Legacy Trails Program Awardee


Rocky Gap Horse Trail System

This project will focus on preserving access and improving safety on the Rocky Gap Horse Trail System. The trail system sees especially heavy use because of its beautiful qualities and positioning between Georgia and South Carolina’s equestrian user groups. This project is especially vital because of the trail’s proximity to and location in the Wild and Scenic River Corridor. There will be four major focus areas for this project; culvert removal, tread work and reroutes, blazing, and interpretive signage. All work will be conducted by Pendleton Area Saddle Club volunteers and US Forest Service Staff and a young adult Public Lands Corps crew.

Applicant: Pendleton Area Saddle Club
Project Location: Andrew Pickens Ranger District, Francis Marion and Sumter National Forest, South Carolina
Amount Awarded: $17,000.00

The first priority of this project is the removal and replacement of a damaged culvert on the trail. Riders have reported that the damage to the culvert has created hazardous conditions on the creek crossing at junction 15 (see attached trail system map). Additionally, the damaged culvert has limited the ability of aquatic life to move through the Chattooga River watershed. The repairs to this culvert will include its removal, the replacement of rock and the placement of geotextiles on the approach to limit erosion into the waterway. By repairing the culvert, we will be able to reconnect aquatic wildlife passage and significantly reduce the level of erosion and tread damage on the trail.

Volunteers will be primarily engaged through the deferred trail maintenance aspect of this proposal. Working in conjunction with the Andrew Pickens District Staff, Pendleton Area Saddle Club members will work to re-tread and improve drainage along the entire trail system. District staff will take on the sections of trail, especially between junctions 2 and 14, on which erosion and heavy use have caused routine trail wash outs. While volunteers focus on the work of clearing drains, improving tread, and re-benching slopes; they will also work to re-blaze the trail. With nineteen miles of trail across 6 loops, Rocky Gap tends to confuse first-time visitors. The refreshed trail markings will improve rider experience and safety on the trail system.

The final aspect of this proposal is updating existing kiosks and signage on and around the trail. Providing new safety and interpretive materials will enhance visitor perception of the trail system by drawing attention to its unique characteristics and hazards. Clear communication of trail standards and safety messaging will make vast differences in user experience.

The proposed work will happen across several workdays. The bulk of the tread work will happen during the four week rental of the miniature excavator. Volunteers will facilitate a series of workdays in conjunction with the Forest Service staff to complete the remaining tread work and re-blazing of the trail. The completion of each of these tasks will be major milestones for the project. The culvert removal at Junction 15 will be another major milestone for the project. Renewal at the Big Island Ford will allow for Public Lands Corps involvement in the project. The final step in this project will be the addition of kiosk messaging to improve public information access about the trail system.

More winners of this award

2024: Highline Trail

2024: Teton Trails Deferred Maintenance

2024: Phase 2 of the Arroyo Hondo Project

2024: Greenhorn Gulch Trail Reroute and Bridge Rebuild

2024: Trail Rehabilitation in Beaverhead Deer Lodge National Forest

2024: Trail Maintenance and Repairs in Pisgah National Forest

2024: Wasatch National Forest Deferred Maintenance and Weather Resilience

2024: Rio Fernando de Taos Watershed Revival

2024: Mineral Creek Trail Reroute

2024: Second Fork Trail Project

2024: Trinity River Watershed Trail Improvement Project

2024: Salmon-Challis National Forest Trail Restoration

2024: Manistee, White, Muskegon, and Pere Marquette River Watershed

2024: Mount Shavano Trail and Riparian Habitat Restoration Project

2024: South Park Ranger District Singletrack Connector Trail

2024: Oak Creek Canyon Watershed Restoration Project

2024: Bartram National Recreation Trail Maintenance

2024: Idaho Panhandle National Forest Sandpoint Ranger District Trail Reroute

2024: Pony Express National Historic Trail Improvement

2024: South Lake and Moss Lake Trail Restoration

2024: West Ridge Trail #176 Improvements

2024: Blue Bend Loop Trail Restoration

2024: Catamount Trail Improvement

2024: Munson Meadow Trail Restoration

2024: Vesuvius Recreation Area Trail System Restoration

2024: Hurricane Creek Trail Restoration

2024: Cove Creek Trail Rehabilitation

2023: The Storm Creek Connector Trail

2023: Backpacker and Lakeshore Trails

2023: Beaver Meadows Trail

2023: Munson Meadow Trail

2023: Imnaha River Trail

2023: Maxon Meadows Trail to Chamberlain Meadows Camp

2023: Lost Lake Trail

2023: Virginia Highlands Horse Trail

2023: Pasayten Wilderness Project

2023: Catawba River Headwaters

2023: Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

2023: Southfork Trail, White Mountain Wilderness

2023: Black Canyon and Trail Creek Drainages

2023: Twenty Lakes Basin Toads and Trails

2023: Dickey Bell Trail Reroute and Bypass

2023: Horseshoe Canyon Trails

2023: Lower San Francisco River Wilderness Study Area

2023: Trails in Ontonagon and Sturgeon watersheds

2023: Bandit Springs Trail System

2023: Caton Lake Trail

2023: Yellowbelly Trail

2023: Santa Cruz Trail

2023: Bridge Replacement for Trail Access

2023: Pioneer Mountains Trail Maintenance

2023: North Country National Scenic Trail Connections

2023: Pincushion Mountain Ski Trails

2023: Shrode Lake Trail

2023: Johnson Creek Trail Re-Establishment

2023: Soda Ditch Loop Trail

2023: Restoration of Buckhorn and Indian Trails

2023: Hauf Lake and One Horse Lakes Trails

2023: Building Resilience on the TRT/PCT

2023: Camp Creek Watershed Improvement

2023: Pomas Creek Trail and Entiat River Trail

2023: Western States Trail & Tevis Cup Trail, within Granite Chief Wilderness

2023: Western States Trail Improvements

2023: Sipsey Wilderness Trails Restoration

224 views • posted 05/25/2023