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Nor'easter

ATV topic

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Any ATV riders lurking in here ?

I will try to post some North Country ATV events and happenings in this topic,

feel free to add your clubs events or news as well

Two events I will be attending in the next couple of weeks

NH ATV Club Berlin Ride Day 1

WhenFriday, Jul 20, 2012

WhereBerlin Area Rides 2 diffrent rides to pick from

DescriptionRide 1 0900 hrs Jericho State Park ride into Berlin for lunch then to the Sucess trails after lunch. Start at Jericho Arctic Cat on Rt 110. Ride 2 0900 hrs Start at Great Northern Moose Lodge in Dummer on Rt 16. Ride on Millsfield and Umbagog trails with lunch at Log Haven between the trail systems

The Pittsburg Off-Road ATV Trials to take place July 21 at the Great North Woods Riders trailhead in Pittsburg. The club is looking to continue the momentum created last year by Brian Fisher’s Keepin’ it Real Tour taping an episode of the Brian Fisher’s ATV World program in Pittsburg recognizing the area as being a premier ATV destination. The off-road ATV trials will consistent of an obstacle course for participants to navigate, contestants will be competing for the best ‘cleanest’ time. Obstacles will vary from slalom, rocks, logs, mud to rock climb and more. Participants will be divided into classes depending on age and cc of ATV. Registration begins at 8 with trials starting after 10. Registration fee will apply to participate in obstacle course. Full rules and guidelines can be found on our website. Also follow the club’s facebook page for event updates.

more info is available at the clubs websites www.nhatv.com & www.greatnorthwoodsatv.org

Edited by Nor'easter

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Great idea! I'm sure there are lots of members on here that also ATV. Any news on the trails around Diamond Pond?

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ICG    5

Any news on the trails around Diamond Pond?

Last I had picked up the challenge was around Pittsburg and some of the access around a lake or so... BOT wasn't expecting that issue cleaned up well into next year, well past this years opening idea.

Diamond Pond are always seemed a closed minded community towards ATV's... Has the economy changed the community spirit ?

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Many different things are in the works for North Coutry ATV riders, some residents of the Diamond Pond area, as well as Pitsburg residents are opposed to ATV's on the public part of certain roads, the largest issue sems to be safety of both cars and riders.

A lot of progress is being made, and as long as there are no accidents in the near future we should see some new area's open to ATV traffic, that being said, we all need to do our part and respect law enforcement and peoples rights to disagree.

this is from a Diamond pond resident this week

The ATV concern here at Diamond Pond is similar to that up in Pittsburg.Not in my back yard!Concern that Diamond Pond road could become an active ATV thorough fare.The petition basically is a concern by many Diamond Pond residents that even though most every one owns an ATV and can be seen driving up and down the(private owned part)of the road,one does not want it to become an ATV high way.The petition only asks that ATV travel be on trails created for ATV,s and not on roads WITH automobiles.Indeed travel from Coleman State Park be over corridor 5 snowmobile trail from the park to the connection with the Heath road.This would mean wet areas be surfaced properly to allow ATV travel.The significant grant in ATV $$ be partially used to surface the exsisting trails to NOT mix ATV,s with auto traffic.ATV travel has the support from most at the pond.Only that it be kept in a controlled perspective.I signed the petition.

I appreciate the hard work and effort on the part of one Diamond Pond resident who is an active Pro-ponent of the new ATV efforts.I can compare these efforts to the huge amount of 20+ years of effort by a Diamond Pond family that made snowmobiling what it has become at Diamond Pond.With out them(and volunteers)snowmobiling would never be what it has become.With support the ATV efforts could make the ATV experience as much summer time fun as snowmobiling in winter.News is the SDR club will again get a new groomer this winter.The final thought -for now-is as long as ATV-ing stays with in a controlled perspective all look forward to its success

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Last I had picked up the challenge was around Pittsburg and some of the access around a lake or so... BOT wasn't expecting that issue cleaned up well into next year, well past this years opening idea.

Diamond Pond are always seemed a closed minded community towards ATV's... Has the economy changed the community spirit ?

this is the list of open roads in Pittburg from the clubs website

  • A. Scott Road ~ Trail System Access ~ Beach Road
    Access to all the resorts and rentals on Back Lake ~
    Trail System Access across from the beach on Beach Road.
    Go around the gate and follow the signs to Back Lake Road.
  • Back Lake Road ~ Permitted from Rte. 3 to Harris Pond Road
  • Harris Pond Road is closed
  • Spring Road is open
  • River Road is open
  • Danforth Road is open
  • Kingfield Road is open
  • Access to and from Lake Francis Campground ~ Spring Road is open and connects with Philbrook Drive and the rest of the trail system.
  • Fern Drive is open
  • Cardinal Drive is open but... ~... Do not cross Rte. 3
  • Philbrook Drive ~ From Hill Road to River Road by the Perry Stream covered bridge. ~ Do not ride on River Road.
  • Glenwood Drive is open
  • Hill Road ~ From the trail to Young's Store to the south end of Hill Road.
  • The Tarns (road) ~ Across Rte. 3 from the south end of Hill Road

    The Tarns provides access to:
    • Spruce Cone Cabins and Campground
    • The Buck Rub Pub and Cabins
    • Spooner Road
    • Hidden Acres Campground

  • Roger's Pond Road is open
  • Spooner Road is open
  • Day Road ~ The road is open for local ATV use from just north of Route 3 to the driveways just before the gate at the beginning of Perry Stream Road.
  • Cheesefactory Road is open
  • Town Farm Road is open
  • Dalton Road is open
  • Sugar Camp Acres Road is open
  • Main Street from Robie's Cabins to Back Lake Road (across from the Lake Francis Store)

As far as I know things have gone well as far as people riding on shared auto roads, but all it will take is one accident and the Pittsburg police who are opposed to it(for public safety reasons), will shut it down.

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Great idea! I'm sure there are lots of members on here that also ATV. Any news on the trails around Diamond Pond?

Yes,Ive got one,used very little.I might have to go for a ride soon. I woke up this am at 3 decided I am going to Jackman instead of the GNW to go snowmobiling.Got up and realized I must be dreaming as its JULY not January.Disappointed I went back to sleep.Maybe an atv ride will help .

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Went to Metallak ATV club work day last week. We worked on the trail from Sugar Hill to the Balsams. Some spectacular views. Sorry I did not bring the camera. If all goes well 45th Parallel Cabins should have direct trail access HOPEFULLY by sometime in August. Believe me when we have an exact date I will be announcing it everywhere I can. Here is a link to Metallak ATV website http://www.metallakatvclub.com/ They also have a Face book page https://www.facebook.com/metallakatvclub

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Here is another upcoming event, and some news

Jericho ATV festival

We're moving to Friday & Saturday this year: July 27 & 28, 2012

We'll kick off the event with the Poker Run on Friday at 9am (gates open at 8am both days). First place wins a 2,500 winch and a cash prizes, and second and third place win cash, as well! Mud pit grudge runs are from 2-5pm on Friday and an ATV obstacle course will run all day.

On Saturday, the crowd-pleasing mud races start at 10am.

Throughout the Festival, there'll be manufacturer displays and demo rides; aftermarket parts and riding gear sales, and food concessions.

For the first time, all Berlin city streets will be open to OHRV traffic for the two days of the Festival!

We are regularly posting updates and new information on the festival Facebook page as well - be sure to connect with us!

more info at jerichoatvfestival.com

on the same subject

June 28, 2012

Berlin Daily Sun

CONCORD – Exciting changes are in the future at New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation’s Jericho Mountain State Park. By late July, there will be a new campground with more amenities to follow for spring of 2013.

The campground is anticipated to be open by July 26; it will offer primitive camping this season with five cabins, six tent sites and nine RV sites, with only water available and porta potties. As OHRV is a popular activity at the park, with 75 miles of trails, sites will accommodate OHRVs as well. Reservations will start being taken by the second week of July.

Jericho Mountain State Park offers a day-use area with a beach for swimming, pavilion and boat launch. A tollbooth for the park is being added this week and daily park fees will be charged. The fee is $4 for adults and $2 for children 11 and under.

Over the fall and winter, more additions will be happening at Jericho Mountain State Park, including bathhouse development, site work and septic for the Visitor’s Center. These will be available for the 2013 season.

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Went to Metallak ATV club work day last week. We worked on the trail from Sugar Hill to the Balsams. Some spectacular views. Sorry I did not bring the camera. If all goes well 45th Parallel Cabins should have direct trail access HOPEFULLY by sometime in August. Believe me when we have an exact date I will be announcing it everywhere I can. Here is a link to Metallak ATV website http://www.metallakatvclub.com/ They also have a Face book page https://www.facebook...metallakatvclub

That is great news Denny,

keep us informed so we can get up there and ride with you and Korene

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more info from Metallak ATV club

GREAT NORTH WOODS — Metallak ATV Club trail administrator Harry Brown of Stewartstown, who played a key role in putting together the North Country OHRV Coalition, firmly believes that connecting the ATV trails through the various forests in northern Coös County will, in essence, create what he calls a new “factory,” designed to bring tourists north to spend their dollars on a long-distance trail to support a range of new jobs.

Brown said in a recent email exchange that recent activities could be considered comparable to digging this new factory’s basement. Outdoor enthusiasts will be able to travel from Jericho State Park in Berlin to Colebrook and Pittsburg, loop down to Stratford and across Nash Stream back to Berlin, he predicted.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests Forest Society, which acquired a conservation easement on much of The Balsams property, is “comfortable with what we are going to be doing” to open up a connecting trail, reported Brown after meeting with SPNHF’s vice president of land conservation Paul Doscher.

“We previously received written permission from The Balsams new owners: Dan Dagesse and Dan Hebert, both Colebrook natives.

“Another piece of good news is that Wagner Forest Management has given us permission and has approved the trail around the Nathan Pond area, near Coleman State Park,” Brown said. “AB Logging is scheduled to construct the trail on the west slope of the Dixville Peaks and to have it completed in the July 1 timeframe.

“We have in place all the permissions to do interconnecting trails from Kelsey Notch to Greenough Pond Road and from Coleman State Park to these previously mentioned trails.

“Now all we need is the dollars — in the $75,000 range — plus the time to construct them, place signs, fence off certain areas and so forth,” he said. “We are hopeful that these interconnecting trails will be done mid-summer.

“Please caution everyone that there is absolutely no off-road-vehicle use in any of these areas until such time as we complete everything and officially open the trails.

“In addition, pulling the railroad tracks between Canaan, Vt., and Colebrook should be completed shortly,”Brown said.

Senate Bill 250 was voted unanimously, 13 to 0, out of the House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee on Tuesday, May 1. “It will go to the full House this week we hope and then to Governor John Lynch for his signature,” he said. “We’re almost home with this part of the process!” SB 250, co-sponsored by six state senators, including Sens. John Gallus and Andy Sanborn, as well as Reps. Marc Tremblay and Robert Theberge, both of Berlin, amends an existing law to add specific exceptions to the evaluation criteria for the establishment of ATV and trail bike trails on state lands, and specifically OHRVs to operate on certain highways and trail crossings and connectors in Coös County.

Trails Bureau Chief Chris Gamache has been actively working to remove any and all obstacles to creating a long-distance ATV trail that will put northern Coös on the map, drawing ATVers from across the East Coast and Mid-West.

Although the 13-Mile Woods Forest did have an issue several weeks back that the Trails Bureau thought prohibited ATV use of the existing road, additional research and inquiries to state and federal officials revealed that the original easement does not prohibit on-road use of ATVs in the Errol forest, Gamache recently reported.

“Gamache has been tireless in his efforts,” Brown said. Although scores of volunteers have worked on developing trail connectivity, likely their efforts would have been dispersed without Gamache’s coordination.

Other trail access issues were hammered out at an April 30 joint meeting of DRED Commissioner George Bald and NHDES Commissioner Tom Burack, Gamache, and the Pittsburg selectmen, Brown reported in an email exchange.

On Friday, State Park Planning and Development specialist Johanna Lyons sent out word that the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters plan amendment is now available for review and comment on the Division of Parks webpage: http://nhstateparks.org/explore/state-parks/connecticut-lakes-headwaters-working-forest.aspx.

Public outreach sessions for the plan amendment will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday May 14 at DRED offices at 172 Pembroke Road in Concord and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday May 15, at the Pittsburg Fire Station on Route 3 in Pittsburg. The plan is due in July.

The outreach sessions will be an “open house” format with staff from the Division of Parks and Recreation on hand to answer questions. Comments on the amendment will be accepted until May 31 and can be sent to jlyons@dred.state.nh.us This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

A Connecticut Lakes Headwaters Citizens Committee is tentatively scheduled at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 16, at the Pittsburg Fire Station on Route 3. Those interested should check that date a week ahead of time.

Twice recently, Brown has lobbied Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in person about the importance of preserving the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which has provided assistance to states to develop and maintain recreational trails for both non-motorized use, such as hiking, and motorized recreational trail vehicles. Shaheen has supported the North Country OHRV Coalition’s position but Senator Kelly Ayotte has not, believing that the program would help increase the nation’s debt burden.

club website www.metallakatvclub.com

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update on this event

MOUNT WASHINGTON WEEKEND - HUGE SUCCESS!!

NHATV Club would like to thank everyone who attended and supported this 3-day event. We would like to especially thank all the VOLUNTEERS who helped make the weekend a HUGE SUCCESS!

PLEASE NOTE: NHATV Club has met with the Mt. Washington Auto Road management team regarding our event and we have secured an ALL ATV DAY on the Auto Road for 2013. This ALL ATV DAY will be held on JUNE 9, 2013, and we will have an unlimited amount of tickets available. Mark your calendars now to join us for our new ATV Weekend beginning next year - stay tuned to our website for details.

Edited by Nor'easter

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more info, in case you did not know

Attention Vermont Riders

Please read the following Article.

May 15, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. – All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) enthusiasts in New Hampshire and Vermont will soon be able to enjoy limited ATV reciprocity between the two states.

During 2012 and 2013, from May 23 through December 1, ATVs that are properly registered in Vermont may be operated in New Hampshire on state ATV trails without being required to obtain a New Hampshire Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle (OHRV) registration.

Likewise, properly registered New Hampshire ATVs may operate in Vermont on approved ATV trails during the May 23 to December 1 time period without the requirement to purchase a state of Vermont registration, however a Vermont All Terrain Vehicle Sportsmen Association (VASA) trail pass is required on VASA trails, as well as proof of having completed an approved ATV safety class for operators under 18 years of age.

This rule includes a two-year sunset provision and will end on December 1, 2013.

Vermont ATV enthusiasts riding in New Hampshire must follow all applicable laws and rules governing operation, include youth operation requirements, spark arrestors, exhaust requirements, etc. Any operator 12 years of age and over must show proof of an approved safety education class or possess a valid motor vehicle driver's license.

An ATV is defined as any motor-driven vehicle which has one or more low-pressure tires (less than 10 pounds per square inch), weighing less than 1,000 pounds and not exceeding 50 inches in width. Therefore, operation of side-by-side utility vehicles (UTVs) and trail bikes is not included in this new rule. These vehicles must be properly registered in New Hampshire to ride here, and may only ride in approved areas.

For New Hampshire OHRV rules and information visit www.ride.nh.gov or

www.nhtrails.org.

In Vermont:

www.vtvasa.org.

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This is really great news for the north country. I've never ridden an ATV but have to say this has peaked my interest. Does anyone up in Pittsburg rent ATVs?

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This is really great news for the north country. I've never ridden an ATV but have to say this has peaked my interest. Does anyone up in Pittsburg rent ATVs?

Not in Pittsburg that I know of, but LL Cotes in Errol might, Jericho Motorsports does also,

there is a list of OHRV rental agents on NH Fish & Game website

I find ATV riding very similar to snowmobiling, you get to see lots of great views of the North Country in green or in fall colors instead of white, most trails are wide open cruisers and there is plenty of challenging tight woods trails and rocky area's if you are feeling brave,

the biggest difference is granite dust instead of snow dust !!!

Edited by Nor'easter

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I heard the issue in Diamond Pond area is they dont want ATVs on the road. There is no issue w/ ATVing in general.

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Jericho Lake Park Opening with New Amenities

July 11, 2012

by Debra Thornblad

The Berlin Reporter

BERLIN - Jericho Lake Park will be officially opening in a couple of weeks. Several new features have been added, including a new tollbooth and primitive camping with cabins, tents and RV sites. By the 2013 season a bathhouse and flushing toilets will also be available.

The park has established new fees, $4 for adults and $2 for children 11 and under. Berlin residents and all state residents over 65 will continue to get in free, but an ID or some proof of residency will be needed. The state will begin charging within a couple of weeks. "That's been the only question we've received since the press release went out," state officials said.

Chris Gamache, from the N.H. Bureau of Trails, Andrew Zboray, Assistant Regional Park Supervisor and Sandy Young, Regional Park Supervisor, were on hand last week to show a visitor around and explain the new features.

A new tollbooth, at the exact location of the old one, had been put in place the previous week and the five cabins were due within a couple of days. The park will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during peak times in the season. There will be a gate closing it at other times. The park is the only use around the lake. The state owns all of the land around the lake. No gas-powered boats are allowed on the lake.

The campsites are in the area where the city allowed camping in the past. Each of the five cabins will have a porch and will be situated facing the lake and mountains. Each cabin will have two sets of bunk beds and a futon. The cabins will sleep four comfortably, but the futon can be put down to sleep two and the state is allowing six per cabin.

Campers must bring their own linens. There will be a fire ring and picnic table. It is expected the campsites will be ready by the end of July. This season only port-a-potties are available, but this fall they will be working on a septic system and by next season there will be flush toilets in the visitors center.

The beach area has a pavilion that is available for exclusive use by reservation. The visitor's center will have a small store and vending machines. They are working on a Jericho Lake T-shirt that will be for sale. The visitors’ center was built by the Berlin High School building trades program and with a woodstove is designed to be used year round. The local ATV club holds meetings there and White Mountain Community College held a class there.

"We're hoping that the development of this small campground helps all businesses and other campgrounds in this area by bringing more visitors here," Gamache said. The park was established as a result of a flood control dam project done by the Army Corps of Engineers.

It was put in as a flood control measure to stop the Dead River from flooding downtown Berlin. In the 1970's and 80's the city was in charge of the park, but it was not actively managed, and became a party site and problem for police.

In 2006 the state bought the surrounding 7,200 acres to be developed for ATVs and snowmobile trails. The city and state entered into negotiations and the result was the state took over the park with the provision that Berlin residents continue to get free access to the beach and boat launch.

Edited by Nor'easter

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Original article can be viewed at the July 25, 12 electronic edition of The News & Sentinel @ colbsent.com

Back Lake Rd. Opened to ATVs

By Jake Mardin

At their meeting last Monday, the Pittsburg board of selectmen voted to allow ATV traffic on Back Lake Road from Moose Pond Road to the transfer station, and on Woodcock Drive.

The state had already approved ATV riding on the portion from the transfer station to Route 3. Selectman Steve Ellis said the Great North Woods Riders ATV Club and the state coordinated with signage on Sunday, and the road has been officially opened.

He said the town did some trimming on the side of the road and the board determined it was best to keep ATVs on the pavement rather than the shoulder. "ATVs could create ridges, and in a storm it could damage the road," Mr. Ellis said.

ATVs travel on the pavement of the state portion of the road, and the board wanted the town portion to remain consistent. He also said that there are some areas of the shoulder with culverts that the board thought would not be appropriate for ATVs to travel on.

Mr. Ellis said he has seen some riders using the road, and they were traveling the speed limit (10 miles per hour).

(Issue of July 25, 2012)

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Went riding in Millsfield & Pittsburg this past weekend, great time with great people

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More good news :drinks:

Tillotson Fund awards from the Union Leader

Other awards include $20,000 to the Metalluk ATV Club of Colebrook to develop new ATV trails to connect Dixville and Colebrook to the North Country trail system

$18,500 to the White Mountain Ridge Runners of Berlin for emergency response equipment for remote rescues of hikers, snowmobilers and ATV riders.

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how large of a atv can you have up north, We have thought of going up and my buddie has a Bobcat UTV (polarise 2 seater) I think it is 53 or 55 inches wide.

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I believe the limit is 50" wide and under 1000 pounds, for ATV trails.

The Polaris Ranger RZR is the only trail legal side by side

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Jericho ATV Festival Draws Close to 2,000

July 30, 2012

by Barbara Tetrault

The Berlin Reporter

BERLIN – The two day Jericho ATV Festival attracted close to 2,000 riders who enjoyed the mud pit races, displays, demo rides, food concessions, and 80 miles of trails at Jericho Mountain State Park.

Local merchants and hospitality people said they enjoyed the sound of cash registers ringing over the weekend as the riders ate at local restaurants, rented hotel and lodging rooms, and purchased gas and supplies.

“The ATV Festival was a huge success,” said Mayor Paul Grenier. Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Paula Kinney yesterday said beds were in demand over the weekend with many hotels and motels in the middle of the peak summer lodging season.

Restaurants and eateries reported a heavy turnout from riders. The city opened up all city streets to ATV traffic for the festival and Saturday night, a line of ATVs were parked on Main Street in Berlin.

Randy Cicchetto, owner of Jericho Motorsports, said he sold nine ATVs and a lot of inventory over the festival. “It was unbelievable,” he said.

“This is a great economic boost for the area,” said Berlin Main Street Program head Sylvia Poulin. Poulin worked at the festival Saturday and estimated that more than half of those attending came from outside the region. Kinney and Cicchetto agreed, noting many riders traveled here from southern New England and Maine.

“Everyone I talked to had a wonderful time. There were very few complaints,” said Cicchetto, who is a member of the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club which organized the event. The city was a major sponsor with a $4,200 donation and the chamber also helped organize the event.

Kinney said riders were pleased with the trail system and beauty of the 7,500-acre park and she said many indicated a desire to come back. The state opened the new 20-site campground under development at Jericho on a temporary basis just for the weekend. N.H. Bureau of Trails Director Chris Gamache said the bureau received tremendous compliments on it. He said his bureau is working on its campground permit with the state Department of Environmental Services and hopes to open it soon on a full-time seasonal basis.

“Next year should see even more improvements at the park, as a whole, and the Jericho ATV Festival,” Gamache promised. He said the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club, the city, and the various partners should be commended for running another fabulous event with volunteers.

The festival opened Friday with a poker run, mud pit grudge runs, and an ATC obstacle course. Cicchetto said the club made over $10,000 on the poker run. He said the money will be used to cover the club’s costs to organize the festival. Any money left over will be go to develop the ATV trail system in the area.

The mud pit races took place Saturday with over $1,000 awarded in cash prizes. Winners were: stock class, Craig Dion, Hope Bowen, and Kevin Barlow; improved class, Travis York and Wayne Bullock; modified, Travis York, Jeff Beauregard, and Derek Berube, and UTV, Ron Dagesse.

Throughout the day, concession stands offered wood-fired pizza, pulled-pork sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers, and Hawaiian shaved ice. Poulin and Cicchetto said planning will get underway soon for next year’s festival. Both said better signage was identified as a need but said overall the festival went off smoothly this year.

“I think it was a great thing for the communities of Berlin and Gorham,” said Poulin.

Edited by Nor'easter

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Just got my NHATV Club August newsletter,

managed to get a blurb in there from our obstacle course in Pittsburg

Hello NHATV,

I rode with Andy and around 20 members Friday July 20th, out of The Great

Northern Moose Lodge in Dummer, we had a great ride and put on 76 miles

under sunny skies and dry dusty trails, we had lunch at Log Haven, very nice

people & good food with very reasonable prices.

Saturday I was in Pittsburg for the Great North Woods Riders obstacle

course event, we had a good turnout for a first event and hope to build on

this idea in the future.

Edited by Nor'easter

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more news from the Jericho ATV festival from WMRR and the Berlin Daily Sun

Group Reviews ATV Festival

August 10, 2012

By Barbara Tetreault

Berlin Daily Sun

BERLIN – Organizers and law enforcement officials yesterday conducted a critical review of the recent Jericho ATV Festival as planning gets underway for the 2013 festival. There was unanimous agreement that the festival, which ran Friday and Saturday, July 27 and 28, was a major success.

But the group, chaired by City Councilor Roland Theberge, also identified a number of problems that must be addressed to make the event safer. Those issues include the need for better signage, more volunteers, and reducing complaints about juvenile riders on city streets.

Figures show that about 500 people participated in events on Friday and about 1,200 attended on Saturday. Officials estimated several hundred riders used the local trails but did not attend the actual festival. As hoped, riders took advantage of the city’s decision to allow ATVs on city streets to drive to area restaurants and businesses.

“It turned out to be a very good event,” said Eric Anderson, trail master for the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club, which oversaw the festival. Anderson said there were few issues at the festival itself. He said the club’s biggest problem was getting enough volunteers.

N.H. Trails Bureau Chief Chris Gamache said the state Department of Resources and Economic Development is talking about taking a more active role next year. He said both the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce and the city are also committed to playing bigger roles. At Monday’s city council meeting, Mayor Paul Grenier said he will personally work with organizers to help the event grow.

Fish and Game Lt. Doug Gralenski said there was major confusion on Route 110 over where ATVs could travel on the road. The city had ruled ATV could ride on all city streets for the weekend. But the city’s authority ends at the urban compact line on Route 110 near White Mountain Distributors. Many riders assumed they could ride on Route 110 all the way to the park.

“There was a great deal of confusion over where to go,” Gralenski said. Eventually, Fish and Game assigned two officers on Route 110 to direct ATVs to the connector trail. In the future, Gralenski said volunteers should be in place to direct riders. He suggested other regional ATV and OHRV groups need to help with volunteers.

Theberge suggested in the future the city could name the specific streets that will be open to ATVs. Berlin Police Chief Peter Morency said the vast majority of ATV riders who came to the festival were here to ride and enjoy the park.

He said the problem for his department was the large number of riders, mostly juveniles, who traveled on city streets with disregard for the rules. He said police received approximately 50 complaints about ATVs during the weekend. He said the complaints included speeding, riding on sidewalks and private property, failing to use directional signals, and operating without helmets.

“Our issues came from juveniles,” said Morency. In many cases, the chief said parents were using the ATVs as “mechanical babysitters” and not regulating use by their teenagers. Morency said he recommended the city not allow juveniles without a driver’s license to operate ATVs on city streets. His recommendation spurred some discussion with Gamache reporting state statute allows juveniles 14 years and older, who pass a safety course, to operate ATVs on trail systems.

The group finally agreed to seek legislation that will allow municipalities to require a valid driver’s license to operate an ATV on town or city streets. Juveniles could ride only with a parent or guardian who has a valid driver’s license.

The group also agreed on the need for signage to mark connector trails and provide safety information. While the meeting focused on identifying problems, Gralenski noted the sport has a lot of potential for growth. He said it is important to put the organization in place to safely expand the festival. “There’s no problem that can’t be overcome,” he said.

Edited by Nor'easter

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