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 is the author of two books, the “Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads, and Campgrounds” published by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, Missoula Technology and Development Center, and the guidebook titled “Horse Trails in Arizona.” She is an equestrian recreational facilities design consultant with her company, Hancock Resources LLC, and is a national speaker at trails and equestrian conferences and webinars. Jan has lived in Phoenix, Arizona over the past 40 years.

Jan has a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ, and a Master of Arts degree from Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.

Jan served on the Arizona Governor’s Growing Smarter Oversight Council and is the equestrian representative on the American Trails Board of Directors. She served a 9-year term on the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board and the Design Review Standards Committee. She was the past president of the Arizona Trail Association, the nonprofit support organization for the 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail, a border-to-border route that travels through lands managed by Federal, State, County, and Municipal agencies. Jan is a founder and the executive director of the Maricopa Trail + Park Foundation supporting the 315-mile Maricopa Trail, a loop spur trail system in the nation’s second-largest counties in the nation. Jan is also a founding member of the Sun Corridor Trail Alliance, supporting the planning and construction of a 1,500-mile urban-centric trail system from Douglas, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada.

As an equestrian facilities and trails consultant, Jan has completed numerous master planning and trail system projects for cities and land management agencies across the United States. She is currently working on equestrian-use trails and trailhead planning for the City of Milton, GA, the City of Big Bear Lake and Big Bear Valley, CA, the Five Winds Ranch in Yucaipa, CA, and the Lake Arrowhead Trail System Master Plan in CA.

The daughter of a veterinarian, Jan has been horseback riding since she was three years old and has been horseback trail riding most of her life. She credits the remarkable saddle horses she has owned over her lifetime with the inspiration and passion for her career as an author and designer of equestrian-use outdoor recreational trails and related facilities.

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.

Contact: [email protected]

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