Equestrian Lifestyle Improvements

Equestrian Improvements

Horse Farm Specialist

A major contributor to the character (and likely to the economy) within the City of Milton is the unique
pride and interest in equestrian activities. Horses are kept on many of the properties in Milton. The
properties range in size from small lots of just a few acres to very large scale professional equestrian
operations housing 30 or more horses.

The majority of these properties are concentrated in the
northwest part of the City, and likewise, any transportation improvements that can be made to
accommodate and encourage equestrian activities should be focused in this area. In meeting with
members of the equestrian community in Milton, some key recommendations and considerations were developed that would further move the City towards being a horse-friendly destination.

Currently, many riders from nearby cities come to Milton to ride horses, and providing additional equestrian amenities would likely increase property values and allow the City to capture additional tax revenue.

Continue development of gravel trails as part of the Milton Trail Plan.

Members of the equestrian community would like to see further development of the Milton Trail Plan,
specifically in the northwest portion of Milton near Birmingham Crossroads. Some residents identified
the gravel trail section in front of Birmingham Elementary School as being a trail section that works for horses.

Some considerations in trail design are:

– Soft gravel and river sand are good surface materials for horses, but asphalt, concrete, and
packed gravel are not.
– There should be an adequate buffer between the trail and the roadway (with the trail in front of
Birmingham Elementary being an example of the minimum buffer required).
– A fence between the road and the trail is ideal for safety.
– Trails should not be shared with cyclists, as bicycles tend to spook horses. This is also in
keeping with requests from many cyclists in Milton. As found in a separate meeting with Milton
cyclists, most cyclists prefer to use a paved shoulder or dedicated bike lane in the roadway, and
not shared use trails.
– Gravel trails intended for equestrian use should ideally be over 10 feet wide in order to also
safely accommodate pedestrians.
– Revise the Milton Trail Plan to include these considerations and also to connect a section of
gravel trail along Birmingham Road just east of Birmingham Crossroads.
– Provide adequate signage and striping at crossing locations.
Install an equestrian trail facility along utility line easements in northwest Milton.

There are several large utility easements that run through the northwest part of Milton that would be
ideal locations for riding horses. As noted by the members in the community, these corridors would be attractive to riders because of their separation from roadways and their close proximity to nearby
horse farms and Birmingham Park. These utility easements are provided for gas lines maintained by Atlanta

Gas Light (AGL) as well as high voltage power lines. The city should facilitate discussions between
AGL and other utility providers and adjacent land owners to determine the feasibility of creating these trail corridors. Having an equestrian-focused trail system along these utility lines would be a great asset to the City and would draw many additional riders from nearby areas.

Utility easement considered as potential equestrian trail.

Develop equestrian facilities at Birmingham Park.
Birmingham Park is in a great location to accommodate equestrian activities. Some residents expressed interest in providing amenities at Birmingham Park such as horse tie-ups, a water point, hay racks, a log jump, and parking for trailers. Developing these facilities at the park would increase usage of the nearby trail system and would also draw riders from surrounding areas.

Create an official forum for Milton equestrian enthusiasts to exchange information.
Due to the significant focus on equestrian activities and culture, it is recommended that a space on
Milton’s website be dedicated to information on horses within Milton. The primary function of this
page could be educational. The page could provide information on City laws, rules regarding trail use,information on stores and destinations, and also a message board for equestrian advocates in the City. 

Look to example cities for additional ideas and policies.
Many residents noted that Milton could benefit from looking to other equestrian-focused cities for
additional ideas and policies. Other cities that were noted were:
– Aiken, SC
– Wellington, FL
– Germantown, TN
– Middleburg, VA

Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. Milton Comprehensive Transportation Plan