It was standing room only for a Rotary Park Bridle Trail users group meeting Friday evening.

Listen here,


Avid users of the Bridle Trail at Rotary Park heard from members of the committee working to reach consensus with private landowners who's properties are crossed by the park trail. They outlined the issues that could mean changes to trail access. Updated maps of the area were on display.

Committee member, Keith Taylor, indicated the biggest challenge  would come if a west side landowner, fed up with trespassing and abuse by some users, moves to cut off access through his property. That could happen by March 1st if a solution is not found.

Formation of the Friends of the Bridle Trail group is a move on the part of active trail users to build trust and partnership with area private landowners.

The Natrona County Commission and the city of Casper had representation at the meeting. Both entities  have land holdings in the mix.

Rotary Club representative Bill Schilling says he's encouraged by the number who came out in support of the effort.

"Obviously people want to be able to use, not just Rotary Park but the trail system, and the county clearly has agreed to move forward on this. They want  some resolution to take place. And Rotary is most interested in a long term solution and some improvements in the trail system."

More work is needed on defining boundaries and easements before any work on the trails can be undertaken.

Natrona County Parks Director, Mike Haigler, indicates they will likely have Conservation Core youth on hand this summer to do some trail maintenance, but how much, depends on progress made in delineating property lines and establishing agreements for continued access.

Rotary Park and its trail system have existed for nearly 80 years and Schilling says the Rotary Club will continue to invest in its up keep.

"So I think there are ways of making this all happen, but obviously the first stage is to get trail system legalities and ownership resolved."