cherish a lifetime.
The staff was very friendly and helpful with teaching us all about the daily ranch activities and the horses. The food was delicious and eating family style was a great opportunity to share some more great time together
The square dancing was a blast! Would love to do that again at home...never thought I would say that:) We LOVED the whitewater rafting!!
There is little to no cell reception so be prepared. I am constantly on my cell or laptop for work so this was an odd but very good thing for me.
I would suggest a few things. If you like snacks at night during game times or just hanging out be sure to bring those. There is a small gas station/local store 2 miles away so if you forget anything it can be found, but best to bring what you would like.
They have sweet and unsweet tea out all day and sell a few types of soda. If you like a diet soda bring with you. There are many great activities and a swimming pool. You may want to bring a good book to read and enjoy the awesome front porch and rocking chairs.
We spent the majority of our time in jeans and boots. I have never worn a pair of cowboy boots in my life but I would for sure bring some next time. My boots worked but those would have been better.
They have some puzzles and games but would suggest you bring your favorite as there is a great opportunity for game nights after the evening activities.
The rooms were all very neat and clean. I am usually very picky when it comes to the room I stay in as well as the sheets and upkeep while I am there...I was very pleased with how well kept th rooms were.
My daughter had already asked when we can go again. Feel free to contact me with any questions!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank FeliciaPavlica10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2013

as the owner of horses this place was perfect myself and my partner ,stayed for 3 nights and just fell in love with the place, people and horses.my partner is a beginer and i,d done my research and found all abilities could ride together here. i didnt want to gallope around ( can do that at home) i wanted to take in the wonderful scenery and spend peaceful nights in good company.the food was to die for . we were very impressed it was just as we expected.
THANKS SHAWN, KYLE AND ZEE

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank cato1904
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
atlanta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2013

We went during the fall. The weather was beautiful, warm, idyllic really. The grounds are lovely and the operators are kind and welcoming. The food was hearty. The rooms were very nice and the views were picturesque.

We were a party of two, but the other travelers made it fun and we were able to make the quiet nights entertaining with some beer, music and card games.

As for the riding, this ranch gets kudos for rehabilitating horses and for the care they give their animals but I will say that their mounts are aged and spirit-less and it is true what most say here... the advanced/experienced rider will probably feel bored. Great time for the regular guy with his wife and kids to try something new, though.

Owners, you are quite lovely in person but I think the rebuttals to negative feedback casts you in a very bad light. It is, actually, the responsibility of the advertiser to be true in their advertising and if you claim that certain services be rendered (and you use these claims to your advantage in order to sell your services) then it is equally fair that the buyer expect that the seller deliver on their promises. If during certain times of year your services are condensed then your marketing needs to reflect ONLY the services rendered during that period of time.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
10 Thank SUP3RNATURAL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShawnGannon, Owner at French Broad Outpost Ranch, responded to this review, 5 June 2013
These days there is an informative tool that provides everyone tons of information about each and every place, the internet website. I post the summer itinerary because it is 99% rigid and structured because that is when we are the busiest, and you can only check in Sunday and Wednesday. During the low season, the time this reviewer says they were here, we don't post an exact itinerary, which is really impracticable since it can't be structured since you can check in any day of the week. I find that most "advanced" equine enthusiasts want trotting and galloping at all times. What they don't understand, is in today's world you just can't do that. Why? Insurance companies are very restrictive in what they will allow and what they call "dangerous". All equine activities involve a certain amount of inherent danger, as you are riding a 1000 lb. animal that has a brain of it's own. We have a great safety record and the reason for that is we just don't go galloping off with everyone that says they are Roy Rodgers. The summer is when we offer an advanced ride, and that is clearly stated on the itinerary page. The folks that "wish" that to mean whenever they show up, should consider reading things twice before they try to make it sound like the owners of an establishment are trying to "mislead" experienced riders. The fact is that only around 10% of our guests say they are experienced riders, and the second fact is about 5% of those really aren't good enough riders to be considered advanced. When you grab the horn or use the stirrups for balance, you truly are not in balance. For a reference point, think of the ice skater that is using the wall to skate. No one says hey look at that skater!
This is a tough business offering equine activities to the public. Your first and number 1 thought should be safety, and that is how we approach it. Advance riders that want to complain they didn't get to go running every second, should consider buying a ranch and then buying insurance. I think that would help them understand.
As far as our horses. We don't rehabilitate horses at our ranch, even though we take great care of them. I would put our horses in the top 10 strings in America, because they are safe and well trained. Does that mean they never make a mistake? No, even the best animal can make a mistake, so that's why we are especially happy to have the safety of the guest as our number one rule. Anybody that would say an Arabian has no spirit, can't be much of a horse person anyway. Once they are trained though, they understand how to manage that spirit so that the average rider or beginner, can enjoy the experience of riding a horse, and that's why we are here. I personally enjoy watching a rider who has never ridden before, get into balance in the first 5 minutes at a trot. Some of our "advance" riders still can't do that after 1000 times in the saddle. So in closing, I don't feel our responses degrade us at all, as they are honest and to the point. After 20 years of being in the business of offering rides, I can stand on our system and our horses, and the many thousands of beginning riders that came here with no experience and actually made the advance ride at the end of the week, IN THE SUMMER. That wont happen anywhere else in the world, and that is a fact!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Depauw, Indiana
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2013

My husband and I have been looking for a dude ranch to visit for a vacation. We were happy to find one in Tennessee. The whole place was amazing! The ranch looked like it was right out of an old west movie. The rooms were very nice and comfortable. The food was delicious. After watching a video about horse riding and safety, we were able to get our horses from the field, brush them and saddle them ourselves. This was a great experience as we were able to be involved and learn. It is very evident that safety is a big concern. You can tell they care a lot about keeping the guests and horses safe. We loved this place!!!!! The views, the horses, the tree frogs at night, the food - it was all fantastic! My only complaint is that we couldn't stay longer!
Rodney and Tracy Brewer

Room Tip: Rooms 1-4 face the ranch and the view is excellent.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tracy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about French Broad Outpost Ranch

Property: French Broad Outpost Ranch
Address: 461 Old River Rd, Del Rio, TN 37727-2651
Region: United States > Tennessee > Del Rio
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Del Rio
Number of rooms: 16
Also Known As:
French Broad Outpost Ranch Hotel Del Rio

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