Board of Directors meeting 2nd Tuesday of the month starting at 6:30  over the internet or by phone:   

Members in Door Co, Manitowoc Co and Dane Co each will gather together and then join together over the internet.

1.  Please join our meeting using FreeConferenceCall By Phone
Dial-in number (US): (515) 606-5446 Access code: 806106#
2.  Over the internet  - a headset is recommended.  
Online meeting ID: ilovestrike Join the online meeting:

Thumbs Up Chapter to form New Organization

posted Dec 6, 2019, 8:38 AM by Ken Carpenter

Starting in 2020, our long time chapter, Thumbs Up has grown and is expected to form a separate organization.  We which them all the best as they continue to focus on trail issues in Door County.

LWSR Master Plan Approved

posted Aug 5, 2016, 7:18 AM by Ken Carpenter

Aug. 4, 2016

Hello all, we have success to share!

The revised Master Plan for the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway (LWSR) has been approved by the Natural Recourses Board! 

The LWSR contains 80,000 acres of land on both sides of the Wisconsin River as it flows unimpeded by any man-made structures for 92.3 miles from the dam at Prairie Du Sac downstream to its mouth at the Mississippi River. 

We are happy that horses are included in this plan and that some areas will expand equestrian trails and parking areas. The Millville area trail expansion (NE of Wyalusing State Park, East of Prairie Du Chein) may also include horse camping. Black Hawk Ridge, near Mazomanie, has proposed to abandon the open pavilion on the ridge to make way for more parking. Black Hawk currently only has a very small parking area at the bottom of the ridge and many times truck and trailer rigs get there to find there isn't room to park so this proposal should eliminate that problem. 

This has been a long process with public input meetings attended by GDHTA members and their friends, along with input letters and letters of support. Once again we are happy that our voices were heard and horses have been included as one of the recreational users in this plan.
We are also happy to announce that the land manager of the LWSR recently attended the 4 day Trail Master Certification course which was held at Governor Dodge State Park sponsored by the Wisconsin Horse Council and Glacial Drumlin Horse Trail Association. His newly attained knowledge will help insure sustainability of the new trails to be built in the LWSR recreation areas.
Working today for horse trails tomorrow, 
Margaret Kraege 
GDHTA President

Trailhead Park in Palmyra gets improvements

posted Nov 25, 2015, 8:33 AM by Ken Carpenter

PFC Charles F. Duel Memorial Trailhead Park, 200 W. Wilson St. in Palmyra, has recently undergone improvements and a designation process. The park is named after a Palmyra resident who lost his life while serving in Vietnam.

The village park is on a half-acre lot and is a gathering place for many outdoor enthusiasts. The park is less than a mile away from the southern Kettle Moraine horse trails and horse rider's campground and just over a mile from The Ice Age Trail.

The park is situated along the local snowmobile route and numerous road bicycle routes. Seasonal parking is also available for snowmobilers at the park.

Through a grant from the Wisconsin Horse Council and cooperation with the Glacial Drumlin Horse Trail Association, a corral for 10 horses was built in 2015. In addition, the picnic tables were refurbished and a new kiosk was installed. The Kettle Moraine Flyers bicycle club also donated an 18 stall bike rack.

Future improvements include the installation of a bubbler and faucet, and the Palmyra American Legion Post 304 plans to supply the site with a memorial rock and a flagpole.

New Sign Created

posted Mar 19, 2015, 3:20 PM by Ken Carpenter

We created this sign to display at Trail Con 2013 to help explain how horses share the trails with other recreational groups.

STC Recommendation Letter

posted Jun 8, 2014, 8:15 AM by Ken Carpenter

To whom it may concern,
As the president of the Glacial Drumlin Horse Trail Association, I am writing this letter of recommendation to nominate Patty Wisneski as the next equestrian representative on the Governors State Trails Council.
 Patty is an avid trail rider who believes in multi-use trails and the benefits of working with others to enhance trails in Wisconsin. Working on the Wisconsin Horse Council (WHC) trail grant sub-committee, she assesses trail projects and assists in approving grant monies so these projects can be accomplished. As an educator, Patty embraces the importance of talking to others about her interest in horses, riding, and camping; answering questions so other types of users can familiarize themselves with the basic instincts of horses and the needs of their riders. She communicates well with concise questions and answers. At the ATV/UTV Trailcon USA conference in northern Wisconsin last year she took an interest in their sport and brought her horse to demonstrate how these groups could work together and use proper trail etiquette to avoid conflicts on the trails. She also showed them how they could assist an equestrian back onto their horse by letting her use the ATV bumper as a mounting block after getting off her horse to be our equine ambassador.  
 Patty has been an active member of the WHC trails committee and the co-ordinator of their Ride Wisconsin program in which she enlists new riders to log their time in the saddle and prepares the end of year awards. With her enthusiasm and passion about equestrians seeing the State while on horseback she is fully aware of how public lands, and communication and co-operation with land managers, are an integral part of this sport.  
 Patty is a small business owner who knows how to work within a fixed budget and this skill is demonstrated further with her work on the WHC trails committee. She supports businesses that are close to public trails, knowing it enhances the local economy, and appreciates their support of trail users.
 In conclusion, Patty Wisneski would be an asset to the Governors State Trails Council with enthusiasm, understanding, communication skills and a business sense. Please contact me if I can further assist with her becoming a part of this great team of trail users.

 Margaret Kraege
President, Glacial Drumlin Horse Trail Association

New Trailriding Representative Needed

posted Jun 8, 2014, 6:04 AM by Ken Carpenter

I have asked to be replaced on the Governor's State Trails Council (STC).  I was appointed as the representative from equestrian trail riding community by Governor Doyle and Governor Walker and I am in my 3rd term.  I am moving in a very short while to the mountains of North Carolina.  A replacement representative needs to be found.  Are you interested?

What is the STC?
The STC was created by statute 15.347(16) in 1989. The council provides advice and consultation to the DNR on the planning, acquisition, development, and management of trails in Wisconsin. The council represents trail users in Wisconsin, which includes more than half of the state's residents. The council is also responsible for providing counsel in administering Federal Recreational Trails Program funds. The council serves as Wisconsin's state recreational trail advisory committee for Recreational Trails Program, necessary for Wisconsin to participate in the program.

The council is an independent forum for finding solutions to trail problems for both motorized and non-motorized groups, and is a statewide advocate for public/private cooperation in funding and management of trail systems. Wisconsin is a national leader in creating partnerships that provide for state ownership coupled with county management of trails.

Qualifications & Relationships
A successful candidate would be an active trail rider on Wisconsin trails.  Being active with several trail saddle clubs will help broaden your prospective and widen your contact base.  If you aren't already a member of the WHC Trails Committee and the Glacial Drumlin Horse Trail Assoc you will want to establish a relationship with both groups.  Members of both groups are our horse trail advocates and both groups will want to submit letters of support of any candidates to the Governor (via the DNR Parks Dept).  You will need recommendation letters from known groups.

How to apply
This link will take you to the STC page where you will find the application, description of the position and an explanation of the application process.

I will be happy to answer any questions about my position with the STC that you may have.  I have served on a STC sub-committee that reviews applications.  It is important to note that a recommendation to the Governor for STC membership isn't automatically accepted.  Letters of recommendation are a very important step in the process.

Best of luck

Comments on Silverwood Park Master Plan

posted Mar 29, 2014, 9:57 AM by Ken Carpenter   [ updated Mar 29, 2014, 10:29 AM ]

Silverwood Park is located in a key location that could provide a horse trail connection between the Glacial Heritage Area and the large horse community in southern Dane County. Silverwood Park could be the crown jewel of a community based recreation trail that could support both horse and off-road bicycles providing as both a destination and trail head. Providing a park destination encourages the formation of a recreation trail to get to and from the park out into the rural community by the local residences to interested in enhancing their form of recreation. This rural area is in need of recreational trails for both off-road bikes and horse back riders because the inventory is not existent for horse back riders and in short supply for off-road bikes.

The suggested focus for the Silverwood Park has always been agricultural based. The early settlers to Dane County relied on their horses and mules to provide both transportation and power for their agricultural needs. Horses should be part of the historic importance on this property. Farming with horse power could be part of special events held at the park. There are already volunteer groups in the area working with Old World Wisconsin and providing horses at community events in Cambridge. There is at least one active farm in Oakland that uses horses for farm work. Seeing horses on a recreational trail in the park would help reinforce the historical importance of horses in agriculture.

There are many equine centered enrichment programs for at risk youth around the county. There is a program in the Milwaukee area and one in the Milton area that use horses in working with youth. This park may offer the perfect opportunity for Operation Fresh Start to explore a new dimension in their programming by offering a rural based program based on the experiences of other youth programs that are having success using horses.

Letter of Support for Baraboo Equine Facility

posted Jan 19, 2014, 3:00 PM by Ken Carpenter

Bob LaDow   
1st Class Management
209 South Main Street
Pardeeville, Wisconsin  53954

Dear Bob:

The facility under discussion to create recreational opportunities for horseback riders in Baraboo is exciting to us.  We understand the project would include both a climate-controlled building holding a show arena and outdoor horse trails and campground.  A study done by the UW River Falls for the Wisconsin Horse Council shows that the horse industry contributes $1.4 billion to Wisconsin's economy.  The study shows that the equine industry in Wisconsin is diverse, divided into several categories including recreational riding, competition showing, and breeding.  We feel the planned facility would be attractive to a majority of horse owners.  Creating a facility that attracts a broad base of horse owners should be of great interest to investors. 

Glacial Drumlin Horse Trail Association has been in existence since 1990 and is a leading trail advocacy group in Wisconsin.  Our focus is developing and maintaining recreational equestrian and shared-use trails.  We also enjoy using the many wonderful trails in Wisconsin!  We are 80 members strong, centered in Dane County with chapters reaching into Door, Manitowoc and Jefferson Counties.  Our emphasis is in forming close working relationships with the land managers of any area - collaborating in trail planning, performing maintenance on horse trails, retaining accessibility, and preserving green spaces for all to enjoy.  We offer our collective knowledge and experience to local, county, and state land managers in achieving land use goals and we promote cooperation among all trail users.

Our members have a great interest in the creation of new horse trails in the Baraboo area.  Trails that offer recreational opportunities to the local community as well as creating a draw for those outside the area to visit would be of great benefit to the Baraboo community.  The Baraboo area is a perfect location to practice newer trail building methods that lessen the impact on the environment and have reduced needs for maintenance.  This is a project that we can fully support.
Please consider us as one of your partners in this project.  We look forward to working with you. 


Baraboo officials hear plans for unique horse arena project

posted Jan 6, 2014, 7:16 AM by Ken Carpenter   [ updated Jan 6, 2014, 7:20 AM ]

BARABOO (WKOW) -- The city of Baraboo is considering a unique development plan that is expected to bring a new kind of tourist to town: horse lovers. Developer Bob LaDow with First Class Management presented his initial proposal for a horse arena and event center to the city's Plan Commission Tuesday night. LaDow says his project is unlike any existing facility in the area and is a much-need resource for the equine community. 

The development would be built on a 120 acre plot of city-owned farmland on the far east side of Baraboo, just past the Sauk County Fairgrounds on Highway 33. It includes two indoor, heated and air-conditioned arenas that can be used year-round, three outdoor arenas, retail space, a banquet hall, a campground and multi-use trails. LaDow tells 27 News the Baraboo land is the perfect spot for the project. 

"It's just great, it's got some hills in it, it's got some woods in it, we're going to put some trails in," LaDow says. "After doing some more research, we found out how big the need is for a arena that is a decent size but at a cheaper rate than what is out there." 

LaDow worked with a team of equine advisers to assess different locations and work on what is needed at the site. They say many groups that show horses have had to cancel shows because they can't afford to book the larger venues. 

October ARRA Newsletter

posted Oct 4, 2013, 3:29 PM by Ken Carpenter

News from the Americans for Responsible Recreation

Budget Showdown

In our last newsletter, we mentioned that September was slated for a budget showdown between congressional Republicans and the White House. Well, sparks have been flying and for those of you who wanted the ultimate showdown between President Obama and the Congress, you haven’t been disappointed. We had thought that at the last hour Congress would pass a short term continuing resolution to allow some breathing room while negotiations took place dealing with not only FY 14 funding but raising the debt ceiling as well. We made the wrong call on that one. Instead, we are witnessing verbal hand to hand combat among the various entities and it is impossible to handicap when a resolution will be found.


H.R. 1526, Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act

Somewhere in the clouds in the state of Washington

Just before all the dust up over government funding, the House of Representatives did pass a significant piece of legislation that will serve to improve the overall health of our national forests. This measure goes a long way towards shaping proactive management policies for our national forests and will result in reducing the threat of wildfires as well benefit the local economies of communities adjacent to our national forests. We view these policies as good steps for ensuring recreational access to healthy forests.


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