The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors will hold a workshop to get input from equestrians on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 5:30 p.m. before the board’s next regular meeting.
“We’re looking for feedback from the equestrian community as to things they would like to see,” ITID President Betty Argue said. “Not all ideas have to cost money, so we’re going to pool our money and look for sponsorships, and what kind of things we can do to make it safer for our equestrians. Also, we want to preserve our equestrian lifestyle.”
Argue said that the board scheduled the workshop after a discussion about trails and improving connectivity. “There’s a lot of different people who are involved in the discussion right now,” she said.
Acreage Horseman’s Association Vice President Linda Rainbolt said she will be at the meeting to hear and discuss equestrian issues.
“I ride out here every weekend,” Rainbolt said, explaining that she mainly rides on the roads. “We do have the preserve, which is very nice, which we ride all the time, and then we have little pieces of property that we trail ride on.”
Rainbolt said that some of the trails are locked right now, and she would like to see them opened. For example, there is a trail that goes across 140th Avenue North, she said. The trail is near Acreage Community Park, which has its southern portion under construction and has equestrian parking in the plans.
“They have it locked, and it’s part of the trail system,” Rainbolt said. “They don’t want us to use it. That hasn’t been used for years. I’ve been working on this for years with them. I’ve gone to so many meetings.”
Rainbolt said $250,000 was allotted a few years ago to fix the trails, but it wound up being spent on something else.
“That’s money that is gone now, and we were supposed to have a bridge and all kinds of stuff,” Rainbolt said, adding that there are people in The Acreage who want to ride but don’t know where to go.
Rainbolt hopes that the meeting leads to action from ITID to improve the trail system. She noted that there are several organizations working toward that goal.
“There’s me and my group, and there’s another group that rides the preserve, and then there are people who are stragglers everywhere, but there are groups who say they are fighting for the trail riding and they don’t even go out here,” she said. “It’s kind of weird that they would have an input when they’re not actually on the road with cars or in the trails themselves.”
Rainbolt said she has a group of friends that she rides with every weekend, and the trail system is really on the roads for the most part.
At a recent board meeting, Supervisor Tim Sayre said he drove the trail system with ITID Manager Rob Robinson, Recreation Director Tim Wojnar and AHA President John Rivera, who is a candidate for the board in next month’s election, which led to ordering new signs to improve trail markings.
Rainbolt said some drivers are very inconsiderate to riders. “These people get rude out here,” she said. “They drive by super-fast. They peel out right in front of you. They honk when they go by.”
Most drivers are polite, but not all, she stressed.
“They move for us; they wait on us,” Rainbolt said. “I’ve come across very good people. This past Sunday, we had six people with us and there was a big dump truck that hauled butt right toward us and never slowed down. It went right past us on the dirt road [60th Street] that is the designated trail, but I don’t run across too many like that.”
Rainbolt said that riding the trails is her passion to the point that she and her friends camp out several times a year.
“I really want good things to happen, but Indian Trail always drops the ball,” she said. “Their hands are tied. They don’t have much to work with.”