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

2019 Fee-Free Days for U.S. National Park Service

January 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), April 20 (First Day of National Park Week and National Junior Ranger Day), August 25 (National Park Service Anniversary), September 28 (National Public Lands Day, the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands), November 11 (Veterans Day)

Listing of Participating State Parks, by state

2019 Fee-free Days on Public Land

January 21 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), February 18 (Presidents Day), June 8 (National Get Outdoors Day), September 28 (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

2019: California Trails & Greenways, hosted by California Trails Conference Foundation, San Diego, April 23-25

2019: International Trails Symposium, hosted by American Trails, Syracuse, New York, April 28-May 1

2020: National Equestrian Trails Conference, TBA

2020: Mid-America Trails & Greenways Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Date TBA

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 12/19/18