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Trail ride makes our county a better place

Sometimes people in rural areas just write off the fact that they will ever be able to have anything good in their small town communities.

They think their size keeps them from being great – from really achieving something worthwhile.

But I’m proud to say we have a small town here in Franklin County that isn’t letting their size stand in the way of greatness.

The town of Hodges hasn’t let their size get the best of them.

Last weekend, the town held the inaugural trial ride at the Rock Bridge Canyon Trail and Campground – a project that has been in the making for several years now.

Hodges Police Chief Mike Franklin told me about the event, and I told him I’d come down to take pictures of some of the riders as they came out of the trail and headed to eat lunch at Overton Farm.

I was honestly expecting maybe 30 people to show up for this event, which just goes to show how little I know.

When I got there, person after person on horseback emerged from the 15 miles of completed trail until I finally asked how many people had showed up for the ride.

When Mike told me there were a little over 200 horses on the trail that morning, I felt my eyes get wide as saucers.

And when he added that an additional 250 people from out-of-town saddle clubs were going to come but canceled because of the heat, I’m pretty sure my mouth actually gaped open.

What the town of Hodges has done is create a viable tourist attraction that will not only benefit their town, but it will benefit Franklin County as a whole.

Being born and raised in Franklin County, what they’re doing in Hodges makes we swell up just a little bit, not because I’ve had anything to do with this project, but because fellow Franklin Countians are taking the initiative to make this county greater than what many have written it off to be.

I just want to publicly thank the town, Mayor Ed Crouch, Chief Mike Franklin and all the other officials who have been a part of this project.

I know you still have a long way to go until the trail and campground are actually finished, but the work you have done so far and your commitment to making Franklin County a better place should be commended.