Thursday, May 27, 2021

Utah Senator Lee Reintroduces Bikes in Wilderness Legislation - Full Article

"The National Wilderness Preservation System was created so that the American people could enjoy our country’s priceless natural areas. This bill would enrich Americans’ enjoyment of the outdoors by expanding recreational opportunities in wilderness areas.” - Senator Lee

May 24, 2021
by James Smurthwaite

Senator Mike Lee has re-introduced a bill that could help bikes return to wilderness areas. The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act would empower local managers of Wilderness areas to decide whether to allow and how to regulate non-motorized travel.

Senator Lee's previous Bill, S.B. 1695, was introduced in May 2019 and was supported by the US Forest Service and the Department of Interior but legislators ran out of time to vote on it before the congressional session ended. This new Bill, referred to as S.B. 1686 is a re-introduction of S.B. 1695 that will hopefully be voted on this time...

Read more here:

California Gets New 300-Mile Trail Network in God’s Country - Full Article

March 15 2021

California’s most majestic mountain scenes get most of the outdoor press: cathedral spires on the John Muir Trail; the granite walls of Yosemite; Mt. Shasta poking a 14,000-foot hole in the sky. But the state is loaded with plenty of mountain goodness in less heralded, less elevated locations. Lots of which will soon be mapped for dirt-worshipping cyclists, equestrians, moto riders, hikers, hunters, you name it, to explore with the new Lost Sierra Route. The route connects trail networks in the Sierra and Cascade ranges, and is intended for use by all mountain lovers, developed by the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship...

Read more and see video here:

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

National Trails Day is June 5

National Trails Day is June 5 - A Day of Service and Advocacy for Hometown Trails

Together we can care for our hometown trails and advocate for equitable inclusion outside.

Millions of people have found physical, mental, and emotional restoration on trails during the pandemic. Let’s return the favor and care for America’s magnificent trail system and ensure everyone in the U.S. can enjoy trails and natural areas.

To host an event or find an event, and for more information, see:

Friday, May 21, 2021

Iowa: Horse trails open in O'Brien County - Full Article

Lydia Hansen
May 16, 2021 Updated May 18, 2021

SUTHERLAND—Saddle up for an opportunity to ride new public access bride trails in O’Brien County.

White stakes with bright orange ribbons and orange flags mark out almost four-tenths of a mile of trail at the 19-acre McCormack Area southeast of Sutherland.

The area, which consists of rolling hills covered with prairie grass as well as shrubs and small trees, is at the moment the only county-owned and managed property in O’Brien County to be designated for equestrian use.

It is the result of months of effort from O’Brien County riders and the O’Brien County Conservation Board.

Area horseback riders have been pushing for the change since September, regularly attending meetings to discuss trail locations, voice requests and offer suggestions to the board on how to proceed...

Read more here:

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

California Community Voices: Keep motorized bikes off equestrian trails - Full Article

By MARION VARGAS May 11, 2021

Over the last 50 years, I have boarded horses and ridden Bakersfield's equestrian trails along the scenic Kern River. I sometimes think of it as exercising my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I enjoy being in nature, on my horse, observing the native plants, and being thrilled by numerous sightings of wildlife. Riding solo or in the company of others, you can tell if you are the first to break trail in the morning when you ride through a spider web that has been spun from tree to tree across a trail.

Local horse trails were established long ago. They are part of the rich history of our community. With the development of the Specific Trails Plan, part of the city and county General Plans, the right of trails was affirmed and delineated. The designated horse trails, primarily on dirt, are mostly separated from paved bike trails and motorized traffic is not allowed.

Safety was a consideration. Horses are large and powerful, but they are prey animals and naturally will react with great force to escape perceived danger, especially a sudden and unfamiliar one such as an unexpected e-bike rapidly traveling along the horse trail. These motorized bikes can cause horses to spook, rear, buck or bolt, throwing the rider to the ground, causing serious injuries...

Read more here:

Thursday, May 6, 2021

A Growing Movement Aims to Simplify Trail Etiquette Through Old-Fashioned Courtesy

photo: Jeff Barber - Full Article

By Jeff Barber
May 5, 2021

I recently noticed a new addition to the staid, standard trail markers dotting my local trail system. Below the usual icons for bikers and hikers, difficulty ratings, and directional arrows, there was a square showing a waving emoji-style hand with the words “Be Nice, Say Hi!” in a friendly, bubbly font. While the message itself seems pretty straightforward, I wanted to learn more about the campaign. Could trail etiquette really be boiled down to just four words?

Erik Hillard has been involved in trail advocacy in California for many years now. Growing up, Hillard and friends rode their bikes on trails that weren’t exactly bike-legal, and he learned early on that he could generally get away with riding the trails as long as he was extra nice to the hikers he encountered. Later, while handling social media for the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association (MWBA), Hillard says he noticed a drawback to the language associated with trail usage, particularly the triangle-shaped “share the trail” graphic most bikers are now familiar with.

“I don’t feel like I could come up with a better graphic to communicate that bikes need to slow down or yield to hikers and horses etc, than that triangle. Graphically, it is a successful way of communicating that. But it’s not fun. It’s not something that like, people really want to talk about...”

Read more here:

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

New Mexico: Swell of hikers and bikers during pandemic leads to surge of support for trails - Full Article

By Matt Dahlseid
May 2, 2021 Updated May 3, 2021

David Estes found something he needed at Galisteo Basin Preserve after a move to Santa Fe in the winter, when the coronavirus pandemic was near its peak and the stresses of life were mounting.

Three or four times a week in the months since the move, Estes has taken his bike to the open space trail system near Lamy to ride the ridges, soak in the stunning high desert views and feel temporarily unburdened.

“The thing I’d like to say about these trails is that they’ve saved my life,” said Estes, 44, a New Mexico native and carpenter. “This trail network has been really important to me at a really, really critical time in my life.”

Hikers and bikers have flocked to the trails at unprecedented levels during the pandemic, many seeking similar solace. With little to do for fun while businesses and entertainment venues were closed under public health orders, the restrictions recalibrated the relationship people have with the outdoors.

An enhanced appreciation for local trails has sparked a surge in interest for stewardship as people have come to realize how essential they are for their physical and mental well-being...

Read mroe here:

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Area, West Virginia - Full Article

Spanning over 400 miles across 8 counties, this backcountry trail system provides a safe recreational experience for a variety of trail uses, including all-terrain vehicle use, mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. In addition to linking cultural resources, this trail system attracts tourism dollars and has provided an economic boost for communities throughout the region. Given the recreational and economic benefits generated, and the numerous partners and landowners involved, this trail system should be commended for what has been achieved through a diverse partnership.

The Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Area is better known as the "Hatfield-McCoy Trails." It is a professionally designed trail system that includes opportunities for a wide range of users. The first 300 miles opened to the public in October 2000 use private and corporate owned property. Expansion plans will be continuing until the trails reach a network of 2,000 miles through eight counties in southern West Virginia: Boone, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Wayne and Wyoming.

The trails have sold over 23,000 permits since opening and have had visitors from forty-six states and six countries. Survey data indicates that 57.3% of our visitors are very likely to return and feel their visit was "Great-worth the trip," and 34.8% indicate the trails are "Awesome-best place ever ridden..."

Read more here: