ERCA reminding equestrians to use Greenway’s grassed sides

Posted on February 27, 2017

The Essex Region Conservation Authority is reminding users of the Greenway trail that horses are restricted to the grassed sides of the trail.

“With our unseasonably warm temperatures, the greenway trail surface is very susceptible to surface damage from horse hooves.  Even a few horses during this critical period can make the trail difficult for cyclists or pedestrians as it leaves the trail surface very bumpy,” explains Kevin Money, ERCA’s Director of Conservation Services.

“We have designed the trail as a multi-use surface, but these hoof prints create ruts that can frustrate and cause safety issues for cyclists and pedestrians.  We have to ensure the trails provide the greatest good for the greatest amount of people.”  ERCA is also noting recent instances of graffiti to trail signs whereby permissions for horses have been sprayed with black paint, causing some confusion amongst trail users as to where equestrian use is permitted.

Since the trail opened in the year 2000, horse access has been permitted along sections the trail.  Trail use rules indicate horses must use the grassed areas along the sides of the Greenway and clean up horse droppings, just like all responsible pet owners.  “We communicate regularly with the equine community to help with the enforcement of these rules,” Money confirms. “But not every horse owner is affiliated with an equine group.”  He also reminds the public that motorized vehicles are not permitted on the Greenway trail system.

For more than four decades, Essex Region Conservation has been sustaining and enriching the environment of the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region to ensure it is the Place for Life.