To Finish Is To Win

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AERC Trails News

The objective of the AERC Trails and Land Management Committee is to work with the AERC membership and other concerned equestrian trail users to develop a popular trails advocacy web environment. AERC is dedicated to the riding of historic trails and encouraging the establishment, preservation and maintenance of all trails on both public and private lands.

Donations to Trail Master classes or Trails Grants are welcome, and may be made through the AERC office, either by check or credit card.

Join AERC's Trails Forum! This email group allows everyone interested in trails -- that should mean all endurance riders! -- to share trail stories, ideas, experiences, advice and general brainstorming. To be added, contact Monica Chapman. (And thank you!)

2017 AERC State Trail Advocates Reports: Click for the latest State Trail Advocates reports for a roundup of what was happening across the U.S. in 2017.

Last year's State Trails Advocate reports: 2016 Reports

Stay informed

Meeting with a legislator or land manager? Be sure to read these Tips for Meeting with Legislators and Land Managers from Trails and Land Management Co-Chair Monica Chapman. The information included in this letter will help you prepare for a successful meeting.

Sustaining Equestrian Trails for the Future, an article reprinted form Equestrian Land Conservation Resource, is filled with great suggestions. Click here for the two-page PDF of this important article.

Video: Trails Etiquette Video from -- a 9-minute introduction to trails etiquette for equestrians, bicyclists and trail runners.

Know of other great videos? Share the link with Trails Committee Co-Chair Monica Chapman.

Trail work with pack animals: Thanks to AERC Trail Master Robert Sydnor for this summary of the PCTA's Working with Packers and Packstock field course.

Public lands news

2018 Free Entrance Days to National Parks

Come experience the national parks! On four days in 2018, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. Mark your calendar for these entrance feeā€“free dates in 2018: January 15 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), April 21 (first day of National Park Week), September 22 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day).

Listing of Participating State Parks, by state

2018 Fee-Free Days for U.S. Forest Service

February 19 (Presidents Day), June 9 (National Get Outdoors Day, an event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun), September 22 (National Public Lands Day, the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands), Neovember 10-11 (Veterans Day Weekend)

2018 Bureau of Land Management Fee-Free Days

January 15 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), February 19 (Presidents Day), June 9 (National Get Outdoors Day), September 22 (National Public Lands Day), November 11 (Veterans Day)

NOTE: Any families with 4th graders need to check out the Every Kid in a Park Initiative -- free access to federal lands for a year.

ALWAYS FREE! AERC members shared that these parks have free entry all year around: Beaverdam Park (Gloucester, VA), Lake Meredith National Recreation Area (Fritch, TX), Newport News Park (Newport News, VA).

Trails Conferences and Symposiums


May 13-16, 2018: Mid-America Trails & Greenways Conference, Columbus, Ohio

November 2-4, 2018: National Equestrian Trails Conference, Scottsdale, Arizona

Opposition to Federal Land Transfer

At the August 2015 AERC midyear board meeting, the board passed a resolution to oppose the transfer or sale of Federal Public Lands managed by the U.S. Department of Interior and Agriculture. Click on the link below to see the AERC motion wording:

2015 AERC Resolution: Federal Land Transfer

Memorandum of Understanding

AERC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with both the USFS and the BLM. Click on the links below for copies of these MOUs:


USFS/AERC MOU – Santa Fe National Forest (2010)



Relevant Research Studies

Are horses responsible for introducing noxious weeds onto trails and adjacent ecosystems in the western USA? by Dr. Stith T. Gower (pdf)

Are Horses Responsible for Invasive Plants in the Eastern United States? by Dr. Stith T. Gower (pdf)

Your trail news is much appreciated! Send in your news to the AERC office for publication on the AERC website.

Updated 7/25/18