Trail Projects Supported by METF

2015-16: Purchase of Vermeer Mini Skid Steer

METF received grants and funding from Back Country Horsemen of America, Daniel Boone Distance Riders, Indiana Horse Council, Greenways Foundation, Indiana Trail Riders Association and private donations totalling $15,870 for the purchase of a Vermeer Mini Skid Steer. This machine is of the right scale and has the maneuverability that make it ideal for equine trail work.  It greatly multiplies the productivity of volunteer trail workers and allows organizations to undertake projects that may have been beyond their scope previously.  As shown below, the Vermeer has been used for several trail projects over the years by the Indiana Trail Riders Association, the Hoosier Back Country Horsemen, and others.

2018-2022: Salamonie Electric Campsite Project

DNR operates only three properties north of Indianapolis that allow trail riding. Of the three, Salamonie has the most trail mileage, but it has no campsites with electricity. In 2018 the Friends of the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services and ITRA launched a fundraising and construction project to address that problem with cooperation of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The project was broken into three phases. Phase One was the installation of a transformer; that was completed in 2021. Phase Two, the installation of a switch gear, was completed summer 2022. Funds are currently being acquired for the third and final phase: purchasing and installing wiring and pedestals for each of 25 camp sites in Loop B.

METF has processed grants and personal donations from individuals for this project totalling $45,000.

2019: Trail Repairs at Salamonie Lake

METF issued a $3,500 grant to Friends of the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services to repair trails in Salamonie Lake State Recreational Area.

2020: Trenching Attachment

METF received a grant for $4,200 from Rising Sun Regional Foundation in 2020 to purchase a trenching attachment for its Vermeer Mini Skid Steer. The balance of this purchase was made through private donations.

The purpose of the trenching attachment is to install drainage ditches on trails to help drain wet areas efficiently.  The trenching attachment has been used on the  X, S, and A trails in Versailles State Park by volunteers from the Indiana Trail Riders Association. 

2020: Grader Attachment

METF received a grant for $1,613 from Greenways Foundation and private donations to purchase a six-way blade attachment for the Vermeer Mini Skid Steer in 2020. The purpose of this attachment is to attain the proper grade angle on trails to allow them to drain off water efficiently. Also, this attachment can quickly remove water-retaining berms that trails develop from heavy use and properly install turn-outs so water can be removed from them without eroding the trail. The grader attachment is being used on all trail projects employing the Mini Skid Steer.

2020: Trail Repair in Brown County

METF issued a $5,000 grant to Indiana Trail Riders Association to repair Trail A1 in Brown County State Park, which was severely eroded.

2020: Mini Crawler Carrier

METF received a grant from Greenways Foundation for $10,000 toward the purchase of the IHI Mini Crawler Carrier. The balance of purchase was made through donations from the Indiana Trail Riders Association.

The purpose of this equipment is to efficiently transport materials (typically rocks) to the worksites on trails.  As with the skid steer, the scale and maneuverability of this machine make it ideal for trailwork.  Its load capacity is three to four times greater than a standard Skid Steer bucket, meaning that the Skid Steer can continue working on a trail while the carrier goes for more materials. The carrier has also proven useful for hauling away cut logs that were blocking trails.

The carrier has been used in several trail projects in Indiana performed by the Indiana Trail Riders Association, Hoosier Back Country Horsemen, Salamonie Trail Riders, Old Capital Saddle Club, and Friends of the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services.

2021: Equipment Trailer

It's great to have the equipment to do trail work efficiently, but you've got to get the equipment to the worksite first! So in 2021 METF collected donations for its Trail Equipment Fund totalling $4,000 to purchase an equipment trailer that could transport the skid steer and the crawler carrier in one load, with room for attachments.  The trailer has contributed significantly to getting trail projects completed efficiently and at the least cost. It is used on any METF-supported project where equipment is needed.

2021 Safety Trail Markers in Brown County

Working with ITRA and Indiana DNR, METF received $1,200 in private donations to purchase and install, in newly designed trail markers at Brown County State Park. They were placed on the “A” side trails in April 2022. The trail markers will help riders navigate the trail better and give emergency personnel a more precise location of the trail rider in the event of an accident. 

Versailles Park mudhole

Mudhole eliminated by turnpike

2022: Versailles State Park Trail Enhancements

METF obtained grants to conduct an experimental trail enhancement in Versailles State Park. ITRA volunteers and others completed an experimental turnpike trail improvement project in summer 2022. This project was funded, in part, by a grant from Southeast Indiana REMC’s Operation Round-up Grant program that METF was able to obtain. METF received $2,500 for the turnpike and for planting trees in the overnight horse camp.

A turnpike is a slightly elevated trail that is lined with rocks and has a surface of packed gravel. Turnpikes permanently address low wet spots that get excessively muddy. Rainwater passes through the rock to the ground, leaving a solid surface for horses or people, and no mud! This experimental trail was built on a 100-foot section of severe mud slop on the X Trail that was dangerous for horses. METF's Vermeer skid steer and crawler carrier were instrumental to the completion of the project.

2023: Versailles State Park Trail Enhancements

The METF helped fund the installation of a Break Area off of Trail D and Trail Improvements to eliminate muddy sections for X, Y and Z Trails. The work was performed by volunteers from the Indiana Trail Riders Association and Local Citizens. The funds were raised primarily from private donors.

2023: Brown County State Park Trail Improvements

The METF funded the Excavation Services required to correct serious erosion problems for trails 6, 11, 17 and 18. The work was coordinated with the Indiana Trail Riders Association. This was funded through a donation received from the Brown County Community Foundation.