Great things are happening at the Bateman Ranch in the Ava District of the Mark Twain National Forest.
Trail riders and hikers will be excited to find a new trail numbering system that will help guide them through the 1,000 plus acres of the Bateman Ranch. Horse back riders will also find brand new rider friendly gates that can be opened and closed without dismounting. These gates are also handicapped accessible for individuals in wheelchairs.
These improvement to the Bateman area of the Mark Twain National Forest came about through a cooperative agreement with the National Forest Service, The Show-Me Missouri Back Country Horsemen, and the Douglas County Fox Trotters. This special agreement of cooperation between the groups have opened the doors to working together to help care for and improve trails in the Ava District of the National Forest.
In May the Mt. Riders chapter of the Back Country Horsemen and members of the Douglas Country Fox Trotters spent several days at the Bateman cleaning trails of brush and fallen trees. Then on June 27th National Forest personnel, Mt. Riders, and Douglas County Fox Trotters working together put up signs marking over ten miles of trails and installed two new gates that are horse and handicapped friendly.
The Mt. Riders and Fox Trotters provided horses for the Forest Service personnel so that they could ride and assist in marking the trails. Other members stayed back at the trail head and assisted the Forest Service in installing the new gates. The special gates were purchased by the Show-Me Missouri Back Country Horsemen and the signage was provided by the Ava District of the National Forest Service.
The Mountain Riders, the Douglas County Fox Trotters, the National Forest Service, and the Douglas County Commission are also working on another exciting project on the east end of Douglas County. An improved trail head is being established for access to the Braddock Lake, Hay Hollow area of the National Forest. The forest road leading to the trail head will be improved and the parking area will be enlarged so that horse trailers will be able to access it. Money for this project was obtained through a grant written by the Butch Linder of the Mt. Riders and Douglas County Fox Trotters. Douglas County is administering the grant. The Forest Service and the Mountain Riders and the Douglas County Fox Trotters are providing the labor.