S&S Trails Blog

Aug. 31, 2009  Sandy Basin Project
Aug. 13, 2009  Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference follow-up report
Aug. 13, 2009  White Salmon Project
Jul. 13, 2009  Southeast Equestrian Trails Conference
Jun. 5, 2009  We made the news!
May. 7, 2009  American Quarter Horse Association- Quarterfest!
Apr. 17, 2009  Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference
Apr. 17, 2009  Lufkin Finished!
Apr. 5, 2009  S&S Trail Services in the news!
Mar. 30, 2009  Professional Trail Builders Association Conference

Sandy Basin Project

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Aug. 31, 2009 - 2:42 pm

August 24-25 we worked on the Sandy Basin project near Mt. Hood, Oregon as subcontractors for IMBA. Earlier in the month we had ridden the Umpqua River Trail with our friends Jill and Chris (formerly of the IMBA Trail Care Crew) so they knew we were in town and available to work. Jason Wells of IMBA Trail Solutions is the on-site project manager and asked if we could help out by doing some hand tool construction and supervising a small crew of BLM staff in charge of bench-cutting while he ran the mini-excavator on a road-to-trail conversion. We helped Jason design the trail around the road he was working on, trying to get rid of a straight fall line shot. We were happy to oblige, and enjoyed working with everyone on the project. The land is beautiful, forested with stands of enormous pine trees and almost no underbrush. The soil was great to work in too, though after cutting bench by hand on 50% sideslopes, we were reminded of why we like mechanized construction to knock out the bulk of the work before finishing up the trail with hand tools. We also helped construct a 12 foot long, 3 foot high retaining wall to cover a VERY large rock that was unearthed in the main line of the trail. We also used a come-a-long to winch out a large tree stump that was in the way. Ahh, levereage!
We always enjoy partnering with IMBA on projects, and it’s a nice way to include some work in our summer vacations so we can write off some travel expenses. Hopefully we will get to do the same next year, as the BLM project manager has plans for a 15-mile trail expansion on the site. Many thanks go to IMBA for keeping us employed and having fun in the process.

Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference follow-up report

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Aug. 13, 2009 - 3:52 pm

Susan flew back to her home state of Florida from July 9-12 to attend SETC 2009 at the Paramount Plaza Hotel in Gainesville. The invitation to do a presentation came about as a result of meeting conference chair Helen Koehler at the 2008 National Trails Symposium in Little Rock, Arkansas during an equestrian trail user’s summit. When Helen learned of Susan’s psychology and trail building background, she requested a talk focused on those areas with an additional sustainability component as that was central to the 2009 conference theme.

SETC 2009 was a resounding success, with over 200 participants and a packed schedule of presenters and vendors. In addition to the focus on environmental and social sustainability of equestrian trails, the Florida Cracker Horse was also featured prominently as a breed of horse whose heritage and bloodlines are in need of protection. The Florida State Parks System keeps a wild herd of the horses on state land, and uses another string of trained horses to help patrol and do work in the parks. One of these equine “state park employees” was even used during a conference session to help demonstrate what facilities are needed to make equestrian trailheads and parking lots easily accessible to trail users.

Susan also had the opportunity to renew her acquaintances with many friends and colleagues in the equestrian trail community, including Jan Hancock (author of “Guidebook for Equestrian Trailhead Design”), Deb Balliet of the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource, Alex Weiss from Florida Office of Greenways and Trails and United States Pony Club, Bobby and Joanne Mitchell from Southern Appalachian Back Country Horsemen of America, and Stephanie McCommon of the American Quarter Horse Association. Susan also met several new folks representing groups such as the American Horse Council, Pennsylvania Equine Council, and Sustainable Stables.

Overall it was an enjoyable and productive trip. In addition to the opportunities for company marketing and professional development, Susan also had the pleasure of visiting with her parents John and Nancy who drove up from Venice to attend her talk. To learn more about SETC, please visit their website at:


White Salmon Project

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Aug. 13, 2009 - 11:54 am

S&S Trails is about to embark on it’s first totally private mountain bike trail in White Salmon, OR. The property looks nice and we’ve gotten some rain this week, so we’ll see how the building goes this weekend!

Southeast Equestrian Trails Conference

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Jul. 13, 2009 - 12:22 pm

This past weekend, Susan Stormer represented S&S Trails at SETC. Susan was a presenter at the conference doing a presentation on sustainable trail building and the psychological benefits of trail use. Her presentation was to the entire conference and was very well received.

The conference also gave S&S a chance to strengthen relationships with the Equine Land Conservation Resource and the American Quarter Horse Association. More about the conference from Susan soon!

We made the news!

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Jun. 5, 2009 - 5:36 pm

Channel 2 in Houston.

American Quarter Horse Association- Quarterfest!

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on May. 7, 2009 - 2:31 pm

Quarterfest May 1-3. S&S Trail Services went to Murfreesboro, TN at the invitation of Stephanie McCommon from the American Quarter Horse Association. Stephanie took a trail building class from us three years ago at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, and she remembered us when she was developing the training schedule for the first ever AQHA conference. Equestrian trail use, access issues, and trail building techniques were the focus of a portion of the conference, and S&S Trails was asked to lead a session on safety precautions while doing trail work with a focus on building bridges. After attending the class, conference participants were encouraged to join the Southern Appalachian Back Country Horsemen group to practice new skills while building a 4’x8’ bridge on the facility’s property outside the event arena.

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Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Apr. 17, 2009 - 9:16 pm

This just in….Susan Stormer of S&S Trail Services will be hosting a session at the SETC Con in July. The conference is in Gainesville, Florida and will focus on “Making $ents Out of Sustainability”. Go to www.southeasternequestriantrails.com for more details on the conference.

Lufkin Finished!

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Apr. 17, 2009 - 9:13 pm

Well, we wrapped up Kit McConnico a day and a half early! Pictures will follow soon. We had to move on to Double Lake to finish up with the design work there. Typical of our luck, it’s been thunder-storming all day! Same forecast for tomorrow.



S&S Trail Services in the news!

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Apr. 5, 2009 - 2:18 pm

Here’s an article on our company in the Lufkin Daily News:

Blazing a trail: Work under way on addition to trails at Kit McConnico Park

Listen to this article or download audio file.Click-2-Listen
The Lufkin Daily News

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The expansion of the hike and bike trail at Kit McConnico Park began Tuesday, according to David Steiner, of the Deep East Texas Trail Route & Access Coalition (DET-TRAC).

Funding for the project, which includes a $60,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in conjunction with the City of Lufkin Parks Department, has been approved, and work on the addition was able to begin, Steiner said.
Andy Adams/The Lufkin Daily News
Susan Saws
Susan Stormer, of S&S Trail Services out of Austin, uses a chainsaw to remove a downed tree at Kit McConnico Park in Lufkin. The company is doing the major work on a little more than two miles of new trails at the park, but volunteers are needed for some other tasks.
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Professional Trail Builders Association Conference

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Mar. 30, 2009 - 10:05 am

Professional Trail Builders Conference in Asheville, NC March 15-20

S&S Trails traveled to North Carolina to attend the PTBA conference, held for the first time outside of Reno, NV. In spite of the venue change, the conference had the largest attendance yet with 240+ participants. Our motley crew of professional trail contractors, trail volunteers, and land management agency folks descended upon the Marriott Crowne Plaza for 6 days of training, networking, induction of new member companies, and general merriment. As part of the outdoor trade show, conference participants had the opportunity to try out new equipment by tearing up a golf course. Sweet! (The suggestion to do so was made by the Marriott staff, surprisingly enough. They had already planned to reduce their 18-hole golf course down to 9 holes, so they were pleased to let us start tearing it up as long as we let them help out.) Much fun was had by all involved. Susan and Ryan were particularly enamored with a Canycom tracked loader that would be immensely more productive for our needs than the wheeled Georgia buggies that are the only haulers we can find to rent in Texas. Maybe if we have a good year we can buy a new toy at the end of it to reward ourselves.

Greens Lick
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