Equine Trail Development in Wellington County
Wellington County represents a region with an extensive and well developed horse industry. As a result there is significant potential for development in its rural areas. This study reveals important facts regarding the development of equine trail networks in Wellington County. The existing number of horses, horse farms, related facilities, as well as the enormous interest of horse riders and horse industry associations suggest high potential for use of these equine trails. In particular the research points out the current lack of horse trails in the county which has one of the highest horse populations in Ontario. Identification of current trends, demands, and overall situation within the industry has led to an elaboration of a framework for the Wellington County equine trail development. The evaluation of the equine trail potential impacts and contributions to rural communities indicates positive outcomes resulting in sustainable community development. The recommendations drawn from this research further suggest a need to elaborate a General Horse Trail Planning and Construction Guide; establish an Equine Trail Organization; create a Master Plan; continue ongoing development of stakeholder relationships; establish equine trail spatial planning considering private land utilization; and integrate future trail plans into County and Regional Planning.