Equestrian Trails

Sustainable Design and Access

Sustainable, environmentally sensitive equestrian trailhead and trail design.

by Jan Hancock, Principal, Hancock Resources LLC, Michele (Kebea) Adams , Clay Nelson, Owner, Sustainable Stables

This session is divided into three parts. The first two parts will discuss sustainable, environmentally sensitive equestrian trailhead and trail design. Topics will include site planning, trail design specifications, and best practices, along with technological innovations for managing storm water, mud, erosion, and manure on-site. Case studies of equestrian trailhead and trail systems will be used to provide real-world examples. The third component will describe the relationship between the NJDEP and the equestrian community in promoting access to trails, safety on the trails, future trails, and equity within the multi-user community.

About the Authors

Jan Hancock, author of the FHWA and USDA Forest Service publication “Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads, and Campgrounds” and the principal of Hancock Resources LLC based in Phoenix, Arizona, will share her experience working with land managers, architects, landscape architects, planners, civil engineers and communities in planning equestrian and shared-use trails and recreational facilities. Jan plans trail systems with safety guidelines and well-designed trail experiences that are suitable for equestrians and other non-motorized trail users in urban, rural, and backcountry locations.

Jan has a Bachelor of Science degree in design education from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ and a Master of Arts Degree in Design and Community Education from Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. She is a founder of the Arizona Trail Association supporting the 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail, a founder of the Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation supporting the 315-mile Maricopa Trail, and she just became a founder of the Sun Corridor Trail Alliance supporting the development of the 1,500-mile Sun Corridor Trail from Las Vegas, NV to Douglas, AZ on the Arizona/Mexico border. Jan is the executive director of the Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation, a nonprofit organization, and she serves as an equestrian representative on the American Trails Board of Directors.

Contact: [email protected]

Michele (Kebea) Adams is the co-owner of Adams Acres Farm; a Board Member on the New Jersey Horse Council (NJHC); and is currently serving as the appointed representative to the State of New Jersey Trails Council, Equestrian Adviser. Michele maintains membership with the competitive distance and user trail groups: New Jersey Trail Ride Association (NJTRA), Eastern Competitive Trail Ride Association (ECTRA); the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC), the Horseman’s Association of Millstone Township (HAMT); and the Colts Neck Trail Ride Association (CNTRC). For the last five years, Michele has worked closely with New Jersey’s DEP and DOT to assist in the update of the State’s NJ Trails Plan; and continues to serve as a member of the Trails Plan Advisory Committee.

Clay Nelson is the owner of the equestrian property planning and design firm Sustainable Stables LLC, based out of Austin, Texas. Clay has consulted on the planning, design and management of 100+ equestrian properties across 20 states and counting ranging from 5-acre private hobby farms to large equestrian parks, many of which include some form of equestrian riding trails. He has authored dozens of articles on sustainable horsekeeping topics in a variety of equestrian magazines, and has been an invited speaker at several national level equestrian events including the annual American Trails conference and the Equine Affaire. Clay has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Biology, Dartmouth College and a Master of Environmental Management, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University.

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