seeks way to create
horse trails throughout Oldham County
proposal would tie trails with O.C. Greenways plan
Helen E. McKinney
(September 2007) A constant complaint of horse
lovers is that there are not enough trails to ride in Oldham County.
A new proposed trail would one-day link a system of trails in the Harrods
Creek area with the larger Floyds Fork Greenway Project area.
Brett Donner is a member of the Harrods Creek Trail Association, which
proposes an extension of trails to accommodate the many equine enthusiasts
in the local area. The Harrods Creek Trail Association is the
vision of developer Jim Brown, who created the initial one-mile Harrods
Creek trail at the rear of his farm on U.S. Highway 42.
of the Harrods Creek Trail
Association enjoy the outdoors
during a hike through the wooded
areas of Harrods Creek
Browns goal is to connect his trail with trails
on adjacent lands, thus creating a hiking or riding trail system. The
trail would extend along Harrods Creek with access points along
Covered Bridge Road and Hwy 1694 (Gum St.), Ky. Hwy. 393 and KY Hwy.
53 to Old Sligo Road and eventually join the LEsprit equine development,
and the County Horse Park on KY Hwy. 524 near Westport.
The proposed trail will travel along my property on Harrods
Creek, said Donner. The best part about the Harrods Creek
Trail is that 257 acres of Kentucky State Reformatory property adjoins
Harrods Creek between U.S. Hwy 393 and U.S. Hwy. 53, he said.
If access were given to this additional acreage, That would make
this area a tourist attraction.
Donner took his idea to State Sen. Ernie Harris in the form of a written
proposal to use the 257 acres to develop a low maintenance, low erosion
trail system. The Kentucky Trail Riders Association, of which Donner
is president, would fund and design the trail system.
Three members of the group are State Certified Trail Masters.
In addition to benefiting trail users, the Harrods Creek Trail
would benefit restaurant owners, hotels and motels, retail shops,
fueling stations and the list goes on, said Donner. Bottom
line, it would bring dollars to this area.
Donner said Metro Louisville Parks is considering connecting the Floyds
Fork Greenway Project in eastern Jefferson County to the Harrods
Creek Trail project. The potential in incalculable. We would have
one of the largest trail systems connected to a major metropolitan area
in the world.
The Floyds Fork Greenway Project is a component of a larger project,
the City of Parks initiative, begun in February 2005 by the Metro Louisville
Parks Department. In addition to a 27-mile corridor along the Floyds
Fork watershed area, this project calls for a 100-mile paved Metro Loop
pedestrian and bicycling trail that will begin in Louisville and stretch
to outlying cities, such as Oldham County.
It would connect with trails established by Greenways for Oldham County.
The Greenways committee has begun to install proposed trails following
the path of the abandoned interurban railroad corridor through the county.
The master plan for Greenways for Oldham County calls for installing
connector corridors, which would extend multi-use trails from points
of interest and community centers. As their website indicates, These
connecting corridors will integrate walking, horse and bicycle paths
into our local transportation system.
The Harrods Creek Trail Associations trail system plans
fit nicely into the Greenways master plan. If extended the full length
of Harrods Creek, this segment of the trail system could stretch
more than 18 miles long.
Browns idea was born from the Appalachian Trail,
which begins in Georgia and extends 2,000 miles to Maine. It was
developed and maintained by volunteers, said Harold Helm, president
of the Harrods Creek Trail Association.
Helm lives on the banks of Harrods Creek. He said that when Brown
developed Paramont Subdivision, he built a really nice trail above
the creek to be used by the Paramont Homeowners Association.
The Harrods Creek Trail Association is trying to get its 501(c)(3)
nonprofit status. While waiting, the group is asking for easements from
property owners along the proposed trail path. The challenge now is
to gain access to huge stretches of land that are in the control of
single landowners, he said.
This would be a wonderful asset for Oldham County, said
Helm. It would be a good use of the natural asset of the whole
watershed area. Everybody could enjoy it.
At some point, the Harrods Creek trail might have to be separated
for hikers and equestrians. Helm has hiked for many years. One trail
he is particularly fond of was a 14-mile trail in Edinburgh, Scotland.
It was in the middle of a very urban area, behind my hotel.
After walking it Helm thought, We could do this now in Oldham
County, and future generations would benefit from it as well.
On Sept. 26, a Greenways Summit will be held from 4 p.m to 7:30 p.m.
at the Oldham County Fiscal Court building to discuss the Greenways
for Oldham County master plan that will be completed by December 2007.
This meeting will consider potential trail options.
In attendance will be Planning and Zoning representatives, consultants,
developers, real estate agents, county and government agencies, and
all individuals interested in the Greenways trail system. Those interested
in establishing equestrian trails are also invited to attend.
For more information, visit the Greenways
for Oldham County website at: www.oldhamgreenways.org
or email: email@example.com. For more information on the Harrods
Creek Trail Association, visit: www.harrodscreektrailassociation.org.
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