Bridle Trail Access About To Change
Abuse, by some, of private property around the access points to the Bridle Trail at Rotary Park, off Garden Creek Road south of Casper means a radical change is coming in September. Natrona County Parks Department Director, Mike Haigler, says long time easements to the popular hiking trail are coming to an end.
Listen here for full interview with Parks Director, Mike Haigler,
"They've come to us and said they don't want anymore people going up through their property, and rightfully so. Some homes have been vandalized and property damaged."
The trails to the west have, for years, crossed private property. He says they were never formally laid out, but developed organically by hikers who used the trail respectfully and there was no trouble. Now, with more new property owners and increasing trail traffic, things are changing.
"I don't think any of the upper landowners feel that they want to close any portion of the trail up there, but the lower portion of it, where it dumps out onto the private roadway, those folks definitely want it to terminate."
Haigler says one property owner on the private road used to access the trail heads has had a number of negative run-ins. "He's had people in his front yard in lawn chairs. They've set fires. They were sitting there one day when he came home and they got in a big argument saying he didn't live there and it was their cabin. He's been impacted. He said as long as they'd stay on the trail, come up the road- and its not just his road- but it just hasn't worked like that. It only takes one person to ruin this for everybody and that's kind of what's happened."
Haigler wants to put to rest any rumors that the trail will close, but indicates they intend to move on a fast track to find a solution.