Trail School - June 15-18, 2016 - Governor Dodge State Park

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2016 Trail Master Certification Course Recap


It was a very successful year for the 2016 Trail Master Certification Course held at Governor Dodge State Park, July 15 through July 18 sponsored by the Wisconsin Horse Council (WHC) Trails Committee and cosponsored by Glacial Drumlin Horse Trail Association (GDHTA). We had so much interest this year that the class filled up long before the registration deadline along with names of people to contact for future classes. Kricket was instrumental in setting up the paperwork for the class description and registration.  
 The class fees went up again this year which rendered us unable to sponsor the fees for all 16 of the students, however, we had people from the Minnesota DNR who paid their own fees to attend enabling us to have a full class. We are fortunate enough to work with the WI DNR who attain grant monies for education from the federal Recreational Trail Program.

This year the attendees mainly consisted of equestrians and land managers who are currently working on key areas of equestrian use and future expansion, improvement, or securement of horse trails. These areas include a horse trail expansion in the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway which very recently had it's Master Plan approved by the Natural Resource Board. The land manager from the LWSR is excited to now have the knowledge to construct these new trails in a sustainable manner. Rock County Parks employees, with horse trails in Gibb's Lake Park and Magnolia Bluff Park attended and can more easily address erosion issues in sandy soils that they have been struggling with. DNR workers from Governor Dodge State Park that have been working with the Governor Dodge Equestrian Group, to improve trails and fund raise to relocate the horse camp there, already are thinking about how to upgrade their park. GHDTA members working in the Nicolet National Forest have a new perspective on trails and signage options and will continue to work on securing signage there.

An equestrian volunteer from the Clip Clop Riders, in Marinette County, has the know how to lead others in her area and continue to enhance those horse trails. There were also students that are part of the State Trails Council, appointed by the Governor, which advise the DNR of Natural Resourses on recreational trail use.

 We are also happy to announce that new horse trails have been constructed and in the Loew Lake unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest . The DNR land manager of that area attended our class in 2014. 

Written by Margaret Kraege
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Over the past 11 years the Trails Committee of the Wisconsin Horse Council has provided training in trail creation and maintenance.

We have brought to the state of Wisconsin a trail expert to educate individuals in the construction of ecologically sound and sustainable multi use trails.

We are considering another 4-day trail school and are soliciting for interest in this comprehensive, hands on program. To understand how you might benefit from participation, I have included a testimonial from a past participant.

“I am a member and officer of the Northern Saddle Club in Florence WI. I was fortunate to have attended a trail building class that was offered by the Wisconsin State Horse Council in June of 2009. This was a four-day course presented by Trail Design Specialists LLC. It was held in Luck WI, and Ken Carpenter of the Wisconsin State Horse Council set everything up. The course was taught by Mike Riter and included Trail Design, Trail Construction, Trail Maintenance and Crew leader Training. The training was very informative and I have since used many of the techniques that I learned in projects involving the three equestrian trails our club helps to maintain in Florence and Marinette counties.

I would highly recommend this course to any one involved in trail building and design. The trails we maintain now. Halls Creek, Bush Lake Flats and Horse Shoe Fall's would have been different and better if I had attended this training sooner.

I am confident that I can solve almost any trail problem encountered with the training I received.
Thank You for this Opportunity”. ~Pat P


If you are interested in the Trails Committee providing the opportunity to participate in this incredible training program, please contact Floyd Finney (dpapcke@centurytel.net or 608.868.4543) to insure a spot in the proposed 2016 Trail Master Certification Program.

Respectfully,
Trails Committee
Wisconsin Horse Council

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2014 Horse Trail Design School - Trail Master Certification Course Has Now Been Completed

Design School

The Wisconsin Horse Council presented its 10th Trail Master Certification course presented by Trail Design Specialists, Inc. (TDS). It was held in Lowes Lake Park, in Monches, WI. Lowes Lake is a unit of the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest and is located west of Germantown. The instructor was Mike Riter of TDS. The 4-day course started on July 9th and ran through July 12th. Classes ran from 8:30 through 4:00 each day, with all days requiring attendance in order to complete the course.

The course covered the latest advances in trail design, construction and
maintenance with a focus on long-term sustainability and ease of maintenance.

The last day covered field application on the concepts that were covered on the previous days, interspersed with leadership techniques for working with volunteers. A detailed booklet, specific to each segment, was provided. The course consisted of three interactive classroom sessions covering the topics listed below.

Trail Design and Layout

We covered advances on how to properly design and layout a trail. We discussed how to avoid erosion, user conflicts, and impact problems through design. This session gave a good working knowledge of what causes trails to erode through water/soil relationships. An outdoor session consisted of a series
of flagging and layout drills designed to utilize the concepts covered in the classroom.

Trail Construction

We covered proper corridor clearing for all types of use and proper construction of a durable tread surface. Various types of tread construction, cribbing and raised tread sections, switchbacks and a section on bridges and boardwalks was also included. An outdoor session consisted of construction techniques that were covered in the classroom. A demonstration of tread construction machinery was included.

Trail Maintenance

We covered maintenance issues on trails. We discussed how to make longterm repairs and lower environmental impacts. Trail hardening techniques along with rehabilitation of disused trails were also covered. The outdoor session consisted of maintenance techniques that were covered in the classroom.

Crew Leader

This portion of the program was held entirely outdoors and gave each student the opportunity to lead a crew. The day was broken into three sessions. At the end of the third session certificates for those that completed the course were issued.

Thank you to everyone who was involved in this year's Trail Design School!


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