Our Dude Ranch vacation includes various exciting activities that doesn’t involve phones or any electronics. It is a complete family vacation where you will be learning horseback riding, grooming and saddling, and driving the cattle. Located in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, our Dude Ranch offers great views, something that you will see every day of your stay. From fishing to pioneer games to square dancing, you will have complete fun filled vacation here. Our ranch is surrounded by nature and is completely authentic – nothing is artificial.
The staff and accommodations were first rate! The rooms were spacious and comfortable. Shawn and his staff, although busy with the ranches needs, were extremely helpful in taking care of us as guests. Jo Ann kept herself busy in the kitchen and kept us well fed with amazing food for the duration of our stay. I cannot wait to return to this hidden gem of a vacation spot!
DO NOT BOOK A TRIP HERE! HEED THE BAD REVIEWS! If you are looking for a fun, Old West-themed adventure, look elsewhere and save yourself the headache and heartache. French Broad Outpost Ranch is not a safe place for a non-experienced horse rider to be introduced to riding. This is also not a place for experienced equestrians to come and push their riding ability or expand their horizons. I booked my trip for March 2022 as someone with many years of riding and farm experience but who wanted to get out and enjoy some new trails and take in the scenery. I had read several reviews and had foolishly dismissed the “Poor” and “Terrible” ones as guests who had probably blown their bad experiences out of proportion and booked my trip anyways. I WAS WRONG. DON’T MAKE MY MISTAKE! This ranch is a case study of poor leadership, mismanagement, and what happens when money comes first and people come second. I cannot say enough positive things about the wranglers, chef, and hostess/housekeeper. Hannah, Trey, Zarod, Ken, and Julie went above and beyond to make sure we all had fun, stayed safe, and ate well during our stay. They took care of us like family, and by the end of the trip, I felt like we had grown and gotten very close as a group. Unfortunately, the flipside to all of the good that came from spending time with them was the reality we witnessed regarding their awful treatment by the establishment owners. Shawn and Jo Ann made this trip a nightmare. They went out of their way to be cruel, dismissive, disrespectful, and verbally/emotionally abusive towards their staff members. They screamed at, cut down, cornered, and humiliated their hardworking employees, all while we, their customers, were either in the room or close enough to hear it with our own ears. If you have never ridden before, stay away from this place. You will be putting yourself and your loved ones at risk. They do not have helmets available, even for children, even though you ride down steep and rocky terrain from day one. The owner bragged about the ranch’s safety record, stating that they’ve only had to call the ambulance four times over the last 30 years. It makes one wonder how many of those were perhaps preventable head injuries. Saddles and bridles are in poor condition. Over the course of four days, I experienced a rollercoaster of a vacation. It consisted of some wonderful moments shared with my fellow guests and wranglers and some deeply disappointing low moments where I felt belittled or witnessed my newfound friends being treated poorly. Overall, the ranch shows signs of neglect and mismanagement. There’s an uncontrolled pigeon infestation in the barns, fences are falling apart, wranglers are overworked, and their time is poorly managed by upper management, making it impossible for them to keep up with the never-ending list of things that need doing. The whole place is woefully understaffed, and I can see why. No one should have to endure the kind of working conditions that appear to be the standard as decided by Shawn and Jo Ann’s behavior. I will never book another trip here and will do everything in my power to make sure no one I know will either.
My family and I had a great time at the French Broad Ranch. It is located in a very beautiful area with a view of the mountains and a river nearby, along with beautiful stretched out fields and trails that you will go through with your horses. The construction of the ranch is straight out of an old western movie, even including a saloon where you will go to see and hear bluegrass and country musicians on Fridays. Activities range from, horseback riding, to cattle drives and rafting, along with many more that keep you busy and having fun.The rooms were very clean with a rustic western touch, and when you wake up in the morning you are greeted with a nice sunrise, and view of the Smoky Mountains. The food was very good and the staff was very helpful and kind. The owners Shawn and Jo Ann work very hard to keep you happy and help you get the best out of your vacation. Shawn is a great horseback riding teacher and does an amazing job at explaining how you should handle your horse. Leaving the ranch we are all confident in our horseback riding abilities and can see a big difference from when we first arrived to when we left. We would recommend this ranch to anybody who wants to have a vacation or great time in Tennessee. Thank you to Shawn, Jo Ann and the staff for a wonderful time! ~From Dan, Mimi, Stefan, & Diana
Extremely clean and had the most comfortable bed!!! Our hosts and owners Shawn and Joann were wonderful. Chief Holly was amazing, three delicious meals everyday, homemade deserts, biscuits and all kinds of delicious food. Wranglers: Hanna head wrangler was both experienced and knowledgeable of riders needs. Loved her staff: Jarred, Tristen aka Jimmy and Monica. A wholesome family friendly place where dreams come true Can’t wait to go back❣️❣️❣️ Bert and Jodi
We just returned from our first visit and it won’t be our last! We can’t wait to return with our kids especially in the summer! Riding by the river and up the mountain was incredibly fun! The scenery is beautiful! The meals were fantastic and it was so nice to return from riding, clean up, and have a fantastic family-style meal. On Saturday night, we enjoyed fried pork chops, Mac n cheese, green beans, cornbread, and peach cobbler a la mode....YUM!! It reminded me of Sunday supper at my grandmother’s house. I cannot say enough great things about the staff! They were engaging, kind, and took care of us like family. The lodge/room might be the cleanest place I’ve ever stayed and I have travelled extensively. The experience was one of kind! Thank you for sharing your ranch with us and we can’t wait to see you again! Chris and Shohn