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Roots Revealed Blog

A Long-Lasting Tradition

Posted: 6/5/2013
Posted By: Foster Brown

A Long-Lasting Tradition – Bridle Trails Around the "Emerald Necklace"

Trail riding has been an enduring tradition in Cleveland. In the 1929 Cleveland Metropolitan Park System Annual Report, there were 37 miles of bridle paths. Rocky River, Big Creek, Hinckley, South Chagrin, North Chagrin, Brecksville and Bedford all offered bridle paths for people to enjoy nature on horseback.

In the early to mid ‘30s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Workers Progress Administration (WPA) maintained and added more bridle paths to the Park District, allowing more riders to experience this ever expanding green ribbon around Greater Cleveland.

Chagrin Valley Horse Association - 1948

By the late 1940s and early ‘50s, the Park District coordinated three-day rides around the "Emerald Necklace," covering 70 miles from Rocky River Reservation to North Chagrin Reservation. Park Police (Rangers) and even our first executive director, William Stinchcomb, assisted in these monumental adventures through the Park District.  Local stables from Rocky River, Bedford, Bainbridge, Chagrin Valley and North Chagrin and other communities supported these rides.

William Stinchcomb helping a young rider - 1951

Three-day trip around the "Emerald Necklace" - early '50s

Even today, End-to-End events still take place periodically from Rocky River to South Chagrin. The Ohio Horseman's Council and its members from northeast Ohio coordinates these and other events.

In fact, Cleveland Metroparks was featured on a nationally known cable show, Best of America on Horseback. In September 2012, they rode from Rocky River Reservation to South Chagrin Reservation over three consecutive weekends. The remarkable beauty, natural diversity and well-maintained bridle trails within our Park District impressed riders from all over the nation and world. Cleveland Metroparks proudly provides over 89 miles of bridle paths that impress the most avid horseback rider.

The local industry that supports horseback riding is astonishing. Tack shops, feed and grain stores, stables and countless horse owners in Cuyahoga County are still thriving in the midst of suburban Northeast Ohio. The Ohio Horseman’s Council has 1250 members in the northeast area of Ohio with 200 members in Cuyahoga County alone. On average, each member owns three horses.

Cleveland Metroparks commitment to provide memorable experiences for its visitors is a long-lasting tradition. Generations of horseback riders from Northeast Ohio can attest to their commitment of conservation, education and

Horseback riders in Bedford Reservation - 2012

For more information about horseback riding in Cleveland Metroparks, contact our affiliates and clubs:

Brecksville Stables 440-526-6767

Chagrin Valley Trails and Riding Club

Rocky River Stables 216-267-2525


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