The multi-use trails will welcome horseback riders, bicyclists and hikers.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Back Country Horsemen of Missouri (BCHMO), and the Summersville Saddle Club announce the opening of nearly 12 miles of multi-use trails located on the Gist Ranch Conservation Area.

Gist Ranch is located in Texas County just northwest of Summersville off Highway 17.

Gist Ranch CA is approximately five miles west of Summersville and 14 miles east of Houston. The area is heavily forested with abundant populations of deer, turkey, and other forest wildlife.

Travis Mills, resource forester with MDC, and his work team spent time the past year enhancing an existing trail network as multi-use trails.

“We are happy to provide this recreational opportunity to a wide group of the public including horseback riders, bicyclists, and hikers,” Mills said.

MDC welcomes volunteer help to maintain the trails on an ongoing basis. A partnership has been developed between the Summersville Saddle Club and MDC for ongoing maintenance of the trails.

Ronnie Harper, president of the Saddle Club, said the club is looking forward to a lasting relationship with MDC and that they will appreciate the opportunity to have trails close to home.

“I’m pleased to see these multi-use trails developed, and to have played a part with getting these organizations together to create a long-term partnership,” said John Turner, a representative of BCHMO.