Local equestrians pose for photo before making their way along the Polly Ann Trail during last year's ride. This year's event kicks off at Dryden's General Squier Park at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
October 10, 2018DRYDEN — Whether you walk, run, bicycle or ride the Polly Ann Trail on horse back, the experience can be both exhilarating and uniquely peaceful.
So said local equestrian Barb Yockey, who along with husband, Frank Demske, and others, is helping promote the 6th Annual "Autumn on the Polly Ann Trail Ride" on Saturday, Oct. 13.
Registration is $15 and check-in time is 9 a.m. at General Squier Memorial Park.
The park represents the starting point from where riders have the option of traveling in any direction they wish.
Yockey said she anticipates a turnout of 75-100 riders on Saturday—presuming Mother Nature cooperates.
"With this event, a lot depends on the weather," she said. "Two years ago we had an absolutely beautiful autumn day for riding and we had a great turnout.
"Last year, though, the weather was not as good and we only had about 36 riders. So the weather is always a factor," Yockey said.
She pointed out that some riders do not like to expose their expensive riding tack and saddles to the elements.
Regardless of the prevailing weather on Saturday, Yockey said participants will enjoy a great riding experience, with ample opportunity to mingle with like-minded individuals.
"The Polly Ann is a phenomenal trail for horse riding," she noted. "You ride through wooded areas, farmland and a lot of natural bird habitat.
"The trail is colorful, scenic and very quiet and peaceful," said Yockey. "And riders are not pressured into going in any particular direction. The route they take is entirely up to them."
Yockey said early arrivals are welcome to help themselves to hot coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts, compliments of Tim Horton's.
Riders who choose to reconnoiter for lunch around noon at the park pavilion will be treated to hot dogs, soft drinks and some of "the most incredible chili ever," Yockey said.
"The chili is prepared and served up by longtime Friends of the Polly Ann members Tina Papineau and Bonnie Rumley," Yockey said. "They do this every year and it's a highlight of the event."
Yockey said that all money raised from the $15 registration fees and donations goes toward continued maintenance and upgrades of the trail.
She added that there is plenty of room for horse owners to park their rigs and restrooms are available nearby.
General Squier Memorial Park is located at 4725 S. Mill Rd. in Dryden.
For further information about the Polly Ann Trail Ride, visit the website at www.pollyannlapeer.org.
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.