Changes in the neighborhood


Good thing I learned to like dressage.

This used to be the start of a lovely trail ride. An exceptionally abridged version of the story behind the signs is roughly, the property had been sold, then essentially abandoned while in foreclosure and what had started as riding trails maintained for Fox hunting were being used to connect to other trails on the other side of the abandoned farm by many in the neighborhood. People started hiking, walking dogs, taking baby strollers out. Some dumping was happening, illegal hunting, and vandalism on the structures so when it was subdivided and a single owner bought all the lots, there was a lot of clean up to be done, but many people continued to trespass.

A neighbor told me there were these Licensed Shooting Preserve signs all over, and I had not seen them. I quit riding on that property when it sold last year.

I decided to go to see the signs she was talking about.


Ironically, the trail down to the start of the no trespassing signs was widened, driven on by some sort of ATV and cleared. Apparently it is ok to use the trail on someone else’s land to get to the trail on your land to close yours.

Currently, the state website does not list any Licensed Shooting Preserves in Loudoun County. I am reading the zoning for the county since I did not keep up with the changes once I resigned from the Rural Economic Development Council, and Loudoun County is a county that specifies allowed uses. As opposed to some counties that only call out prohibited activities and uses. If your planned use is not in the zoning, you have to apply for an exception. This makes for almost a thousand pages in the zoning ordinances and it is dry reading material.

Trails on which to ride horses are part of the appeal of the county, so when they are lost, some of the character goes with it, even if I’m not using the trails much right now, I am interested in a trail network for all my fellow riders who do primarily trail ride. Not to mention, I can see myself returning to primarily trail riding eventually.


About Mel

Random musings in a riding journal
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