A small favor asked of trail riders who ride on shared use trails
As a family, we like to ride our atvs on the weekends- we trailer out to various trails in New Hampshire since my wonderful state of Mass doesn't care for OHRVs. These trails are all maintained by various atv and snowmobile clubs and sell family memberships (usually only about $25, $15 individual) to people who come ride their trails. This membership fee goes towards trail maintenance and often club get togethers like BBQ's, poker runs, etc.
I am not looking into bashing OHRV riders who may have been less than courteous to horses on the trail, that is a 2 way street and you'll find that the majority of OHRV riders are taught in their safety courses to pull over and shut their machines off until horses have gone by them.
Back to my point. It takes many man hours to keep these trails clean and safe. If you don't already have a club that helps keep your trails maintained, it would be great to google your local OHRV clubs and offer a hand. A $25 yearly family membership is a great way to start. If you can help out on trail clean up days, that is always greatly appreciated.
Not all trails are shared use which include hikers, bikers, OHRV's, horses etc. You would know the difference as there is usually a sign posted at the trail head with who is allowed on the trails. Many of these trails systems are a combination of town/state and/or private land owners who grant local clubs permission to use their land. If these trails are not maintained, the private landowners have every right to close the trail through their property and that could mean cutting off a major route to get from point a to point b along the trail system.
If we all pitch in and do our part we can keep trails open for everyone to use now and in the years to come. $25 is not a lot of money but goes a long way.
Excellent point. With open spaces being lost so quickly, those of us who enjoy the great outdoors in any capacity should be very willing to contribute what we can -- money and/or time -- to maintain our trails.
It's a good idea to throw some support to whoever builds and maintains trails in your area. Back Country Horsemen of America has chapters in many states and they also do a lot of trail maintenance and work to keep spaces open for horseback riding. Many states also have their own particular organizations. Here in Oregon we have Oregon Equestrian Trails, whose members put in thousands of hours of volunteer work, as well as donations, to build and maintain horse camps and trails.
If you value open space to ride, find out who does most of the work in your area and throw a little support their way, whether it's a BCHA chapter or an OHRV club.