We would like to make your visit to The Settlement at Thomas Divide as enjoyable as possible and thought that some practical information might be helpful.
Use of house: The second-floor bathroom is intended for people staying in the house. The house is an old farmhouse, comfortable, but “not the Hilton”. All linens, cook ware, plates etc. are provided. The bathroom on the first floor of the house is available for use by all visitors.
For those staying in the house: There are three bedrooms, two with a queen bed and one with two twins. All bedding linens are provided. Each bedroom has an air conditioner. Downstairs there is a kitchen, living room, and open covered deck overlooking the pasture. There is a smart TV in the living room, connected to the internet, so please bring your own passwords for your favorite streaming services. Behind the house is a charcoal grill for your use (please bring charcoal) plus a fire pit. If we have wood we will provide it, but bring your own to be safe.
Hook-Ups: We have electric and water hook-ups in the campground, and there is room for a maximum of four trailers. Please fill up your water tanks on arrival and then shut off the hose. The water pressure is a little low, and if too many faucets are open at one time, the pump cannot handle it. The same water pump feeds the house, barn and the pasture water faucets. Should you need to dump your septic tank, there is a dump station at the Ela campground on Rt. 19 (ask us for directions), or you could call Sid’s Septic to come for a pump out at 828-488-3255.
Cell and Internet Connections: we do have internet at the house, look for the TP Link D7F6, the password 79871242. Downtown Bryson City has free wireless internet in the library and in almost every restaurant, coffee shop, etc. including McDonalds and Bojangles. Cell phone reception can be spotty and is better with Verizon than with other carriers.
Horse Accommodations: We have two wooden fenced paddocks with a shelter, where two or three horses will be comfortable. There is one larger paddock with a shelter, where up to six horses could go. There is grass, but your horses will probably need hay too. All paddocks have shade from trees. We now have a nice four-stall barn for visitors, with a covered aisle and storage room. One bag of bedding will be provided for each stay. Please bring your own buckets, and your own hay.
Dogs: Dogs are always welcome, but please keep them leashed at all times when outside. Dogs that are civilized and house broken are welcome in the house! Dogs are not allowed in the Park, so be sure you have a good way to contain them when you are off riding. Bedding: We do have this available for purchase at $6.00 a bag, but please bring your own if possible.
Garbage: There are two garbage containers for the campground: up by the round pen and on the back porch of the house. There are also containers for recycling, so please separate your cans and bottles appropriately. Please bag your garbage well, and we will pick it up as soon as we can. If the cans are filled, please call me to let me know at 828-788-3648. Fires: You are welcome to have camp fires in the camp ground at night, but bring your own wood. General clean up: We are always grateful if you would pick up after your horses in the parking area. Your stalls will be clean when you arrive, so please plan to have them cleaned each day you are here, as well as when you leave. If you want to use the ring and round pen, please could you pick up these as well. There is a wheelbarrow and fork for your use in the parking area, and the manure pit is directly behind the large barn. Please throw it to the back of the pit, as it does have a tendency to spill into the road.
Hiking, Biking, and Riding Trails: We are only about a mile from the Thomas Divide trailhead, so no need to trailer out. However, there are many different trailheads you could use in the Park, as well as in the National Forest, Tsali being the best known. Tsali is well-known for its wonderful biking trails. Horses and bikes switch days on different trails. If you come to ride, a smaller bumper pull type trailer offers more flexibility. This would mean staying in the farm house, of course, rather than with a hook up. The trails are varied – lower down they are wide and not very steep, but as you climb they can get steep and narrow with drop offs. The trails are well marked, but only at intersections, so you can go for miles without seeing a marker if there are no intersections. Many of the trails are quite beautiful; as you go along the rivers, see the views and the wild flowers. In the summer they are almost always cool with the leaf cover. However, you are in the wilderness, and it is important to be able to read a map, so should your arms be a little short these days, please be sure to bring a pair of reading glasses with you! We do have maps for you on your arrival. We recommend that horses are shod, boots are fine, but can be slippery. Barefoot horses usually have problems unless they have incredibly tough feet.
I hope this information will answer all of your questions, but please don’t be shy if you have others.