Grand opening Saturday for Hodges’ equestrian parkPublished 2:03pm Tuesday, October 8, 2013
A little more than a year after officials broke ground at the Rock Bridge Canyon Equestrian Park in Hodges, the town will come together once again this Saturday to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the grand opening of the near completed park.
Tina Lawler, who serves as the activities director for RBCEP, said the ribbon cutting ceremony will be held Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. at the park, which is located at 331 Trail Head Road in Hodges.
Lawler said they will have several state and local officials who will speak and there will be a time of recognition for the charter members of the park’s saddle club followed by lunch from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The ceremony is being held in conjunction with the town’s annual Spirit of Hodges Festival, which begins Friday at 6 p.m. and will continue on Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the town park.
To tie in the two events, Lawler said the RBCEP has planned the “First Annual Spirit of Hodges Organized Trail Ride” starting at 1 p.m. Saturday. The cost for the ride is $15 per rider for non-campers and pre-registration for the ride is suggested.
Lawler said the full day of events will be capped off by a performance by favorite local artist Joseph Baldwin starting at 6 p.m. at the RBCEP pavilion.
“This is going to be a great day for the town of Hodges and for all of Franklin County,” Lawler said.
“This is a project we have been working diligently on for a long time now, and it is so rewarding to finally get to this point where we are holding an official grand opening.
“The road to get to this day has been challenging at times, but it is so worth it to see how far we’ve come and to see what a special place we now have to offer the citizens of Hodges, Franklin County and the rest of the area.”
The equestrian park is the result of more than seven years of planning, organizing, and hard work by town and state officials.
Lawler said three phases of construction on the park were laid out in 2012, and the ribbon cutting on Saturday will celebrate the completion of the first two phases, which were the most crucial in being able to open to the public.
Phase I of the project, which was completed in early 2013, covered 15 miles of the trail, the day-use pavilion, two bathrooms and the exit and access roads.
Phase II of the project, which was completed this month, included the completion of all 34 pull-through campsites, including four hook-up campsites; 52 stalls; two bathhouses that contain toilets, sinks and showers for overnight campers; an additional 12 miles of trails; and the equestrian center, which houses the RBCEP office, check-in center and campsite store.
Phase III, which Lawler said will begin in 2014, will include an arena for entertainment and the remainder of the estimated 55 total miles of equestrian, walking, hiking and biking trails.
“We are officially up and running and ready for overnight campers and riders,” Lawler said.
“We hope everyone will come out for this special event this Saturday and have a chance to see the park and all it has to offer. There are many uses for the park, and I think there is something here that just about everyone can enjoy.”
For more information about the park or the organized ride on Saturday, call 256-935-3499 or visit www.rockbridgecanyon.com.