STEWARTSTOWN, N.H. - All-terrain vehicle riders planning long-distance trips in northern New Hampshire no longer have to haul their machines between breaks in the trail thanks to a new 1,000-mile interconnected trail system.
Gov. Maggie Hassan and other state officials celebrated the opening of the new system Saturday with a ribbon cutting at Coleman State Park.
Dubbed "Ride the Wilds," the network of trails for all-terrain vehicles winds throughout Coos County. More than a dozen off-road vehicle clubs worked with state agencies and local communities for years on the $86,000 project. Supporters hope the network will attract riders from across the Northeast, giving the area's restaurants, motels, and other businesses a much-needed economic boost.
The new trail system comes several years after the opening of Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin, the state's newest and the only one in New England developed for ATVs and snowmobiles. Building on that success, the state Legislature this year passed a pair of bills aimed at attracting more off-road vehicle enthusiasts to the state: One would allow the construction of a separate obstacle course for modified trucks and jeeps at the park, and the other would allow larger, two-passenger motorized vehicles on state-owned trails.