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January 14. 2013 11:45PM

Coos County connects dots for state's ATV riders

With nearly 1,000 miles of ATV trails in the region, Coos County is already a rider's dream come true, but even dreamers need to come in from the trails once in a while for food and fuel.

The towns and city in the county have adopted ordinances to make that easier, and have worked with the region's ATV clubs and the New Hampshire Trails Bureau to map out municipal roads on which riders may legally travel to commercial areas.

In Coos County, many of those networks are now interconnecting, with a trail system that stretches from the southern Coos town of Gorham all the way to the top of the state, Pittsburg. It is hoped by this summer, they all will be connected.

"That's our goal," Chris Gamache, head of NH Trails Bureau, said Monday.

Colebrook is the latest municipality to approve ATV travel on a number of its roads, with selectmen voting to allow riding on Bear Rock Road, Bill Bromage Drive, Brandy Lee Lane, Colby Street, Cree Road, Cross Street, Depot Street, Lombard Street, Gould Street, Pleasant Street, Reed Road, Russell Road, East Colebrook Road and Merrill Street.

Gamache said that this will allow direct access from town to the new trails that will open for riding when the ground dries out this spring. These trails will connect to Coleman State Park, the Millsfield area, and Dixville Peak.

Gamache said the public hearing in December on the ordinance was heavily attended, with only one person speaking in opposition to the proposed change.

ATVs are allowed on all roads in Dummer, and limited roads in Stewartstown, Pittsburg and Stratford. ATV trail maps for the region will be updated this spring.

Coos Country, by a wide margin, has more miles of ATV trails than all other regions in the state combined.

For the 2012 riding season, the Great North Woods Riders ATV Club maintained 100 miles of Perry Stream Trails in Pittsburg; the Umbagog ATV Club maintained 42 miles on the Bayroot LLC lands in the Errol area; the Metallak ATV Club maintained 40 miles of trails on Bayroot and Balsams land in Errol and Colebrook; the Millsfield ATV Club had 100 miles of trails in Dummer, Millsfield and Errol; North Country ATV Club maintained 100 miles of trails in the North Stratford area.

The 20 miles of Success Trail and the trails in Jericho Mountain State Park are maintained by the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club and the NH Bureau of Trails.

The Berlin City Council approved ATV travel on some of the city's streets, with a three-mile city trail connecting the Jericho and Success trail systems.

For more information, go to nhstateparks.org.

syoungknox@newstote.com


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