The Androscoggin Valley ATV Club (AVATV) received notification today that they were one of 8 clubs nationwide that received funding from Yamaha's GRANT program. The letters stand for "Guaranteeing Responsible Access to our Nations Trails". The money will be used to create a new connector trail between the trails in the Jericho Mountain Tract and the Head Pond Tract within Jericho Mountain State Park.
Currently there is only one trail between these two tracts and this new trail will create a second route. Indentifying this alternate route was no easy task because the Head Pond Tract is separated from the Jericho Mountain Tract by Rt. 110, the Dead River and an active railroad.
Fortunately the NH Bureau of Trails researched this alternate route and secured easements across 3 parcels of privately owned land when the park was purchased in 2005. However it has been difficult to come up with the funding to develop this trail. It is 4-miles long and has one large river crossing requiring a multi-purpose bridge that can handle truck traffic as well as ATV and snowmobile traffic.
With the grant from Yamaha plus matching funds from the State of New Hampshire and the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club, there is now enough money available to develop the trail. Construction is expected to start before the end of August and completion is scheduled for late October. The trail will be permanently named "Yamaha Connector Trail".
Topo map showing route of new Yamaha Connector Trail between the trails on the Jericho Mountain Tract and the Head Pond Tract.
"This was a cooperative effort between the ATV club, the snowmobile club and the Bureau of Trails" said Larry Gomes, Assistant Trail Master for the White Mt. Ridge Runners and one of the grant writers. "We had input from many people and there are a lot of thanks to go around" Gomes said.
"The final application was 33 pages long. One of the requirements was detailed trail maps and mileages of the entire ATV trail system in our area. Fortunately we had help from Rick Ryan of Backwoods GPS Trails in Errol. He provided us with up-to-date maps for the entire Ride-the-Wilds system and a spreadsheet with trail names and lengths" said Gomes.
Other contributors were AVATV members Dick Huot (President), Steve Clorite (Vice President) and Dave Osgood (Treasurer) and NH Bureau of Trails District 1 Supervisor Clinton Savage. The group also received advice from Ted Burns of the North Country ATV Club who were past recipients of a Yamaha GRANT.
"Since the southern part of this trail was currently being used as a snowmobile trail, we wanted it to become multi-use so it could be upgraded for use in low-snow conditions." said Gomes. "Eventually we would like to use the northern part of the trail that connects to Head Pond as an alternate route going north to relieve some of the snowmobile traffic on Corridor 19. It also connects the Jericho Gateway Family Campground into the trail system. So this is really a win-win for both clubs and another win for an up-and-coming local business" commented Gomes.
The award letter from Yamaha is shown below: