Trail Resources and Advocacy


WI Nonmotorized Recreation and Transportation Trails Council (DNR Website) Link

WI Nonmotorized Recreation and Transportation Trails Council Facebook Page Link

Governor's Wisconsin State Trails Council (DNR Website) Link

Horses Have Road Rights Pamphlet - WI State Statutes (PDF)


Equine Land Conservation Resource and American Trails Offer Equestrian Trails on Private Land Webinar

Lexington, KY – July 22, 2020 – Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR), in partnership with American Trails (AT), will be presenting the free webinar Successful Models in Developing and Maintaining Equestrian Trail Systems on Private Land on July 30, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Pacific Time). The webinar, sponsored by Aretes Structures, will spotlight how three different communities have developed and maintained successful equestrian trail system on private land.

Privately owned land is the most at-risk component of our equestrian landscape. Boarding barns, competition venues, trails, hunt fixtures and hayfields are being lost every day as a result of development, misunderstanding of liability issues by new owners of land, and rising demand for land around urbanizing areas.  Access to private land for equestrian use can be an asset to your community and can result in not only a viable recreational trail system but a corridor providing equine access to public land.
Webinar participants will learn:

  • About the models three different communities have employed to develop and sustain successful private equestrian trail systems.
  • How to deal with issues related to private trail systems such as protected access, liability and landowner relations.
  • How to determine if a private equestrian trail system is right for your community.

For additional information or to register for the webinar go to:

For additional information on equine access to private land, ELCR offers talking points for explaining liability issues to landowners; liability management tools; guidelines for fostering positive relationships with landowners; model rules of usage and other protections for landowners who wish to open their land to horse usage; and information about the benefits of ensuring that horses stay in your community at

About American Trails:  American Trails (AT) is a national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of all trail interests, including hiking, bicycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, water trails, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, trail motorcycling, ATVs, snowmobiling and four-wheeling. AT supports local, regional, and long-distance trails and greenways, whether they be in backcountry, rural or urban areas by finding common ground and promoting cooperation among all trail interests. AT’s website,, is a comprehensive online source for planning, building, designing, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails, greenways, and blue ways. Contact American Trails at their Redding California office: (530) 605-4395.

About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR): ELCR builds awareness of the loss of lands available for horse-related activities and facilitates the protection and conservation of those lands working to ensure America’s equine heritage lives on and the emotional, physical and economic benefits of the horse-human relationship remains accessible. ELCR serves as an information resource and clearinghouse on conserving horse properties, land use planning, land stewardship/best management practices, trails, liability and equine economic impact. For more information about the ELCR visit or call (859) 455-8383.


ExtremeTerrain Clean Trail Grant Program

ExtremeTerrain, the auto parts retailer known for customizing Jeep Wranglers and Toyota pick-ups, continues to give back through the Clean Trail Initiative program in 2019. Launched in 2015, the program seeks to reward local clubs and organizations with small, project-specific, grants to be used for trail maintenance and restoration.Those who maintain equestrian trails are welcome to apply. The program has already given out $21,650 in trail project grant funds. Learn more and apply here:


Statewide recreation plan ready for public review

View this information online here:
The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the draft Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. The plan provides guidance to public outdoor recreation policy and planning decisions and is used in allocating recreation-related grants administered by the Department of Natural Resources.

This iteration of the SCORP covers the period from 2019 to 2023 provides updated information on Wisconsinites' participation in outdoor recreation, existing opportunities, and future needs. The plan was developed with the assistance of an advisory team comprised of a diversity of representatives.

Adding additional trails, such as the recently complete portion of the Great Sauk Trail, is one of the priority needs identified in the plan.Photo credit: DNR
The DNR will host an open house meeting on Wednesday Dec. 19 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Alumni Room of the Dreyfus University Center on the UW-Stevens Point campus. The Center is located at 1015 Reserve St. Stevens Point.
The SCORP provides guidance for public outdoor recreation policy and planning decisions in the state. The plan also guides the allocation of recreation-related grants administered by the department, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund program.
The plan lays out five overarching goals for outdoor recreation in Wisconsin:

  • Boost participation in outdoor recreation.
  • Grow partnerships.
  • Provide high-quality experiences.
  • Improve data to enhance visitor experiences and benefits.
  • Enhance funding and financial stability.

People can review the plan and the appendices by searching the DNR website,, for keyword "SCORP." In addition to the open house, people can also comment on the plan through a public input form on the SCORP page of the DNR website. The form is intended to gather perspectives about the draft SCORP and ideas people may have to improve the document. People can provide input on an online questionnaire, or can download a form and mail it in. Comments, either online or hardcopy, are due by Jan. 4, 2019.
For more information contact John Pohlman, DNR planner, 608-264-6263



TRAIL SAFE!  is a unique safety training program designed specifically for National Park Service (NPS) Trail Volunteers, but is useful to everyone!  It's based upon NPS Operational Leadership Training, where the Human Factor of safety is explored. Trail Safe! allows volunteers to learn from their own homes on-line.

The Trail Safe!  series is found in eight video lessons, each ranging in length from 18 to 40 minutes long. Viewing the entire eight lesson series will take approximately three hours.  Watch them over the course of multiple days, or "binge watch" the entire series in three hours—it's up to you—but please watch them in numeric order from Lesson 1 through Lesson 8.  Or, watch them as a group/club and learn together.  This is a great activity for part of a club meeting.  Remember – this is a program to further educate volunteers on working safely while working on trails.  Click on this link to be redirected to the lesson site.

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WHC Equestrian Representation Back on the Governor's State Trails Council - by Kricket Jewett

We are pleased to announce that Kricket Jewett, WHC Director has been appointed to the Governor's State Trails Council. Congratulations, Kricket!

Please click on the link below to read an article that Kricket wrote regarding this appointment.


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Check out our new Sharing Trails Safely with Horses Brochure! Simply click on the link below to open a PDF that you can then read and/or print out. Happy Trails!

WHC Sharing Trails Safely with Horses Brochure - (PDF)

Also, please click on the link below to view the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource's "Wisconsin Trail Etiquette & Safety Guidelines Tips for Trail Users".

It covers tips and responsibilities for all trail users and specific tips and rules for walkers, hikers, backpackers, runners, in-line skating, bicyclists, mountain bikers, equestrians, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, snowmobile, ATV, off-highway motorcycles and 4WD operators.

Please take a moment to read and/or print out this helpful brochure so that everyone may become educated and safe on the trail systems.

WDNR Wisconsin Trail Etiquette & Safety Guidelines Tips for Trail Users

The following links are provided as resources only and not as endorsements. We do not assume responsibility for content of these sites and views expressed are not necessarily those of WHC.

Horse Trail Advocacy

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Federal Volunteer Protection

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Funding and Grants

  • American Hiking Org
    Funds for trails come from various sources, including federal appropriations, state funds, grants, and private donations. Regardless of administration or funding source, most trails are founded on public-private partnerships and include some form of cost-sharing or leveraging. Volunteer contributions both through labor and direct funding are critical to trail construction, protection, and continued maintenance. In 1999, volunteer contributions to the national scenic and historic trails alone totaled over 550,000 volunteer hours (with an estimated labor value of $7.4 million) and $5.7 million in financial contributions. Countless more funds and labor help establish and protect trails on our public lands in general.
  • DNR Lake & River Grants
    The Bureau of Community Financial Assistance administers the grants listed. To learn more about an individual grant, please review list on web site.
  • Kodak American Greenways Awards Program
    Kodak, The Conservation Fund, and the National Geographic Society, provide small grants to stimulate the planning and design of greenways in communities throughout America. The annual grants program was instituted in response to the President's Commission on Americans Outdoors recommendation to establish a national network of greenways. Made possible by a generous grant from Eastman Kodak, the program also honors groups and individuals whose ingenuity and creativity foster the creation of greenways.
  • National Scenic Byways Program
    Providing resources to the byway community that will enable better management of byway organizations and the intrinsic qualities they value and work hard to protect. (Source of Fed Funds)
  • Patagonia
    Patagonia funds only environmental work. We are most interested in making grants to organizations that identify and work on the root causes of problems and that approach issues with a commitment to long-term change. We look for programs with a clear agenda for change and a strategic plan for achieving the organization’s goals. Because we believe that true change will occur only through a strong grassroots movement, our funding focuses on organizations that build a strong base of citizen support.
  • Recreational Trails Program (Source of Fed Funding)
    The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is an assistance program of the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Federal transportation funds benefit recreation by making funds available to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses.
  • River Alliance of WI
    The River Alliance of Wisconsin is a non-profit, non-partisan group of citizens, organizations and businesses dedicated to advocating for the protection, enhancement and restoration of our rivers and watersheds.
  • Take Pride in America
    We hope that you will spend some time looking around. You can find opportunities for volunteering on federal lands, state and local contacts in many states, and information about how to initiate your own Take Pride in America project or event. Remember that the public lands and buildings belong to you. You are responsible for doing your part to keep them free from litter and graffiti. Together we must maintain our natural, cultural and historic resources and improve them so that we can all enjoy them now and our children and grandchildren can enjoy them in the future.
  • Tourism Grant
    The Wisconsin Department of Tourism administers a $1.13 million Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) Grant Program. JEM provides partnership funding to help non-profit Wisconsin organizations promote tourism in their area.
  • Transportation Enhancements (Source of Fed Funding)
    The list of qualifying TE activities provided in 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(35) is intended to be exclusive, not illustrative. Only those projects that are listed in one of the 12 categories are eligible for transportation enhancement funds.

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Economic Benefit

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General Information

  • A+ Equine & Buffalo/Bison
    Yahoo discussion group on Equine sports, tack, etc.
  • AERC Trails Page
    AERC Trails page is created by the American Endurance Ride Conference’s AERC Trails committee to provide equestrian trail users with information regarding national trail use and preservation, urgent actions needed for same and upcoming events as well as links for trails, horse camping, travel and other useful references for trail riders.
  • American Land Rights Association
    The American Land Rights Association (ALRA) is a grassroots, non-profit organization advocating private property rights and multiple use of federal lands including recreational and commercial access. ALRA is engaged in issues such as compensation for government takings of property, defending cabin permittees and inholders of private property within federal lands such as national parks and national forests, opposition to land acquisition trust funds such as the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA), and support for rural communities. Headquartered in Battle Ground, Washington, we also have a full-time staff and office in Washington DC.
  • American Trails
    American Trails is the only national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of ALL trail interests. American Trails’ members want to create and protect America’s network of interconnected trails. We support local, regional, and long-distance trails and greenways, whether they be in backcountry, rural, or urban areas. Our goal is to support America’s trails by finding common ground and promoting cooperation among all trail interests. We’re involved in everything from training trails advocates to providing increased trail opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
  • Back Country Horsemen of America
    Back Country Horsemen of America is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates and at large members.
  • BlueRibbon Coalition
    Representing recreationists, we work hard in “Preserving our Natural Resources for the Public, instead of from the Public.”
  • Equestrian Land Conservation Resource
    Dedicated to promoting access to and conservation of land for equestrian use
    Join the Glacial Drumlin Horse Trail Association discussion group
  • Illinois Trail Riders
    Dedicated to Keeping Horses on our Trails
  • Land Trust Alliance
  • National Trails Training Partnership
    THE NATIONAL TRAILS TRAINING PARTNERSHIP (NTTP) is a forum of diverse trail organizations and agencies whose mission is to improve opportunities for training for the nationwide trails community. Join us to promote training opportunities! American Trails maintains an extensive calendar of classes, workshops, and training sessions on-line and is developing the NTTP database of a wide variety of trail-related resources.
  • Trails for Trail Riders
    A Trails Directory
  • US Equine Trails Coalition
    The United States - Equine Trails Coalition is an association of horseback trail riding enthusiasts, equestrian organizations and other equine users who share that enthusiasm, which is dedicated to preserving America's cultural heritage of enjoying this Nation’s open spaces from the back of and with the use of a horse. Integral to continuing this heritage is assuring and preserving, and establishing new, equine access to trailheads, staging areas, facilities, trails and horse camps.
  • WDNR Lands Mapping Application
    See maps of DNR Lands.

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Announcements and Notices


The WHC Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.


WHC Calendar of Upcoming Events

Want to know what equine related events and activities are going on in your area? Please click on the heading above to access a list of up-coming events and a form that you can complete and send to us to have your equine related activity added to this new calendar!

WHC Classified Ads

Exclusively for Wisconsin Horse Council members........

We are offering FREE classified ads on our website and in the newsletter!

Recreational Trail Aids (RTA) Program

This is a federal program administered in all states. Municipal governments and incorporated organizations are eligible to receive reimbursement for development and maintenance of recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail uses.

Legal Transportation of Horses Across State Lines

WHC would like to share this important information with you courtesy of Please click here to access this excellent article.

Attention All WHC Members

Important information for all WHC Members! Please click below to read the details.

Great News for WHC Members!

Did you know that if you are a member of the Wisconsin Horse Council (WHC), you are also eligible for the American Horse Council's (AHC) Advantage Plan?


New! Business Card Advertisements!

Wisconsin Horse Council | P.O. Box 72 | 121 S. Ludington St. | Columbus, WI 53925
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