Equestrian Trails

Sustainable Design and Access

Sustainable, environmentally sensitive equestrian trailhead and trail design.

by Jan Hancock, Hancock Resources LLC, Michele (Kebea) Adams , Adams Acres Farms, Clay Nelson, Principal, 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

Hancock Resources LLC is an equestrian design consulting company providing master planning, design, and facilities layout services. The firm partners with project architects, landscape architects, civil engineers, municipal, county, state and federal agencies, contractors and private clients. The scope of consulting services includes the planning and design of equestrian trails, trailheads, campgrounds, and outdoor recreation facilities for equestrian use.

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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 co-founder and principal of Sustainable Stables, an organization dedicated to environmentally-friendly horsekeeping. His current projects include acting as project manager for the development of a 240-acre private equestrian facility that is participating in a pilot program to test the nation’s first rating system for green landscape design, construction and maintenance. He is also a freelance writer having authored dozens of articles on topics related to green horsekeeping practices.

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