The first serious splashes of colors were hitting the trees as the vehicle drove up to meet the group waiting for them at one of the many access locations where the new Ride The Wilds ATV trail system intersects.
Erin Fehlau and her photographer of WMUR-TV’s “New Hampshire Chronicle” had come north to experience firsthand what all the buzz is about in what appears to be the newest tourist draw to the North Country, the 1,000-miles of interconnecting all-terrain trails that form the ambitious Ride The Wilds network.
Waiting to greet them was Harry Brown, president of the North Country OHRV Coalition, and Chris Gamache, head of the state Bureau of Trails, as well as two people from the business community who are being impacted positively by the new trails.
Last June Gov. Maggie Hassan and a host of dignitaries were on hand for the dedication of the Ride The Wilds trail system. Shortly afterwards it was reported that the new signs marking the trail had become so popular that people began taking them. The OHRV Coalition saw a profit center waiting to be tapped into and announced that they would be henceforth making up authentic signs which could be purchased.
That’s what caught Erin Fehlau’s attention. “We did a story one morning that the Ride The Wilds signs were so popular that people were actually stealing them that they had to sell them because so many people thought they were cool,” she told the Colebrook Chronicle.
Having learned more about the new trail network, Erin decided it would make a topical segment for the program she co-hosts with Sean Mcdonald, Channel 9’s “New Hampshire Chronicle.” I had gotten in touch with Harry and thought that it would be great to come up here and experience it myself,” she went on to say. “I’ve never been on a ATV in the forest here in New Hampshire so I thought this would be a fun day.”
“New Hampshire Chronicle,” WMUR’s public affairs and variety program, focuses on the Granite State each weeknight, from 7 to 7:30 p.m. After years of contributing as a reporter to the program, Erin recently rose to co-host status.
“We like anything adventurous on ‘New Hampshire Chronicle,’” she said, “and we like to take people along with us. Any time we get a chance to be out and about in New Hampshire and experience a new way to see the state, we get excited and interested.”
Shortly before heading out on the trails in a caravan of two all-terrain vehicles, Erin interviewed Ron Dagesse of Mt. Madison Inn and Suites of Gorham. He told WMUR, “We’ve been in business now going on 14 years and we’ve seen a steady incline in business. The biggest impact we’ve seen has been in the past two-three months with Ride The Wilds.”
He said that because of the boom in recreational ATV use, he’s been able to extend his season into the fall as he sees a new influx of OHRV and ATV enthusiasts coming to the region from all over New England.
Erin also interviewed Britni White of Bear Rock Adventures, who explained how the new business she works for has been tailored to serve the influx of people seeking rental vehicles to take to the trails.
The only thing missing, Erin told us, was the sun. “We really didn’t luck out today with the weather,” she said, as she looked at the surrounding hillsides socked in with clouds as a slight drizzle fell.
Asked her when the segment filmed Monday is likely to air, she said, “We typically are shooting two weeks prior—I think you’re probably going to see it in October.”
Considering the likely air date a few weeks from now, Monday’s fall-like weather mix may in fact prove a more befitting backdrop for what viewers would find awaiting them once they hit the trails on most October days.
Erin Fehlau, host of
WMUR’s “N.H. Chronicle,” is interviewed by
the Colebrook Chronicle for the Video News during her visit to the
region on Monday morning to film a report on the new ATV trail
system. Thomas Jordan Photo
Left photo: Erin Fehlau
of “New Hampshire Chronicle” interviews Ron Dagesse, a Gorham business owner who
says Ride The Wilds
has resulted in an increase in his business, Mt. Madison Inn and Suites. Right photo: Britni White of Bear Rock Adventures,
who was also interviewed by WMUR, helps Fehlau board an all-terrain vehicle before hitting the trails. Charles Jordan photos.
Ready to head out, the
“New Hampshire Chronicle” crew and Chris Gamache aboard, with Britni White and
Harry Brown at the wheel.
Charles Jordan photo.