Welcome to the FETA Website

Do you have a great photo taken on FETA Trails?  Send it to 
webmaster and it might be chosen to replace the photo above.  The current photo was emailed in by Johnny Rogers who rides Chloe, his 23 year old Arabian mare.

The Foothills Equestrian Trails Association is dedicated to preserving the historic equestrian trail system in and around Hunting Country in Polk County.

This year marks 25 Years of preserving the legacy trails of Polk County!

Don't forget to call the new Trail Status number before each and every ride:  828 859 0133


What a difference a few weeks make! Here we are in the midst of a pandemic. Social distancing is the new normal. Your FETA board conducted business via email in March. Now we are monitoring legislation to keep our riding members in compliance while still providing access to the trails. 

As you know, the situation with the Coronavirus is evolving daily. The NC governor has just issued a “Stay at Home” executive order for the state effective Monday, March 30. Outdoor activities are allowed, but participants must comply with the social distancing and mass gathering requirements. Individuals must maintain at least six feet between them and no more than 10 people may be in a single space. 

In response to this order, we ask that FETA members adhere to the following:

  • The rules currently specify no more than six riders in a group. While under the executive order, GROUPS WILL BE LIMITED TO FOUR RIDERS.
  • Riders are currently allowed to host guests on the trails. While under the executive order, NO OUT OF AREA GUESTS ARE ALLOWED ON THE TRAILS. We need to be sensitive to our Landowners and limit trail access to local riders. (Grandfathered out of area members may continue to ride.)
  • Social distancing is required on the trail. KEEP SIX FEET BETWEEN RIDERS.
  • Social distancing is required in the parking lots. KEEP SIX FEET BETWEEN PEOPLE while unloading, tacking up and re-loading.
  • We do not want the parking lots to be mistaken for a “mass gathering” area: 
  • Park well away from other vehicles and trailers. Twelve feet between rigs is suggested.
  • Do not congregate in the parking areas before or after a ride.
  • Do not share a ride in a tow vehicle with a non-family member. If you trailer with another person, drive a separate vehicle to the meeting point to maintain social distance. 
  • Ride well within your ability. Now is not the time to take out horses new to the trails, that have behavior issues, etc. We do not want you hurt and putting unnecessary strain on our emergency workers. 
  • Please do not ride if you are feeling ill in any way. 

We want to keep the trails open during this period of restricted activity. But we need to demonstrate social responsibility so that we CAN keep riding. Help us by adhering to the social distancing rules and suggestions we have outlined. 

New: When riding at FENCE remember that jumpls, arenas and the steeplechase track are for  use by reservation with FENCE managemant only.

New: For those that use Artist’s Way trail that begins at Peniel Rd near Little Mountain Rd: The property you ride through is crossed with trails, but only one route is the FETA trail. The rest of the trails are the Landowners’ private walking trails. We walked the property with the Landowner and added signs to the point of tackiness to help riders stay on the designated trail. Please follow the signs. The most common mistake seems to be riders turning along the fence at the Rancho Neurotico sign. That is a farm sign, NOT a FETA trail sign. There is no trail along the fence. Ride further straight from Peniel to hit the FETA trail. We don’t think you can miss the yellow signs. Thank you! Happy Landowners make for happy riding.

The FETA trail on the Town of Tryon Water Treatment Plant follows the Pacolet River.  It connects Cotton Patch to the Mills-Scriven Plantation buffer. Because it goes along the banks of the river, it is soft ground and susceptible to erosion.  This portion of trail that has fallen off into the river has been re-routed to go around the edge of treatment plant field. This is a warning to riders that the gun range for the police department is also in the field.  The gun range is further upstream of Vaughn Creek. Riders must keep to the edge of the field that parallels the river. Do not ride along Vaughn Creek at the water treatment plant.

New:  The Hunting Country Road end of Lennox trail is permanently closed due to erosion and sight distance issues. Hunting
Country trail off Pony Track across from 
Lennox is also closed.  
As an alternate, take Turkey Trot to Little Orchard to cross Hunting Country Road and access Pony Track.

Winter Damage
Thanks to the amazing effort of volunteers, including landowners, working with guidance from Mike Rigney and Anne Swift, the main trails are mostly clear and are open as weather permits.  Please be aware that some of the side trails may still be blocked.  As always, we ask that riders turn back when trails are obstructed; trail blockages should be reported to Trailmaster.  
Volunteers may continue to help--contact Mike Rigney by text at 262-385-6662. Include in your note what basic tools you have (loppers, pruners, chainsaw, etc.) and whether you have an ATV or UTV available. For liability and insurance reasons, chainsaw volunteers must have extensive experience.

This year's rain has meant higher than usual trail maintenance expenses. We have had some very generous donations that have helped enormously.   We are so lucky to be living in an area with such a generous and cooperative community of riders and landowners.  Donations continue to be welcome and may be sent to FETA at PO Box 1453, Columbus, NC 28722.      The photo shows just one blocked trail.

We would like to encourage FETA members to put their cell phone numbers on saddle tags.  Recently a horse was caught after being separated from it's rider and we realized how much easier it is to check on the rider and to reunite horse and rider if the rider's cell number is secured to the horse.

Report any trail problems promptly so that we can schedule the work to be done. Turn around time depends on something getting reported, scheduled, and prioritized. Even if you think someone else must have reported it go ahead and report,  multiple reports are always better than no reports.  Give the trail name if known, if you are not sure describe the location.  Indicate if the trail is blocked or if you can ride through. (Remember, you can't leave a trail to go around something, it violates your membership rules.)  Describe the problem.  Is it a tree (how big around), washout, overhanging limbs, etc.?  Give the date and approximate time you found the obstruction, so we can determine if we cleared it before your report came in. Report problems by emailing the Trailmaster  (click on the word Trailmaster which will open your email, otherwise, a right click will allow you to copy the email addresses).

If you or anyone you know is offering a residence for rent in the area please keep in mind that FETA trails are not public and they are for members only.  A renter would need to be in residence for a full 30 days, pay the full year's membership, and sign all membership documents in order to use the trails.  We would hate for anyone to be misled and think that renting in the area entitles them to FETA trail use.

We no longer have a FAX line for sending in Guest Releases.  Please put Guest Releases in the mailboxes at FENCE and Peniel Road or email them  to membership chair  (you can take a picture with your smartphone and email).

For a list of parking areas please see the FAQ page; click on the document link at the bottom of the page.

If you have trouble with email links on this site you can right click and copy the email address and then paste it into your email.
logo design by  Phyllis Eifert