BERLIN — Several ATV trails at Jericho Mountain State Park damaged by heavy rainfall last week are expected to reopen soon thanks to the efforts of volunteers and the state.
Created in 2005, Jericho Mountain was built by the state of New Hampshire for motorized sports enthusiasts, offering ATV riders some 90 miles of trails.
Maintained by the Presidential OHRV Club, the trails are popular as a riding destination in their own right and are also important as a connector from Gorham to the regional Ride The Wilds network, which boasts over 1,000 miles of interconnected trails within Coos County.
On Tuesday, several ATV riders who were parked at the Jericho Mountain visitors lodge said because of the erosion caused by stormwater, the trails were OK but not in great condition.
Marcel Belanger, who has worked at Jericho Mountain since it opened, said the damage, while significant on some trails, was not catastrophic. He said Smitty’s Trail had been closed, but there were detour options for riders.
It rained all day on July 14, Belanger said. The water “washed out all the brooks, culvert pipes and a couple of bridges that couldn’t keep up” with the volume of the deluge, he said.
Severe weather has damaged ATV trails at Jericho Mountain before, said Belanger, “but not as bad as this.”
Preston Baillargeon, trailmaster of the Presidential OHRV Club, said that in speaking with representatives of the NH Bureau of Trails on Tuesday he was informed that the goal is to have both the Brook Road and Moose Road approaches into Jericho Mountain open for this weekend.
Those roads are vital, Baillargeon explained, because their being open will save riders from having to travel for several miles on paved highway.
“A few of the smaller trails in the woods will still be closed for a week or two, but the majority of the trails to the warming hut will probably be open,” he said.