On an overcast morning the second day of the Fall Foliage Ride, trail riders began filtering in at the Reading lunch stop. Distant mountain views were hidden behind valley fog that gave the pond below and surrounding features a soft and misty contentedness. As the reins of a horse were passed to a volunteer, the rider was asked how the trails had been. She replied, “They are so beautiful—where else can you ride like this?”
Trail riding is a true cornerstone of GMHA, as it was a group of trail riders that formed it in 1926. Since then, generations of trail riders have become members, participating in various rides and competitions. For a long time, equestrian trail access on private property has been temporarily granted through handshake agreements and the use of revocable written permissions by landowners. However, a sluggish economy, high property turnover, subdivision and ensuing development has put tremendous pressure on the existing trail network.
"Whenever a trail is closed, it creates a challenging and sometimes impossible problem to solve, as a new route must be negotiated around that property, much like the missing piece in a jigsaw puzzle."
- Cyndy Kozara, Trail Easement Specialist, GMHA
Here's the Good News
Five years ago, GMHA’s leadership made a bold commitment to help slow the loss of trails by creating the Trail and Open Space Preservation Program. This effort champions the importance of open space, preservation of equestrian trails and conservation of Vermont’s rural landscape. These irreplaceable resources are enjoyed and relied upon by outdoor enthusiasts, the local community, out-of-state visitors and small business owners. GMHA is helping to protect these historical and cultural values …forever.
Learn more about Trail Easements.