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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So,
What is everyone's experience with crime in parks where you trail ride? Have you ever felt unsafe? Have you heard stories? Do you have stories?
:D

I just wondered how safe it is or isn't out there, out of pure curiosity. So many people warn me to look out for creeps when I trail ride, but I wonder if society is too concerned because bad stories are publicized or because it's actually true.

Your insight?
 

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In the National and State parks around here I haven't really heard of any but truthfully, you can run into a crazy at anytime anywhere...
 

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The only thing I worry about on the trail are snakes and people.."getting it on". We have quite a few people who like to use the trails for personal/business adventures, and I don't really want to see that..lol. That's also neither a state or national park, just a local/county one.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Haha Iseul, that's funny - and I can see that totally happening!

FarmPony84,
Isn't that the truth. Even in small town Iowa, there are more creeps than I ever thought possible...never on a trail ride have I been asked out by 40 year old men (being 20), gross, nasty men, or extremely awkward men. But at the grocery store while I'm working? Oh yeah!
 

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Haha Iseul, that's funny - and I can see that totally happening!

FarmPony84,
Isn't that the truth. Even in small town Iowa, there are more creeps than I ever thought possible...never on a trail ride have I been asked out by 40 year old men (being 20), gross, nasty men, or extremely awkward men. But at the grocery store while I'm working? Oh yeah!
sometimes I think the crazies are even more in the small towns.... Maybe because there are so many places for them to hide... and sneak...
 
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I've personally never been accosted on the trail but I'm nicely over 6 foot riding a 16.2hh horse so you can say that's not a big surprise...I also don't know anyone that's personally been attacked but have ridden across a few weirdos that have made them nervous. I've also only heard of a few attacks in the news so to be honest I believe it's darn rare.
 

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No I don't. No clue what the statistics are but living here in the PNW we have a ton of dedicated hikers, bikers, horse back riders and even off road unicycle riders. Basically we do a lot of outdoor activities out here and I don't know of anyone having been attacked in any of them. Biggest worry here is will your vehicle get broken into at the trail head as that does happen a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can imagine vehicle break ins being a problem. That happens everywhere. I just sort of wondered because a thicket of forest or land far away from civilization would be a great place to accost people, have a drug ring, or hide a body. I know these areas are undermanned, so I was just curious to see if any of that turned out to be true.

Maybe I've been watching too many reruns of Criminal Minds lol.

FarmPony84,
I would have never guessed that there were more freaks in smaller towns until I started working in the community. It's like these people just come out of the walls in hoards. I thought my hometown was a nice, nice community, and don't get me wrong, it's pretty safe, but I'm hands-on with two of the local sex offenders when they buy groceries, I smell weed on many different people, I've had drunks, I've had many dirty old men hit on me, people that I'm pretty sure were high on hard drugs, thieves, and even a stalker.

I figured if all that happened in a small town where it's easy to hide in plain sight, imagine what is going on out in the wilderness!

I would guess it would be easier to subdue a person on foot than a horseback rider. Horses are notoriously unpredictable and can run faster than a human being. However, if you fit the bill of what a killer/predator/thief/criminal was looking for, I'm sure they'd forgo a random hiker just to get a chance to get you. :-/ Creepy...
 

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In my area we have slight problems with mountain lions, about two attacks a year (atleast from the ones i hear about). A worse problem we have is actually respect on the trails. I do a very high extent of bomb proofing, therefore not having much of a problem, but I am always seeing quads and dirtbikes on trails where it is clearly marked they are not aloud and it spooks a lot of horses, we also have a lot of mountain bikers that will just zoom past horses without warning and spook them, or the very so often person (motor vehicle, mountain bike or hiker) throwing things at the horse, or slapping them to get them to spook. Hearing about the stories when i was 10 or so, I have always taught my horses to tolerate such behavior, but some horses dont (or riders just dont think to teach it).
 

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This kind of sterotypes people. But I've found that folks with the energy to get off the beaten path and enjoy Mother Nature as a whole be very enjoyable people to be around. Not the typical drug addicts trying to feed a habit. Which seems to be more on the lazy side than having the energy to hike 10 miles into the back country.

But like Darrin, I probably don't get many women excited enough to want to attack me. And most banditos realize I don't carry my wallet when I ride, So about all they can steal is my lunch if they attack me on the trail. A single young attractive female probably offers more reward and probably faces a smaller risk than attacking a large cowboy who often has a pistol on his hip.

I worry more about locking up the rig when I leave and finding it broken into when I return than about anything happening along the trail. That has never happened to me or anybody in my group, but you hear stories.

I have surprised a few couples rolling in the weeds along trails closer to home and the occasional girls trying to get a no lines tan on weekday rides when they thought trails would not be in use. But alas, the topless beauties were content to giggle and let me ride by vs attacking me.
 

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Knock on wood, but I've never felt threatened while trail riding. I ride both alone, with friends, on actual marked trails and just trail blazing out on the forest. Never had a problem with anyone.

What I worry about most is getting shot during hunting season. I dress my horses and myself in hunter orange during elk season. But as far as crimes go, I feel very safe.

Even fishing, we had someone steal gas from the gas tank of our truck one time when were were out fishing at night. We had just filled the truck up and when we started it up it was near empty! But we never had anything broken into or otherwise damaged. We've been very lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yikes, gas siphoning...crazy to think people would actually do that. Then again, I'm not surprised.

Lol, Painted Horse, I think men really have it a lot easier than women. Men are physically stronger, and when men are into...uh...bad ideas, they usually go for the women.

I read that out in Glacier National Park these newlyweds were on their honeymoon. The husband went up to a cliff and looked over and the wife pushed him off. Great start to that marriage!
 

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I think a lot depends on where it is you ride, as Painted Horse said. Having to hike 10 miles mostly uphill tends to weed out the crazies. :lol:

I am very lucky now that I can ride right off the property (well, if we didn't have so much fricking snow and ice I could anyway), and therefore the only people I generally come across are the landowners themselves or a neighbor.

When I used to do my training exclusively in local parks, I generally worried more about out-of-control bikers and people with unleashed, aggressive dogs than I did about someone attacking me personally in the bigger, more popular park. The smaller park had much tougher terrain, so other than a rare climber hiking to the climbing area, I rarely saw people on trail. I did have some amusing encounters with horizontal couples fairly close to the parking lot, but never felt I was going to be asked to join in. :wink:
 

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I live in the exact middle of a highly recreational national forest. I feel safer out here than I did in "town".

There hasen't been a single violent crime or theft that I can recall in the 10 years I've lived out here. A few deaths from ATV and hiking accidents, several people getting lost where all the locals helped with the search parties, and a few drunk drownings in the river.

I agree, people up to no good generally stick to easy targets. Hiking 10 miles (that was funny!) uphill both ways to accost a woman, especially a potentially armed one, on a 1,200 lb animal doesn't register to me as easy, lol!

The worst problems happen down on the river. Drunk idiots who want off the river for some reason or another would come up to the old house asking for a ride... Once we had a druggie group try and "borrow" our car at 6am. DH met them in the yard in his skivvies with a rifle!
I also catch ATV riders crapping in my driveway often, that really chaps my hide! I don't poop in your road!

It's rough country out here so I don't go far alone, never without a dog AND a gun (mostly to protect myself from bears and if my horse had an accident). But honestly the people that come out here are very polite, friendly, and just wanting to enjoy the reason I live out here, these breathtaking hills.
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Granted, I don't have nearly the trail riding experience that most of the people posting on this thread do (though I certainly hope to change that! <3) but I have never felt in any sort of danger--at least not from another person.

I feel like someone does need to worry less when riding a horse, simply because it's a much more daunting target than if you're just out jogging by yourself.
 

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Even fishing, we had someone steal gas from the gas tank of our truck one time when were were out fishing at night. We had just filled the truck up and when we started it up it was near empty! But we never had anything broken into or otherwise damaged. We've been very lucky.

Something off topic that I have wondered about. My little car with its 10 gallon tank, you have to push a button from inside the car to access the gas. My big truck with its 20 gallon tank, just the door opens. Why?
 

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Pretty much the same here. We ride in a National Forest, not parks, but it's fairly unusual to even see another human.

For the 'bad guys', it's pretty much like any otther predator. When the lioness wants a meal, does she go rampaging through to bush hoping to stumble on prey? Or does she lurk quietly by the water hole, waiting for the prey to come to her?
 

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I really thinks it depends on your area. Yes crazy people are everywhere but I think it's just a wrong place wrong time scenario. When we come across aggressive dogs or bikers we usually just throw a rock at them or a clump of dirt. Dogs just go away when it makes contact and the bikers realize that we mean business. I've had one bad experience in my area and I kinda have to laugh at it now (maybe because I'm crazy lol).

Let me just preface this by saying I'm about 5'8 200 lb woman who when pressed can wrestle with a horse and pretty much win. I'm also a pretty mean person to people with ill intentions. I was riding alone (which happens once in a great while) on a pretty main road on my mare who is meaner than a snake to strange adults who approach her and her rider (makes her a great kids horse lol). The guy came up real calm and told me to hand over my wallet or he was going to shoot me. I busted up laughing and told him: "I'm riding a horse in a broken saddle, a baling twine bridle and you think I have more than .50 cents to my name?! I'm a horse person dude, all my money goes into buying feed every month to feed my nag, but hey you want .50 cents you can have it." He seemed to think on it for a moment and then walked away when my mare pinned her ears, squealed at him and snapped at him. That was the only altercation I've ever had. Mainly our problem is running into drunks who are letting their horses take them home which is more funny or annoying than it is dangerous. One got a little grabby with my friend and she turned around and hit him upside the head with the business end of a horsewhip. Problem solved. Oh, and I got to keep my .50 cents! ;-)
 

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My wife and I ride in a National Forest here in Missouri that is both remote and rugged and the locals are pretty "rugged" too. We have never had an incident and we have been riding there for 30 years. I always have a handgun and my wife usually does just in case. After reading about rude hikers and bikers on earlier posts certainly make me appreciate the ones that we have here. The mountain bikers especially are very courteous although the back packers can be a little "stand offish" at times. I think some of them resent anyone using the trails besides themselves. Those big old square back packs that break up the human form will ****** my horses more than anything, so I usually say a greeting hoping to hear a reply so my horse will know that it is human. Often, all I will get in return is a glare! I have to admit though that I would be a little nervous about my wife riding alone even if she was packing.
I too worry about my rig being broken in to when we return.
An interesting thread
 
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