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Why is it so hard to find good Info on Horse Trails?

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  • Why is it so hard to find good Info on Horse Trails?

    My SO and I are eager to try out the C&O canal trail (local trail along Potomac). But since our guys have never been around trains we want to start out on a short ride not so close to the tracks. I've been googling all morning trying to find out where to go. I've also been trying to get reviews of other locales to ride (Cacapon State Park, the C&O up in Williamsport, anything around Frederick, MD), but the info on the internet for horseback riders is pretty scarce. Lots of info for hikers or bike riders though!

    Simple things like where to park a horse trailer, difficulties of trails for a horse, etc. aren't posted on the park system sites that I can find. While I'll solve my current problem by taking my dogs and going on a scouting trip -- why is it so hard to find good info on horseback riding trails in the Northeast (and trailer parking for privately owned horses!)? Does anyone have a good source?

    Done venting. Off to take my pups for a walk!
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
    <>< I.I.

  • #2
    There are good 'books' out that give desciptions of trails, how/where to park, etc. I have one from years ago that is still helpful in finding older trails that are not kept up. I live in the PNW.
    Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

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    • #3
      Do you have a State Horse Council you could ask?

      We have the CT. state horse council and they list the trails that horses are allowed or not allowed on. Difficulty etc.

      Perhaps your State DEP site?
      MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
      http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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      • #4
        Try here

        http://trec-usa.com/where.htm

        Comment


        • #5
          The Virginia Horse Council publishes an extremely informative guide to VA Horse Trails. I purchased one a couple of years ago. Its my bible.

          http://www.virginiahorsecouncil.org/...nformation.htm
          Last edited by pandorasboxx; Nov. 18, 2007, 10:07 PM. Reason: grammar

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          • #6
            You're right, Maryland isn't real organized that way. I would call the main office of each park you want to ride in, they can tell you where to ride or park. Maybe even have a map. I think C and O is part of the national park system. Also, the League of Maryland Horsemen have a list of where to park for some of their rides. Maybe this is on the web site www.LOMH.net. If not, pm me with your address and I can send you so info when it comes in the next newsletter.
            Last edited by Bank of Dad; Nov. 19, 2007, 01:28 PM.
            ********
            There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              I have the VA trail book (and it's great! ), it's Maryland I'm a bit frustrated with (I live closer to some MD trails than VA trails). The MD Horse Council has nothing useful on their site. I've called the park system, but the info you get depends on the person you get on the phone. For the C&O I was told to park at the MARC train stations. No formal info on non-station parking (though I know there is some).

              The Trec site has some useful info on trail conditions -- Thanks Appollos! But most of the park web sites just say you can horseback ride (and hike, and bike, etc.) there -- no info on trailer parking or terrain.

              Bank of Dad -- I couldn't get the LOMH site to load, but will try again at work tomorrow.

              We ended up finding a nice site to park just outside of Dickerson with the dogs today, and a stretch of trail with no adjacent tracks. So next weekend we'll probably give it a try. Came back to VA across White's Ferry -- with a horse trailer right behind us! I'm not too sure about that ferry with just my car!

              Thanks for the links. If anyone has any other useful info -- I'd appreciate it!
              "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
              <>< I.I.

              Comment


              • #8
                jazzrider,
                I live in MD so can offer a few suggestions. You may want to join TROT, http://www.trot-md.org/ and attend som of their trail rides. They are a good organization, not a bunch of yahoos, usually have two different groups at their rides for the slow and faster riders. There are some trail maps on their website and links. The new Woodstock Equestrain Park would be close to you and a pleasant ride. Little Bennett Regional Park in Montgomery County has nice horse trails and info with map at http://www.mc-mncppc.org/parks/enter...tt_trails.shtm

                Here's another link to park info, http://www.mc-mncppc.org/Parks/PPSD/...rail_maps.shtm Black Hill Regional Park also has horse trails.

                Here is info from a FED Gov document about C&O Canal Park usage:

                SECTION 2.16 - HORSES AND PACK ANIMALS
                (b)1. Horseback riding is permitted on the towpath from Swains Lock (Mile
                16.6) to the Offutt Street crossing at Candoc (Mile 181.8) in
                Cumberland and on the Paw Paw Tunnel Hill trail. Horses may access
                the towpath at Violettes Lock. Access to the river for the purpose of
                watering is authorized at public river access points (boat ramps).
                (g) 1. Horses are not allowed in the Paw Paw Tunnel, park front-country
                campgrounds, or picnic areas.
                2. Feed for horses must be carried by the group. No grazing is
                permitted in the park.
                3. Trail rider groups are responsible for keeping the loading and
                unloading areas clean. Manure must be picked up and hauled away.
                4. Horses may be loaded or unloaded in parking areas.
                Loading/unloading must be kept in those portions of parking areas
                furthermost from campgrounds or picnic areas. Groups must carry a
                loading ramp.
                5. Riders must dismount and walk their horses across the aqueducts.
                Horses are restricted from crossing narrow wooden footbridges as
                they are not designed to carry the concentrated weight of the horses.
                6. Trail rider camping is allowed only in hiker/biker campsites and is
                limited to six persons, four horses, and one night per visit per site.
                Horses must be tethered at the furthermost portion of the campsite
                away from the tent and picnic table locations. Groups are responsible
                for removing from the park manure and leftover feed, etc.
                7. Horse trailers are not allowed in drive-in camping areas.
                8. Horses/riders are not to exceed the speed of a slow trot.
                9. The watering, cleaning, or tethering of horses at park wells is prohibited. By use of a bucket
                or other container, water may be taken from park wells located at hiker/biker campsites and
                used for watering horses.
                10. Horses must be loaded/unloaded and must enter and exit the towpath at public access points
                only. Access from private property is prohibited.
                11. Horseback riding is prohibited after dark.
                12. Horse riders must pick up after their animals, all manure

                chicamuxen

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                • #9
                  I corrected the link, but there's no directions listed. Send me your address and I will send you a copy of the direction page when it comes in the newsletter.
                  ********
                  There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I know we've discussed where to park and such for the C&O on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarylandTrailRiders/

                    Montgomery Co. has some great places to ride. I ride either Mo. Co or Carroll County parks.

                    Woodstock Eq Park is fun and so is Little Bennett.
                    When you undervalue who you are, the World undervalues what you do.

                    When you undervalue what you do, the World undervalues who you are.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Also be sure to check for closures now that it's hunting season. Some parks don't allow hunting.... I think the one by the little muni airport is one. Can't remember the name of it though! There is a neat tunnel there too.
                      When you undervalue who you are, the World undervalues what you do.

                      When you undervalue what you do, the World undervalues who you are.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by FortheFunofitFarm View Post
                        I know we've discussed where to park and such for the C&O on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarylandTrailRiders/

                        Montgomery Co. has some great places to ride. I ride either Mo. Co or Carroll County parks.

                        Woodstock Eq Park is fun and so is Little Bennett.
                        Thanks for that link. I've put in to join. We've tried Woodstock Eq. Park (nice!) and were supposed to ride Little Bennett a few weeks ago with USTR but it got rained out. We're looking forward to trying it! We just recently figured out that there are more trails (that are easier to get to) in MD for us than Virginia -- we're so close the Brunswick Potomac crossing.
                        "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                        <>< I.I.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You are welcome! Maybe sometime we can meet and ride together. We were just at Little Bennett on Saturday and the Eq Park the weekend before.
                          When you undervalue who you are, the World undervalues what you do.

                          When you undervalue what you do, the World undervalues who you are.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            That would be fun! We ride all through the winter (I hate the heat, love the cold). We hope to try Little Bennett before Christmas. Maybe you could be our guide?
                            "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                            <>< I.I.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Last Sat. was the first time hubby and I had gone there. Went with some friends who had ridden there lots of times before. WE STILL were 4-wheelin' on some old forgotten, fallen tree blocked, trails It was a blast though but I am for sure taking a map next time Let's pm eachother if either of us plans a date
                              When you undervalue who you are, the World undervalues what you do.

                              When you undervalue what you do, the World undervalues who you are.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We'll be at Little Bennett on Saturday as long as it dries up a bit.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Shoot. We've got a park patrol ride that day, otherwise it would have been fun to try for an impromptu COTH ride!
                                  "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                                  <>< I.I.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Is there hunting that day, Apollos? Double check before you head out. Most parks have hunting on Saturday's. I'll never forget my first ride to the Eq Park and it was closed for a hunt. We improvised and went to the park by the airport, but was I ever bummed. Ben Sugar usually does a great job at posting the closure dates. I know he hasn't been well lately though. I can say for sure that the Eq park is closed for riding this Sat. for hunting....not positive about Little Bennett though. Sunday's are safe for the most part though.
                                    When you undervalue who you are, the World undervalues what you do.

                                    When you undervalue what you do, the World undervalues who you are.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      There is no hunting at Little Bennett. Not where the main trails are. You just have to stay away from the private property. Little Bennett closes down for a week in December for a controlled hunt. It's been that way for several years now.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        If only it were that easy here in Idaho! I have to look at Forest Service maps, topo maps, hiking and mountain biking books and generally spend time driving around (without the trailer), hiking around (with the dog) and then taking out my very most agile horse to see what the footing might be like. I have entered endurance rides at the "trail riding" level to see where they go. I'm a member of the area Rail to Trail group; out of a nearly 100 mile trail the nearest place to park a trailer is about 40 miles away. Subdivisions are springing up faster than mushrooms and the first thing they like to do is fence off the perimeter, which often puts a 3 wire fence across the trail that went somewhere last year. I'm jealous.
                                        Last edited by blazn; Nov. 21, 2007, 01:33 PM. Reason: grammer

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