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Connecting trails: First OHRVs, now bikes

Last week, the State of New Hampshire opened a new off-highway recreational vehicle trail from Lancaster to Colebrook. It is the latest in the state’s welcome effort to connect North Country trails for ATV and snowmobile riders. Now, trails in the rest of the state need attention.

New Hampshire has a fragmented patchwork of old rail trails that are slowly being converted into a network of walking and biking paths. If they ever get completed, they will be a tourist draw as well as a valuable recreational asset for residents. They would attract cyclists the way the OHRV trails attract ATV and snowmobile riders.

At the trail opening last week, Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Jeff Rose said we are “at the beginning of something that’s going to put Coos County and New Hampshire on the map.” That is true. Let’s put the rest of New Hamsphire on the map, too, and connect those rail trails. It does not have to take state tax money. It just takes leadership and fundraising and coordination. The trails have languished long enough. Let’s get them done.

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