Trail riding season is upon us and what better place to live than Jefferson County with our vast Open Space Park system! Of our thirty-two Open Space parks, thirty of them include horseback riding as part of their multi-use standard, while White Ranch and Reynolds Park has even provided equestrian friendly campsites. Jefferson County’s website offers detailed information about each park including maps, history, use schedules, planning tips and other important information. (See the MtnHomes4Horses.com Trail Guide for slide shows, links and other information about several of our local parks).
With hikers, bikers and equestrians all enjoying our trail systems, two groups have come out of the desire to take care of our parks and to serve as representatives for different trail uses; The Jefferson County Volunteer Patrollers and the Jeffco Trail Users Forum.
The Jefferson County Volunteer Patrollers serve as ambassadors within the Jeffco Open Space Parks. Of the over one hundred and fifty patrollers, about fifteen of these are equestrian patrollers, fifty are bikers and the remaining are hikers or seasonally cross country skiers. As with each patroller group, equestrian patrollers provide services to park visitors and look to add more each year to serve in their group. The patrollers utilize their training to alleviate park visitor conflicts through patrol and peer education. Patrollers accomplish this by using their training to work independently with first aid, emergency response, education, and resource protection. This training includes CPR, dog on leash education (our number one park issue), flora and fauna identification and care, fire awareness, and equestrian (or otherwise) specific skills.
For more information about the Jefferson County Volunteer Patrollers, go to: https://www.co.jefferson.co.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R118.htm. While the volunteer patrollers directly serve the visitors and parks; the Trail Users Forum works as a liaison with the county and other users – Two For Trails Part Two features the Jefferson County Trail Users Forum.