HMBA Trail Information > O'Bannon Woods State Park

Horses on O'Bannon Bike Trails

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PKemppainen:
We are aware of horseback riders on the mountain bike trails at O'Bannon Woods. We are working with the State Park staff and the local conservation officers to better educate the horseback riders about the dangers of riding on the mountain bike trails.

We are also aware that some horseback riders have been very ignorant and belligerent when mountain bikers have met them on the bike trails. It seems like some horseback riders are riding the bike trails just looking for trouble.

Remember, it only takes a couple "bad apples" to ruin things for everyone, and these horseback riders are in the process of ruining things for the rest of them. 

If you run into horses on the bike trails, remember to be respectful, and take the high road. Do not get sucked into any altercations, and please avoid any conflict.

If you have a phone with you, contact the park office, and report what trail you've seen the horses on and which direction they are heading. If you happen to have a GoPro, and/or have images of any horseback riders encountered on the trails, save those images and let us know. It may help identify the offenders.

Thanks!

Fett:
  I talked to the Horse rep at the DNRs Trail Advisory Board yesterday and she has recently ridden at O'Bannon.
 
Most of the trail rider are conscienscious and do not want to be on a mountain bike trails. One thing that she suggested is some signage at spots where the horse trails and mountain bike trails intersect. She said a problem that she has seen, is if one horse rider goes the wrong way and other riders, who are unsure, see horse tracks, they would assume that is the proper way to go, compounding the problem.
 
This does not apply to the riders who willfully are breaking the rules.

PKemppainen:

--- Quote from: Fett on June 26, 2015, 09:31:04 AM ---  I talked to the Horse rep at the DNRs Trail Advisory Board yesterday and she has recently ridden at O'Bannon.
 
Most of the trail rider are conscienscious and do not want to be on a mountain bike trails. One thing that she suggested is some signage at spots where the horse trails and mountain bike trails intersect. She said a problem that she has seen, is if one horse rider goes the wrong way and other riders, who are unsure, see horse tracks, they would assume that is the proper way to go, compounding the problem.
 
This does not apply to the riders who willfully are breaking the rules.

--- End quote ---

There is no doubt that most of the horseback riders are quite conscientious. Many of them who are aware that HMBA was also responsible for building the new Idlewild Horse Trail are also very appreciative for the new sustainable model trail we added for them.

There are also a small number of riders at O'Bannon who we know are deliberately riding the mountain bike trails, riding past all the signs we have installed. When they've been met on the trails, they've acknowledged that they are quite aware of where they are, but have no intention of turning around or leaving the bike trails. We'd like to continue to work with the park staff, conservation officers and the horseback riding community to help identify these riders, as these confrontations reflect poorly on the rest of the horseback riders.

Obviously, not every mountain biker is perfect either. Let's set an example of what good trail (and park user) behavior looks like. Be courteous, be friendly and show respect for fellow park users.

Paul_Arlinghaus:
We have had discussions with both local and State level Parks staff and there are several actions being taken.


There is going to be increased attention to trail use compliance at O'Bannon.  But this always cuts both ways, so please be sure to stay on trails open to Mountain bikes.


The purpose built mountain bike trails are


Fire Tower
Rocky Ridge
Group Camp
Potato Creek
Breeden Ridge




There are also two old school trails open to mountain bikes


Cliff Dweller
Adventure Trail (AT)


One important clarification the segment of the AT trail that drops off of the new Breeden Trail is open to bikes, but the AT is very muddy and typically unusable once the AT crosses the gravel road (Iron Bridge Road).  The Iron Bridge Road is used as a horse trail and is not open to mountain bikes.  This is the gravel road that the Fire Tower Trail Crosses.  Since the AT is typically too muddy to ride, the AT segment dropping off of the Breeden trail is essentially is an out and back ride.  We do have plans to replace the lower muddy section with a better trail.


Outside of the State Park, the Adventure Trail and Cliff Dweller trails are difficult to navigate, so please take a map and make every effort to stay on the correct trails. 


Stop at intersections and please make sure that you do not disobey any no bike signs. It is each rider's responsibility to remain on trails open to bikes. 


We have asked for enforcement of trail rules, so be aware that riding trails not open to bikes could result in a ticket.

allmountin:
I was wondering, if the aim is to keep riders off the bike trails, why the ranch gates(or whatever you call them) are constructed much taller than necessary for bikes and hikers, and clearly made tall enough to accommodate a horse and rider.  I suspect the answer is 'lawyers'?  Making the rider dismount to poach trails might be enough to solve the problem.   

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