Rumors of booby traps being laid on trails in Frederick and Montgomery Counties have trail riders on edge.

Trail riders have been sharing a link to the website for Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE), which posted on its blog that it had “unconfirmed reports that suggest someone has booby-trapped logs at Schaffer Farms and possibly the Seneca Ridge Trail with barbed wire.”

The Equiery followed up with Captain Dave Powell, who is the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Manager for the Patuxent Parks. According to Captain Powell, he and his staff have diligently followed up with every report of a suspected “booby trap,” but have not (as of the date of this report) found anything that they consider would qualify as a “booby trap.” They did find one post with wire on a trail that runs alongside an old fence line, but Captain Powell did not believe it was planted, as it was clearly part of the old fence line and had merely fallen over. He will continue to follow up on any reports, but does not seem to believe at this time that his parks are being booby-trapped.

Meanwhile, the booby traps discovered on walking trails within the Frederick City- owned watershed are confirmed. It should be noted that these are not bridle trails. According to The Frederick News-Post, “On Monday [September 7], Frederick resident R. J. Stone found two traps made from sharp, razorlike blades sticking upright from two blocks of wood. They were buried slightly below the surface of a multi-use trail in the watershed near Fishing Creek Road.”

Also according to the News-Post, “[Sheldon] Barron [a member of Frederick’s ad hoc watershed committee] said he found and removed about six traps from a trail above Fishing Creek Road, near Cold Deer Pond, in 2014.”

It is not clear why these traps were set, but there is a theory that they were laid to deter dirt bikers. We will reiterate that these are not equestrian trails.

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, and the Frederick Department of Public Works will be reviewing surveillance cameras and possibly installing more cameras.

The Equiery will continue to monitor the situation.