A rich history of riders in Greenwich, CT

Our History

At the turn of the 20th century, a group of Greenwich land owners and riders began to work together with developers and the Town of Greenwich to maintain and preserve some of the original trails in the area, trails that had been created by the local Native Americans and then by the early settlers, while also building some new trails. In 1914, seven landowners formed the Greenwich Trails Association and in 1953, it became the Greenwich Riding and Trails Association, a chartered nonprofit.

The goal of the GRTA was to instill in riders, landowners and the community, respect for the long tradition of horses and trails in Greenwich. This historic trail system holds together the mosaic of green space throughout Greenwich. These trails are interwoven across private properties, town roads, open spaces and public parks. This organization has been responsible for the upkeep and preservation of these trails in times past and will continue doing so for future generations.

View Historic Photos

History Timeline

2021 Officers

Ms. Anita Keefe
President & CEO

Mrs. Spyros Skouras, Jr
Chairman of the Board

Mrs. Jennifer Freedman
Chairman, Nichols Preserve

Mr. Frank R. Parker III
Exec. Vice President, Operations

Mrs. Elise Kelsey Merrow
Exec. Vice President, Trails

Mrs. Sean Murphy
Exec. Vice President, Secretary

Mrs. Lisa Bailey Cassidy
Vice President

Mrs. Christina Schauder
Vice President

Mr. Donald Rotzien

Mrs. Alison Nordholm

Present Day

The GRTA continues to preserve, protect and promote open space, historic trails and the tradition of horseback riding for our community and future generations. We organize several annual events as fundraisers to support this mission. Our Nichols Nature Preserve is a 94-acre property with meadows, forests, ponds and swamps.

At Nichols, volunteer conservationists have ongoing projects that help some endangered insect pollinators and a variety of bird populations. This diverse and beautiful property is open to all nature enthusiasts for walking, horseback riding, fishing, jogging, bird watching, cross-country skiing and peaceful picnicking by a pond. For the History of Nichols Nature Preserve go to Preservation

We employ a full-time land manager who maintains the Nichols Nature Preserve and helps keep the trails clear in many other preserves in town, such as properties belonging to the Audubon, Greenwich Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, the Gimbel Sanctuary, the Boys Scouts, and the Boys & Girls Club, as well as town parks such as The Byram River Gorge, Babcock Preserve and The Mianus River Park. All these open spaces are free for all nature and riding enthusiasts to enjoy.

The GRTA is supported by its membership and the contributions of friends who recognize the importance of open space. The GRTA is an independent, self-supporting, 501(3)(c) organization that neither seeks nor obtains community funds.

The GRTA coordinates with the Town of Greenwich, including the Planning and Zoning commission, the Inland Wetlands Commission, and the Conservation Commission. We also work with various citizen groups and organizations which share the objective of maintaining and improving our surroundings.