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“Excellent horse back riding experience for beginners” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of North Mountain Outfitter

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North Mountain Outfitter
Charlottesville
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent horse back riding experience for beginners”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2012

We bought a groupon and reserved a half day horseback riding trip on a weekday. Our host Dwight confirmed the date immediatly by email. The drive out to the ranch was beautiful. Make sure to not follow your GPS blindly, but to check the map and directions on the web site first. When we arrived we were greeted by Dwight, the owner of the ranch. We went out with 2 other people who were like us inexperienced horse back riders. Dwight gave us excellent instructions on how to handle to horse which put us at ease. The trail itself was beautiful and so peaceful. The horses followed each other in a line and were calm. We crossed shallow rivers and climbed up hills. Though I never thought I'd be able to do this as an inexperienced horse back rider, it was not hard at all. Just follow the instructions and trust the horse because they have done this may times. Another thing I want to mention is that the horses are treated very well by the caretakers. The animals (including those cute dogs) respect their owner and he respects them. Finally, someone on tripadvisor complained about the scheduling. Dwight told us that if you want to book for the weekend, they are booked out for several months due to the succes of their groupon deal. So if you want to go in a big group, don't be surprised if you have to wait a few months, since they can handle only 12 people at a time (for safety reasons, since they're dealing with inexperienced riders as well). However if you want to go on a weekday and are flexible you should not have much of a problem booking a trip. Check the weather before you leave, because as stated on the web site you will ride, rain or shine! Again, I highly recommend this place. Gracious host, beautiful surroundings and sweet horses. Oh, and a yummy lunch that is given to you midway through the ride.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Travel1080
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lima
Level Contributor
168 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2012

Amazing find - a piece of "The West" - with horses, roaring fireplace, buffalo hides, bearskin rugs and absolute quiet right on the East Coast, 3 hours (270 km) from Washington DC, in Virginia. This Guest Ranch is truly an escape from the bustle and traffic of the DC area, located below North Mountain where the sound of babbling streams and rustling leaves is only broken by honking geese splash-landing on the lake below the "Bunkhouse." After a hearty home-cooked meal, you can relax in the hot tub under the brilliant stars in the moonlight, or enjoy the spacious great room by playing board games in front of the huge fireplace. A great way to start the New Year far from cell phones and internet! In the morning, after a big breakfast, we took a half day "trailride" into the National Forest. The horses were well-mannered, and matched to the abilities of the riders. The hosts - Dwight and his daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Jason - were most gracious. Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Brazilian, British and other foreign visitors have left positive comments in their guest books. It is a well-run operation. Dwight is a retired local Sheriff (really) and, with his son-in-law built the "bunkhouse" four years ago so guests could stay in addition to riding horses, fly fishing or hiking, etc. They handcrafted it from local cedar and pine, with loving care to details -- way beyond our expectations for something called "the bunkhouse". They accept guests year-round. If you are looking for an experience of the American West but just coming to the East Coast, then this is the place - nothing else like it.

Room Tip: Bring some warm slippers if you go in the winter time, and dont forget your bathing suit for the pea...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Janis857
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington, dc
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2011

Have to agree with earlier review .. I spent just 24 hours at North Mountain Outfitters and I felt like I'd been away for a week! Around the fire at night, yes, the bullfrogs, the Canada geese drifting on the lake, the horses off in the distance, the crackle of the fire, the whip-poor-wills calling, it was nirvana! And the sound of just nothing at all. Soooo peaceful, so relaxing. After our 4-hour ride through the marvelous forest with Mountain Laurel blooming everywhere, I realized I had lost my camera somewhere along the way. Dwight, our delightful and relaxed guide, rode back into the woods right after we returned and lo and behold, he found my camera. Be sure to have Dwight point out bear tracks when he sees them. An all-in-all fabulous experience.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank munchmeat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, D.C.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2010

Spent a second weekend here this year and loved it as much as the first. We had experienced equestrians and a City Slicker from D.C. (me) in our group and we all loved it. The riding was fabulous, the food was great (think grilled ribeye steaks and blueberry pancakes and bacon), the owners were gracious and helpful, and the scenery was beautiful. For me the best part was the absolute ability to disconnect from city life and reconnect with nature. At night, it was just us, the campfire, the fireflies, the bullfrogs, the horses heading out to pasture, and wind rustling through the trees. A really amazing experience.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank crh436
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about North Mountain Outfitter

Property: North Mountain Outfitter
Address: 709 N Mountain Rd, Swoope, VA 24479-2459
Location: United States > Virginia > Swoope
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Swoope
Number of rooms: 5

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