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Warren County Horse Trails Association

On March 10, 2005, an informational meeting, regarding trail building in Warren County, was held at the Warren County Farm Bureau office. The expectation was for 20 or 30 people, the reality was between 80-100 with standing room only.

Several speakers had been invited. The first, from the DNR, proceeded to tell us how little public land there is in Iowa and that none was available for horse trails. He suggested we put trails on private land.

The second speaker was the representative of the DOT. He pointed out that funds were available from the DOT for trail building. All we needed was an organization to apply for a grant.

That was the birth of the Warren County Horse Trails Association.

A group from the original meeting met a week later to form the core of the group. We applied for non profit status and filed an application for a trail building grant. Unfortunately, most of the money was earmarked for bike trails and none of the remaining dollars were available for horse trails.

That hasn't stopped us. We had also gathered a group of other organizations to apply with us to the Iowa Great Places initiative for 2005. The "Jewels of Warren County" made the top 17, but not the final three.

Meanwhile, we began a campaign to add horse trails to every trail project proposed in the county. Scotch Ridge Nature center at Carlisle welcomed us with open arms when we offered to supply labor for trail building. Other projects that are still in the planning stages have expressed a willingness to work with us, also. We keep in touch so they don't forget us.

The "Jewels of Warren County" took another stab at the Iowa Great Places in 2006. We were in the top seven or eight this time. Well, there's always next year.

In September , 2006, we finally got out to build some actual trails . We blazed approximately two and a half miles of trails on the Scotch Ridge Center's grounds. It was cold and drizzling that day, but well worth the discomfort to see our dream beginning to take shape.

We're holding our first annual (we hope) fundraising ride on May 19, 2007 on those trails. We also hope to be able to send adjoining trails off onto private lands adjacent to the Center in the next year or two.

The eventual goal of the WCHTA is to criss cross Warren County with interconnected trails. We also hope to get people in other counties fired up to do the same in their own counties. We could eventually be the place for horsepeople to go for a vacation on horseback.

For more information about our ride, contact Linda Asbille, vice president WCHTA at or 13454 Summerset Rd, Indianola, Iowa 50125

respectfully submitted Linda Asbille, Vice President WCHTA