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Re: [nct-l] Glad someone did it

At 10:53 AM 11/14/99 -0600, ryan patrick bowles wrote:
>> -- In Ohio and Pennsylvania, they have a problem with horses on the trail.
>> Horses do a lot of damage to treadways, but they do make for a legitimate
>> form of outdoor recreation.
>This is a problem on many different trails.  I worked on building the
>Sauratown Trail in North Carolina, that will one day be part of the
>Mountains to Sea Trail.  It was built almost entirely by horse people with
>horses in mind, but with hikers also expected.  

That's nice. In Pennsylvania, the horse users, especially, want the hikers
to build the trails so they can use them -- and want the hikers to build
the trails to horse standards. A single-track path through the woods can be
a fairly simple process, but to build a trail to horse dimensions and
harden the treadway enough to support them without significant erosion is a
project that is beyond the capabilities (financial and labor) of most
hiking groups.

>The builders went the
>extra mile (or two) to make the treadway stand up to horses.  One thing
>they did that I found particularly interesting is to build sidehill trail
>deeper into the hill and put metal stakes into the ground near the edge.
>The horses somehow sense that the stakes are there, and therefore avoid
>the downhill edge of the trail.  The stakes were deep enough, though, that
>hikers were not likely to trip on them, especially if they walked on the
>hill side of the trail, as they should.

Someone knows what they're doing. They went to the extra effort to make the
trail adequate.

>I think horses can have a positive effect on certain trails.  If the trail
>is well-built but not well-used, the horses can offer the use that will
>keep the trail somewhat self-maintained.

For most of the NCT in North Dakota, we pretty well have to think in terms
of hiker-horse multiple use. But horse use on the plains is considerably
different than in dense forest on loose soil.

>I also think that horses should be allowed on a trail only if the trail is
>built for them and at least partially maintained by horse people.

You got that right.

-- Wes

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