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“Best Vacation”

French Broad River Outpost Ranch
Ranked #2 of 5 things to do in Del Rio
Attraction details
Mount Holly, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best Vacation”
Reviewed 8 July 2014

I went to the outpost Ranch with my 11 year old granddaughter. She has been riding horses since she was five and is a very good rider . I, on the other hand, have not ridden much and am not in that great of a physical condition. Shawn and his wranglers made it a wonderful week for both of us! I never felt left out or out of place and she never felt like she was being held back. She enjoyed every trail ride they offered on a horse she loved. I rode with her once a day and stuck to the lower trails for the other ride while she was challenged by the steeper trails. It was perfect for us! The family atmosphere was relaxing and good friends were made. Food was great and the family setting made sharing of the good times a big part of the day. Cell phone reception and no TV was a challenge for the 11 year old but I found it refreshing. The planned activities were engaging and entertaining the square dance was our favorite!
Cindy T

Visited June 2014
3 Thank Cindy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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16 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Greer, South Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Wonderful family experience.”
Reviewed 9 August 2013

My 9 year old said this was the best vacation ever! I hope we can return every year. Great food. Horseback rides twice a day, some days cattle drives. Tubing/rafting if you choose. Everything is included. OK, so if you need to get away from it all, this is the place. I could not get any service on my I-phone ( Verizon) although a few said they could get 1 bar down at the hitching post or if the did a drastic maneuver on their bed and held their mouth just right. However, "town" (Newport) is about 20 minutes away. Also, no TV in the room. One big screen available in the game room with a vcr/dvd and a cabinet full of western movies. Oh, and did I say the food is fantastic! Every meal was delicious, home cooked, I loved everything even if it wasn't something I ate at home. Frankly, because it was so good, and also because that's all you have. Its all served family style, making it easier to get to know everyone at the ranch. Learning how to saddle your own horse is great, and making the kids learn too is awesome. Please wear boots, tennis shoes are ok, but riding the way they teach you is much easier in boots with a short heel. Also, long pants, and long sleeve shirts, its cooler under the trees, which is where most of the rides occur, and the horse like to walk on the edge so you will scraped and scratched up after a ride. The long sleeves also help if bugs like to bite you. I only took two pairs of jeans and no long sleeves and I regretted it. A washer and dryer is available so I washed my jeans as needed, but would have been better if I had more. Also, you go on one ride in morning and you may be sweaty, or rained on, or muddy, or whatever so you may not want to wear the same clothes all day (to lunch and on the afternoon ride and to dinner). So prepare for that. The rooms were comfortable and clean. The wranglers, were all very nice and accommodating willing to help you or answer questions. Overall, if you like a little adventure, and can do without all the amenities, this is where you want to go. Oh, and don't sit out on the square dancing, you will probably never see any of these people again, so go ahead and look like a big doofus. You will smile the whole time.

Visited July 2013
5 Thank Jennifer M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“mother son trip to dude ranch”
Reviewed 21 July 2013

My 16 year old son and I visited the ranch as a week get away to try something new. We drove from Fl with an overnight stop in Columbia SC just to break up the trip which was perfect. We were able to explore a little bit and find where the nearest internet service was before going through the gates at 4pm.
Our experience was amazing in part because riding horses, rafting, good people and good food just make for a great time but the other part is about what YOU make the experience. There is plenty to do at the ranch like riding, hiking, swimming, taking walks, playing in the game room etc, and there is a schedule of who rides when. There may an hour or so between the scheduled rides. My son chose to offer to help the wranglers with their duties during his down time, and that is what made his experience so special for him. The wranglers welcomed him into their circle and put him to work. He loved it! He did not want to leave and said that this vacation was the best he had ever had. (this is a kid who has vacationed in Greece, Turkey, Italy, Costa Rica, Canada, the Caribbean, cruises, skiing, to name a few and to give some perspective. He didn't want to leave!
The food at the ranch is rib sticking home style food that is plentiful. What was probably the most noticeably lacking was fresh produce. Understandably, produce is expensive and so is running a ranch. There is a grocery store and Wal-Mart about 30 minutes away, so you can always get what you need if you feel the need to add some fresh fruit. We were served meals such as pulled chicken sandwiches and chips, chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pork chops, fettuccine Alfredo, tomato soup and grilled cheese. pork tenderloin and potatoes, watermelon, rolls and biscuits, lots of fresh tomatoes that were amazing and in season. Breakfasts were traditional things like pancakes, oatmeal, grits, bacon, sausage... My son loved the food and he loved even more the opportunity to sit family style and interact with all of the guests over a meal. It is not gourmet, but it is perfect for his setting.

In the evening, there was a kids rodeo, traditional field games, square dancing, and line dancing, All were a ton of fun and yielded a ton of laughs.

Riders are taught to saddle their horses and they are expected to do so on every ride. It is part of what goes along with riding. No one is their to coddle you, but they do check every single saddle and make adjustments before the ride.

We asked for additional lesson at the beginning of the week and were lucky enough to be able to get one...the wranglers work long hours and have very little time between scheduled events to make time for this. We happened to be there after there had been a ton of rain, and because the river was so full, we were unable to do the lower level raft for safety reasons and that is why the lesson was permitted I think. I would highly suggest the progressive lesson that is available to the week long guest if you are feeling a little comfortable in the saddle. It is a ton of fun and great tips are given. It will also get you more comfortable for the progressive trail ride qualifier the next morning. A note on that- my son really wanted to do the progressive trail ride on Friday. It requires passing Shawn's test in the ring first. My son was so disappointed that he didn't pass, however, I was relieved. The progressive trail ride is a canter through terrain that is steep, rugged, rocky and narrow. While I know that after a week, we all feel like expert riders, the reality is we are not. I compared it to driving for my son and how he is not allowed on the highways yet as it would be irresponsible of me to put him into fast moving and unpredictable situations when he has little to no experience. It would be just as irresponsible for Shawn to put riders on a horse when there is a great likelihood that their horse wont be able to be controlled by the rider. I deeply respected that he chose only one rider to go on this ride and she was a rider who had much experience in the English saddle. Even she was put to the test in the ring before Shawn would allow her to go.

Do the rafting trip that is offsite for sure. It is part of your week long package. it is done by 5 rivers rafting company and again safety and fun are stressed. It is class 2, 3, and one or two 4 rapids. Ask for Clark to be your guide...he's a crazy man with a ton of experience and he makes it twice as fun.

Bring band aids for boot blisters or wear your boots in before going. Bug spray is a must have. extra carrots and apples are great to have to feed the horses. BYOB if you want more than beer. A cooler is a great thing to have with sodas and bottled water or your mixers for your drinks.
water shoes are needed for the rafting (or heel backed shoes that you don't mind getting wet.) In July, the weather was hot and we were all thankful for cloud cover. We did not have rain while there, but a rain jacket would be a smart thing to have just in case.

Hopefully this is helpful; we would do this trip again this summer with my husband and daughter if there was an opening. It is a great experience for all ages. (there were families with kids ages 7-17 on our trip and every single kid wanted to stay longer!)

Finally, we have to thank the owner and staff because they ensured our safety, and made sure a great time was had by all. One of the wranglers, Myon, in particular is just the most amazing person with animals that I have ever seen. Logan made the guests feel special and was very informative and helpful. Mel also was really great to guests and the best line dancer teacher in the evening. Alla, new to the ranch, did anything she could to make people feel welcome. Shawn and his wife have a love for their animals and for making the experience a unique one for their guests and take safety very seriously.

The rooms are deep cleaned weekly and freshened daily, but you are not pampered. Beds are not changed and made for you on a daily basis. The room is vacuumed and towels are changed as needed. There are no tv;s in the rooms, and internet service does not work at the ranch. I think Verizon was the only phone service that people were able to get on a limited basis. I did have my laptop with me which was great for swooping and sharing pictures from my picture card to other peoples and vice versa. So bring a good book, or your hiking shoes for the down time and enjoy the peace of being disconnected for a week. It was awesome!

So if you're still reading, book it! they sell out fast and you will have the time of your life.

Visited July 2013
7 Thank felici5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Corydon, Indiana
1 review
“Excellent Getaway”
Reviewed 19 April 2013

i would recommend this to anyone, even the non so outdoorsy type. the whole staff, all the way down to the cook and cleaning lasy, are super friendly. the area is gorgeous. i would love to go again over and over.

Visited April 2013
Thank Rodney B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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