Horses being kept off the Cypher Systems Greenway for now



By Ron Giofu


While horses are allowed on the Chrysler Canada Greenway, the same can’t be said for the Cypher Systems Greenway.

The latter stretches from Essex to Amherstburg and the Essex Region Conservation Authority’s board of directors decided at their most recent board meeting that equestrian use would still be prohibited. Kevin Money, director of conservation services with ERCA, noted that there are no adequate parking facilities along the Cypher Systems Greenway to accommodate horse trailers so the idea was shelved for the time being.

“We don’t want to cause safety problems by them parking on the road and create hazards that way,” said Money.

The Chrysler Canada Greenway does have those type of parking facilities, so horses are allowed on that trail. Money acknowledged “we do have a lot of equestrian users in the county.”

ERCA is not allowing horses on the Cypher Systems Greenway at the present time.

ERCA conducted a survey over the summer to gauge feedback on allowing horses on the Cypher Systems Greenway. Over 850 people responded, he said, with 42 per cent identifying as cyclists, 30 per cent as walkers, eight per cent as runners and 16 per cent as equestrians. Results showed that 43 per cent of respondents indicated some concern with sharing the greenway with horses while 35 per cent had no concern. About 22 per cent did not respond.

In a written report to the ERCA board, Money stated there were concerns over manure and signage requiring riders to remove it, concerns from cyclists over damaging the trail surface and corresponding concerns from equestrians about cyclists staying off the trail when it is wet.

Money said that work is being done with the Essex Region Conservation Foundation, ERCA’s fundraising arm, to try and raise funds for additional amenities like parking lots.

“It’s very expensive to build parking lots of that size,” said Money.

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