This is your last change to ride in Rocky Gorge Triadelphia, and other WSSC Reservoir until the spring!

According to the new rules, on Tuesday, November 15, Rocky Gorge, Triadelphia and other reservoirs owned and managed by WSSC (Washington Sewer and Sanitation Commission) will be closed to horseback riders until the spring.

Riders from Kruhm Farm trimming trails on Nov. 6 Volunteer Trail Clean-Up Day; photo submitted by Debby Poole

As we reported on, TROT (Trail Riders of Today) members stumbled across the new rules governing equestrian access to and use of the WSSC lands this past spring. In addition to shutting down winter riding, for the rest of the year, the rules ban horseback riders from the bridle trails, putting them instead on severely eroded firebreaks and emergency access roads, from which horses have traditionally been banned. The new rules were created ostensibly to control erosion.

Once they learned of the new rules, trail riding community immediately rallied in protest that equestrians were never consulted. WSSC has granted one hearing, but little has been done since then and trail riders are up in arms, understandably and justifiably so in the opinion of The Equiery.

Trail riders are urging fellow equestrians to stand with them at the next WSSC Commissioner’s meeting on Wednesday November 16 at the RGH Auditorium, 14501 Sweitzer Lane Laurel, Maryland 20707. The meeting will start promptly at starting at 8:30 AM and horse people are urged to arrive early, as parking is limited.

Anyone wishing to testify will need to arrive early and sign-in prior to the meeting. If you can attend, you are urged to contact the Commissioners Corporate Secretary Charlett Bundy, Esq,, but you can still attend even without contacting the WSSC. Debby Poole is trying to rally trail riders to fill the meeting, and intends to contact all the Media, Delegates and other elected officials who have expressed interest in the issue, and is urging all horse people to do the same.

“I believe we have been acting in good faith,” states Debby. “We have asked again and again for meetings, responses to our e-mails, and even offered free and expert trail assessments and plans for rerouting Trails by Prince George’s County experts from the Soil Conversation District Office. WSSC has allowed us one Stakeholders meeting in July. WSSC has promised/proposed coming meeting dates and times but has not followed through.  I believe we must hold them accountable to their promises and pledges to take a timely look into this issue.

The trails will be closed if we don’t get them to change things right now. I believe we have every right to ride through this fall, winter and early spring since those of us who purchased the $60 permits were not told of the pending changes and neither the handout maps or Watershed user handbook give out this trail closing information.”


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