Back Country Horsemen of Western North Carolina
Back Country Horsemen of  Western North Carolina was organized in 2008 to address the increasing need to maintain horseback riding trails on public lands. We are a chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of NC.

Back Country Horsemen are a national organization that work with federal, state, and local agencies to preserve and maintain public trails so that everyone has the freedom to enjoy them. As a service organization, we are able to assist public agencies to manage recreational equine use on public lands. Another of our primary purposes is to educate horsemen and other trail users in the low impact use of the backcountry environment.

We welcome anyone interested in promoting and protecting trails and equestrian access to public lands. We hold membership meetings in addition to work rides, educational clinics, trail rides, and other events.

Our Mission

    1. Perpetuate the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s back country and wilderness areas and especially the back country and wilderness areas of North Carolina and the Southeastern United States.

    2.Work to ensure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use.

    3.Assist the Government and private agencies in their maintenance and managements of said public resources.

  4.Educate, encourage, and solicit active participation in the wise use of the back country resource by horsemen and the general public commensurate with our heritage.

                    5. Foster and encourage the formation of new state Back Country Horsemen organizations.
For more information about Back Country Horsemen follow the links below:







We are pleased to bring you
"Mountain Trails Festival" 2016
Tickets available on line NOW !!!


BCHWNC Members Meeting

Member Meetings are always at 6:30 pm on the 2nd Thursday of the month

Apr. - Oct. at the Bryson City Horse arena
Nov. - March Anthony's Pizza , Bryson City

The August meeting date is the 8/4/16 2016 6:30 pm. at Thomas Divide (the Bells house.

From the Wilderness Society

Press release

(SYLVA, NC)—A coalition of conservation and recreation organizations recommends more trails and better public access as well as backcountry and wild areas for the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, according to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) developed by the coalition. The coalition is submitting the MOU to the U.S. Forest Service as part of the ongoing forest plan revision process for the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests.

The coalition includes Access Fund, American Alpine Club, American Whitewater, Back Country Horsemen of America, Back Country Horsemen of Blue Ridge, Back Country Horsemen of North Carolina, Back Country Horsemen of Pisgah, Back Country Horsemen of Western North Carolina, Black Dome Mountain Sports, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Carolina Adventure Guides, Carolina Climbers Coalition, Franklin Bird Club, Friends of Big Ivy, Ground Up Publishing, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, Highlands Plateau Audubon Society, Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition, International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), MountainTrue, Nantahala Area Southern Off-Road Biking Association (SORBA), Nantahala Hiking Club, North Carolina Horse Council, Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance, Outdoor 76, Outdoor Alliance, Pisgah Area SORBA, Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventures, Southern Appalachian Plant Society, Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS), Stay and Play in the Smokies, The Wilderness Society, Trout Unlimited – Unaka Chapter, and Wild South.

The idea driving the coalition is simple:Western North Carolina’s national forests are the region’s greatest public asset, and should be protected for their inherent beauty, biodiversity, and their many values. Recognizing that Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest is in the top three most visited national forests in the United States, the proposal acknowledges the economic importance of these forests for recreation and tourism, and recommends management of these assets in a responsible manner that is both environmentally and economically sound. The management and designations proposed by the coalition extend stronger protections to more than 365,000 of the national forest’s nearly 1.1 million acres including two new National Recreation Areas and more than 109,000 acres of recommended wilderness.

Key recommendations within the proposal:

● Two new National Recreation Areas for Western North Carolina: a 115,573-acre Pisgah National Recreation Area and a 57,400-acre Grandfather National Recreation Area that will protect these areas from resource extraction and ensure that their unique natural beauty and ecological diversity are maintained for future generations, while recreation use such as hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, kayaking, and climbing is planned and managed for as a long-term priority. National Recreation Areas will formalize recreation access in key points of our forests, and would allow for the establishment of sustainable infrastructure to prevent damage to the areas while preserving recreational opportunities.

● Wilderness protection for 109,961 acres in the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests. Hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and hiking are among the many activities that would be welcomed in these areas. While the Forest Service can recommend wilderness, it would have to be approved by Congressional legislation and signed into law by the president.

Those who support the recommendations put forth in the MOU can help by providing public comments to the Forest Service that both endorses a plan that provides more public access and recreation, and protects more of our backcountry and wild places.

Comments can be submitted via email at NCPlanRevision@fs.fed.us or via mail at United States Forest Service Supervisor’s Office, 160 Zillicoa St, Suite A, Asheville, NC 28801.


From the halls of Congress, we once again have good news to share. 


Last week, the National Forest "trails bill" we supported last year was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Cynthia Lummis  (R-WY)  and Tim Walz (D-MN). The bill, the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act (H.R. 845), continues to spur high-level dialogue and a search for solutions to the growing trail maintenance crisis on our national forests.


BCHA strongly supports H.R. 845.


You can click here to read the text of the bill as introduced.


The bill was introduced at the request of BCHA and our partners, The Wilderness Society and American Horse Council. It responds, in part, to a June 2013 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that reviewed the status and causes of the Forest Service trail maintenance backlog. 


If enacted as currently written, H.R. 845 would:

  • Direct the U.S. Forest Service to develop a strategy to more effectively utilize volunteers and partners to assist in maintaining national forest trails;
  • Provide outfitters and guides the ability to pay permit fees in trail maintenance activities instead of dollars;
  • Address the liability issue that hampers volunteer and partner trail maintenance activity in some national forests; and
  • Prioritize specific areas for trail maintenance within national forests.


Take Action!

Please call or write your congressional representative to express support for H.R. 845. As a result of widespread bipartisan interest, the bill could move quickly through the House of Representatives if no controversial provisions or requests for new appropriations are added. We also hope to see a companion bill introduced in the Senate soon.


Go to this website to find contact information for your member of Congress. In your own words, tell your representative why you support H.R. 845, the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act. Tell them of your passion for, and commitment to, keeping national forest trails open and enjoyed by horsemen and others. Lastly, please ask them to consider co-sponsoring H.R. 845.


If you are a resident of Wyoming or Minnesota, please include in your message a heartfelt "Thank You!" to Representatives Lummis and Walz, respectively, for introducing H.R. 845 on behalf of the Back Country Horsemen.


Feel free to share copies of your letters with BCHA's Advisor for Public Lands & Recreation, including any response you receive from your member of Congress.


We are excited to have this bill reintroduced.


Our campaign has taken nearly three years to get to this point. Consequently, we believe BCHA is well-positioned--along with its partners--to continue to explore and promote lasting solutions to the trail maintenance crisis on our National Forests.


Thank you! And please call or send letters today to you congressional representative in support of H.R. 845.


Jim McGarvey, Chairman

Back Country Horsemen of America

A BIG Thank You to all of our April Trail Crews


Great job !  Keep up the Good Work !

Thank You  to all who made the 2015 coggins clinic
 a HUGE success!  
We pulled coggins tests on 65 horses and did a large number of other vaccines. Thank You to Dr. Beverly Hargus of Animals - R - Us , Mike Stiles for assisting Dr. Hargus, Randy Collins Graham County Agricultural Agent. The town of Bryson Ccity  & Sweetwater Farm and Garden  for the use of their facilities and to all of our chapter members who volunteered their time. 
 Packed and ready to go!