A New Trail

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 11:44 AM CST
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Back Country Horsemen of America and trails
Back Country Horsemen of America and trails(WBRC)

ANNISTON, Ala. (WBRC) - Craig Waldron is a car guy. The automotive industry in our state led him to locate his company in Anniston. His wife Susan is a horse person but together they share a love for maintaining trails across our country through the Back Country Horsemen of America.

Back Country Horsemen of America and trails
Back Country Horsemen of America and trails(WBRC)

Craig explains, “The Back Country Horsemen is 14,000 members across the United States so it’s big and our sole focus is on building and maintaining trails. The riding is a monstrous income maker; the economics of it because it hires so many different people, a 2.4-billion-dollar industry!”

Back Country Horsemen of America and trails
Back Country Horsemen of America and trails(WBRC)

“A lot of the roads were put in during the Viet Nam era,” says Craig’s wife Susan. “You can see actual bunkers where they backed in tanks to train from bunkers.”

“We had a lot of out of state people come this last weekend for our ride. We had a fundraiser ride and we had on our campground we had 83 trailers. We had over 300 riders. We fixed lunch for them all. We have a chuck wagon that was out here. We just had a great time. It’s a big business. It really is,” says Craig.

Back Country Horsemen of America and trails
Back Country Horsemen of America and trails(WBRC)

Susan says the trails are perfect for many riders, “The tank trails were made by the tanks so they’re nice and wide for those who like to have two or three people riding side-by-side and then all of our trails go off of the main road but come back on so that’s where we go into the woods one after another and then you come out and you can all ride together. One of the biggest difficulties with trail riding is knowing where to go, and so all the trails have been marked well and they’ve been named and adopted by various members in the organization.”

According to Craig this may only be the beginning of the utilization of the former Fort McClellan property, “Across the street there’s 750 that would just be outstanding additions. With that we could put another 25 miles or more of additional trails and we would have the largest equine riding facility in the Southeast.”

Back Country Horsemen of America and trails
Back Country Horsemen of America and trails(WBRC)

“You really do get to see the beautiful landscape that God has given us. It’s a nice rewarding bond.”

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