Friday, April 29, 2016

Great Places for Horseback Riding in Rhode Island - Full Article

November 30, 2013
by LuAnn Grafe and Linda Krul

LuAnn Grafe and Linda Krul of West Greenwich Horseman's Association showcase three popular riding areas in the smallest state as part of the Equitrekking 50 State Trail Riding Project.

Acadia Management Area

Acadia is one of the most popular places to horseback ride in Rhode Island. It is co-managed by the Department of Environmental Management’s Divisions of Forest Environment and Fish & Wildlife. There are over 14,000-forested acres with a variety of trails. This is the state’s largest recreational area available for multiple uses. There are over 100 horse friendly trails in the area. It is located only minutes from Route 95 in Exeter/ West Greenwich.

The LeGrand Reynolds Horsemen’s Area within Acadia, was designed just for horses. There is adequate spacing for daytime parking and overnight camping for $3 per night. The Rhode Island Federation of Riding Clubs (RIFRC) has a Memorandum of Understanding with the state. The area is a co-operative effort between the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the RIFRC. Each spring the RIFRC holds their annual Blessing of the Horses at LeGrand Reynolds Horsemen’s Area. All donations and profits from RIFRC events are used to help improve and maintain the area...

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"Hikers, biker, horse riders, runners, oh my- can there be civility on the trails?"

Presented by The Idaho Environmental Forum and City Club of Boise

DATE               Monday, May 16, 2016
TIME               11:45 am - 1:15 pm
LOCATION      The Grove Hotel
Guest Speakers are Drew Stoll, Great Outdoors Consultants; Dave Gordon, Ridge to Rivers; and Steve Stuebner
Nearly every Idahoan who enjoys the out-of-doors has a story to tell about an encounter on our public lands that was less than civil.  When we meet on the trail, it is easy for conflicts to arise between hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, dog owners, and motorized users.  What is appropriate etiquette in various situations?  Can trails be designed or managed to minimize conflicts?  What are the most common violations of the “rules of the road?”  Can civility and endorphins mix?  This forum is a collaboration between the Idaho Environmental Forum, City Club, and the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP), and is part of City Club’s ongoing Civility Series.
Drew Stoll, of Great Outdoors Consultants, has worked as a trails and parks professional for 23 years.  Drew has helped design trails and parks across the West and even in Central America.  He comes to us via the SORP national conference, meeting in Boise at the Riverside Hotel this same week.
Two local experts help provide a Treasure Valley context to the issue.  Dave Gordon has been manager of the Ridge to Rivers trails system since 2004.  He has heard and seen it all with regard to trails issues. Steve Stuebner may be the ultimate trail user, having written local guidebooks for hiking and trail running, mountain biking, and even paddling Idaho’s rivers. He was the founding president of the Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association in 1992, and is a past president of the Idaho Trails Council. Bring your trail stories and etiquette questions for the experts, and find out how Idaho fares in terms of civility on the trail!
Moderator and Forum Chair:  Dr. Dick Gardner
Idaho Environmental Forum members, enter coupon code “IEF” when registering to receive the City Club member rate.
Forum $18 per person
Forum for Students (with valid ID) $10 per person
Listen Only $5 per person   

Phone: 208.321.2389

Registration Deadline – Thursday noon, May 12, 2016 to guarantee a meal
Register here:


Monday, April 18, 2016

Washington: Partnership delivers new trailhead, access at King County Parks’ Taylor Mountain Forest

April 15, 2016


Backcountry trail enthusiasts – including horseback riders, hikers and runners – now have improved access to King County Parks’ Taylor Mountain Forest, thanks to strong partnerships that brought volunteer muscle and grant funding to complete the work.


With the help of more than 5,000 hours of taylor_mountain_lot_dedicationvolunteer support, King County Parks’ Taylor Mountain Forest has a new trailhead that offers easy access to 30 miles of trails and forested gravel roads – including a portion of the City of Seattle’s municipal watershed along the Elk Ridge and Carey Creek trails.

“We could not have completed these improvements without support from our partners, including the volunteer groups and government agencies that joined with us to enhance these tremendous new amenities,” said Kevin Brown, director of King County Parks. “I want to thank each group for their commitment to seeing this project through to completion.”

A hidden gem among King County Parks’ 28,000 acres of open space, the 1,924-acre Taylor Mountain Forest is accessible off Southeast 188th Street near its intersection with 276th Avenue Southeast.

The new parking area includes room for 25 trucks and horse trailers, plus 25 standard vehicles, along with handicap parking that includes one for a horse trailer and truck. Through this project, the Tahoma Chapter - Backcountry Horsemen of Washington installed steps for mounting horses and hitching posts at multiple locations around the trailhead.

The trailhead also features a vault toilet and informational kiosk, while a new bioswale and stormwater infiltration pond will help improve water quality at the site.

In addition to the trailhead expansion, King County Parks worked with volunteers to improve two miles of the Elk Ridge and Carey Creek trails, relocating unsafe segments and improving drainage and surfacing.

Washington Trails Association, Tahoma Chapter-Back Country Horsemen of Washington, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps and Tahoma Outdoor Academy all took part in multiple volunteer work parties at Taylor Mountain as part of this project.

“We are gratified to see this project completed,” Kathy Young of the Tahoma Chapter. “We are seeing lots of new visitors at the park, now that it is more easily accessible for horse trailers and trucks.”

Funding for this project was provided in part by the 2014-19 King County Parks, Trails, and Open Space Replacement Levy, Seattle Public Utilities, and the state Non-Highway Off-Road Vehicle Activities program.

Taylor Mountain Forest is the southernmost of the “Issaquah Alps,” near the community of Hobart in eastern King County. The county acquired its first parcel of Taylor Mountain Forest in 1997 and has grown the site to its current 1,924 acres.

A working forest with stunning views of Mount Rainier, Taylor Mountain is a popular location among horseback riders for year-round backcountry trail experiences.

Over the past decade, King County Parks and partners have worked to complete eight of the 10 projects identified in the 2004 Taylor Mountain Public Use Plan and Trails assessment, including improving nearly 10 miles of trails.

# # #

About King County Parks
King County Parks - Your Big Backyard - offers more than 200 parks and 28,000 acres of open space, including such regional treasures as Marymoor Park and Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, 175 miles of regional trails, 215 miles of backcountry trails and a world-class aquatic center. By cultivating strong relationships with non-profit, corporate and community partners, King County Parks enhances park amenities while reducing costs.

Idaho: Ridge to Rivers Draft Management Plan

Horse riders - speak up and participate!

10 year master plan draft review APRIL 21

Apr 17, 2016 — The next step in the planning process is a review of the draft management plan. The plan will be available on the Ridge to Rivers website on Monday, April 18th. There will be an open house to review highlights of the draft plan and visit with Ridge to Rivers partner agencies as well as an online opportunity to provide input. The open house will be at the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center, 3188 Sunset Peak Road April 21st from 5:30-7:30 pm.

David Gordon, Ridge to Rivers Program Manager,, (208) 493-2531

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy 100 Years! Celebrate National Park Week with free entrance days

The National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016 and we want everyone to join the party! April 16 through 24 is National Park Week.

The National Park Service is once again partnering with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, to present National Park Week, a presidentially proclaimed celebration of our national heritage.

Plan your visit by what you want to do or where you want to go. Here are some highlights during National Park Week:

• April 16–24: Visit for free! Throughout National Park Week in 2016, every national park will give you free admission!

• April 16: National Junior Ranger Day. Explore, Learn, Protect! Kids can take part in fun programs and earn a junior ranger badge or become a Centennial Junior Ranger.

• April 22: Earth Day - On Earth Day, if you want to roll up your sleeves and pitch in with a project, look for a park where you can help out.

• April 23: National Park Instameet. Join an InstaMeet in a park. Gather in a designated place at a specific time to take photos and short videos to post on Instagram (and other social media) with the same hashtag: #FindYourParkInstaMeet, #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, #NPS100

• April 24: Park Rx Day - On Park Rx Day, parks will host fun recreational activities that encourage healthy lifestyles and promote physical and mental well being. (Looking to host your own event?

Don't forget to check out There you can share your national park photos, videos, and tips. While you're there, learn all about the ways you can help support your national parks all year round.

For more information and to find your park, see:

Monday, April 11, 2016

Back Country Horsemen of California Teach Youth Winning Packing Skills

April 7, 2016

By Sarah Wynne Jackson

Back Country Horsemen from coast to coast volunteer their time and resources protecting our right to ride horses on public land, so our children and our grandchildren can travel the landscape as our ancestors did, on the backs of horses. BCHA members regularly share their knowledge and skills with youth, so they can enjoy the horses and the countryside safely and responsibly.

The Mid-Valley Unit of Back Country Horsemen of California holds youth camps to teach packing and responsible recreation to kids aged 9-17, as well as trail skills exercise days, where young members practice packing and camping. Mid-Valley BCH also provides training and support to the Modesto Junior College Mule Packing Team, who won the 2015 Interscholastic World Champion Packing Competition.

Dare to Dream

The MJC Mule Packing Team started in 2014, as a dream in the mind of Anna Baglione, a Mid-Valley Back Country Horsemen member and Modesto Junior College student. She approached her BCH unit’s board of directors with an idea that would give them an effective way to educate youth about packing, Leave No Trace principles, and gentle ways to enjoy our wild lands while also encouraging youth membership and participation. The board readily agreed. Anna invited three fellow students to join her, and the Modesto Junior College Mule Packing Team was born.

Invaluable Instruction and Support

Mid-Valley BCH President Carl Perry, and Dave Moser, Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteer Committee Chairman, took the reins. They volunteered their time, stock, and equipment to instruct team members, some of whom had never even heard of mule packing.

Mid-Valley BCH members Debra Mason and Michael King also invested in the team. Debra made leather chaps for all four students and Michael supplied team jackets with the BCH logo, outfits that made the team look sharp and organized.

The Team to Beat

The hard work of the BCH coaches and MJC team members paid off. They beat six other teams and placed first in all four of their interscholastic events – scramble, pack relay, pack ’n load, and even an entertaining comedy load – resulting in the first all-girls team to win the Interscholastic World Champion Packing Competition.

In 2014, their first year competing, they bested 10 other scholastic teams to place first in the packing contest, and beat eight other teams to place third in the scramble and in the comedy class.

More Than a Championship

Adventures like this have far-reaching benefits for everyone involved. The students gain useful skills, discipline, and confidence, along with friendships and cherished memories. They learn the vital importance of treating animals and the land with care and respect.

They’ve also become more involved in their communities. Anna returns to work every summer at Rock Creek Pack Station, and another team member now serves on the Mid-Valley Back Country Horsemen board of directors.

The members of the MJC Mule Packing Team were driven and motivated from the start, but they credit the guidance and support of the Mid-Valley Back Country Horsemen for helping them achieve their goal.

About Back Country Horsemen of America

BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in wilderness and public lands.

If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit their website:; call 888-893-5161; or write 342 North Main St Ste 301, West Hartford CT 06117. The future of horse use on public lands is in our hands!

Erica Fearn

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Advancing Trails April Webinar

April Webinar:
"The FAST Act: Advancing Trails with the New Federal Transportation Bill" 

Thursday, April 21, 2016
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. PACIFIC
 (1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EASTERN)  

This webinar will take a look at the FAST Act legislation passed by the U.S. Congress in December 2015 (Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act or "FAST Act"). The presenters will explain what the legislation means for trail funding of future projects. The presenters will go over changes to the Transportation Alternatives Program that funds walking and bicycling projects, and review the Recreational Trails Program, which remains the same since the last legislation. The webinar will also touch on new provisions to a low-interest loan program (TIFIA), which could help communities -- in urban, suburban, or rural areas -- more quickly build a complete trail or active transportation network. Join us to hear from experts on what the new legislation says and how the changes can benefit current and future trail work. 
• Marianne Wesley Fowler, Senior Strategist for Policy Advocacy, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and American Trails Board Member
• Kevin Mills, Senior Vice President of Policy, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
• Leeann Sinpatanasakul, Advocacy Coordinator, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

$35 members / $55 nonmembers
(CEUs $20 additional fee)

Learn more about this webinar and the presenters, as well as how to register

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Help make the Rivers to Ridges trail system near Boise safer for Equestrians petition

April 5 2016

Our equestrians are in desperate need of HELP!
The trails on the Boise Front in Idaho have become devoid of riders due to the trails not being safe (basically mountain bikes in areas we can't see each other), and we are requesting reroutes/detours so we can share the trails safely.

Come May they are finishing up the 10 year master plan, and either the equestrians get safer trails or we not only lost what we have lost, but will continue to lose more. We need ALL folks that believe equestrians deserve the opportunity to ride and enjoy trails that are safe, to sign AND send out this petition!

Time is ticking, and they continue to tell us "NO-we will NOT give you safe routes/detours, because we are not hearing any complaints". They will not hear us, and human lives have little impact on their concerns.

So, please send this out, and ask everyone to send it out to their friends. Tell them it does not matter if they use the trials, it only matters if they support our cause! I hope you can help.

Link to Petition:

"Equestrians have historically accessed the Rivers to Ridges trails system for many years. With the influx of multiple use and an increasing population, equestrians are being ignored and in some instances, being forced to abandon the trails system because of safety issues. We are requesting safety enhancements or alternate equestrian only routing, so that we can safely continue to use the trails system, and co-exist with all users. We pay into the same tax base and should have the same rights as every user."