This is a report and a warning on the Stower Seven Lakes State Trail.

First a report: This past Saturday, Our Friends group sponsored our annual Colors Ride on the trail. We had posters all over the city announcing it. With nice weather, we one of the largest turnouts for this event since we have held it. I’m just estimating that we had 35-40 riders. At the Deronda rest area there was a table set for free treats, granola bars, gummy worms and information for those that would stop by. It is always enjoyable to visit with those folks that would stop by. Curious always to hear where people are from and how they liked the trail. I was greatly encouraged.

There were a few riders that pointed out that the “horse apples” in several places that were on the trail lessoned the enjoyment of being on the trail.

On the first day that horses were allowed on the trail, 10/1, the horses deposited their waste on the trail in at least three and then later there was a Polk County truck that came by with two employees to pick these horse piles. I wondered how long that would last. Not long.

In fairness to the county, there are signs at the hitching posts that instruct the riders that they are responsible for picking up the excrement of their horses. I don’t know how many riders did that, I only know how many did not.

It should be stated that the Stower Seven Lakes State trail is the only silent sport trail in the state that allows horses on it. This policy was put forth by the county and approved by the DNR.

So, for you folks that walk and ride, beware of the brown piles that have taken up residence on the trail.

Happy Trails,

Gary Osborn

VP of Friends of the Seven Lakes State Trail

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