Jericho Park Celebration to Kick off Season for Ride-the-Wilds Network

By Barbara Tetreault
The Berlin Daily Sun
May 18, 2015

Berlin - There will be a grand celebration at Jericho Mountain State Park on Saturday, May 23rd to mark the reopening of the Ride the Wilds network of 1,000 miles of interconnected OHRV trails.

After being closed for mud season, the trail system will reopen in certain parts of the North Country.  To celebrate, Ride the Wilds will raffle a 2015 Polaris Sportsman 570 4x4 valued at $6,559 from HK Powersports to raise critical funds for Ride the Wilds.

The grand opening celebration will run from 11am to 2pm at the Jericho Warming Hut with the drawing to take place at 1:00pm.  Raffle tickets will be available for purchase right up until the drawing.  Raffle tickets cost $15 and all proceeds will support Ride the Wilds.

The Androscoggin Valley OHRV Club and the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce will be providing food and beverages with donations accepted.

In Gorham, the fire department and Gorham EMS are hosting a breakfast at the fire station from 7:30am to 10:30am Tickets are $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for children.  The Presidential OHRV Club is sponsoring a Poker Run from 9:00am to 3:00pm with five stops in Jericho Mountain State Park.

The Poker Run goes from 9:00am to 3:00pm with five stops in Jericho Mountain State Park.  Registration for the Poker Run is at the fire station.from 9:00am to 11:00am.  The price is $10.00 per hand with $5 for an extra playing card.  The Poker Run finishes at the Gorham Common Gazebo where there will be entertainment and prizes will be awarded.  Proceeds from the breakfast and the Poker Run will benefit the Gorham Fire Department and EMS and will also be used to support the maintenance of the Gorham OHRV trail.

As the premier destination for OHRV riders and those wishing to learn to ride in the eastern United States, the trail network is one of the largest OHRV trail systems in the country, spanning all of Coos County.  "What separates the Ride the Wilds trail network from other OHRV destinations in the country is not just the sheer size of the trail network, but the fact that the network provides easy and convenient access for riders looking to hit the trails, and also stops at restaurants, local shops, gas stations and other locations on main roads" said Harry Brown, president of the North Country OHRV Coalition, the organization tha facilitates the Ride the Wilds initiative.  "The interconnected access, the endless riding opportunities and the breathtaking beauty of northern New Hampshire truly makes Ride the Wilds one-of-a-kind.

Brown noted that Ride the Wilds is a volunteer network that generates its own funds through local fund raising, various foundations and the NH Trails Bureau Grant-in-Aid program to support the trail system at no cost to users.  "Expenses mount quickly on a trail network of this magnitude, including signage, maintenance equipment, fuel, material for bridges and much more", he said.

Last August, Gov. Maggie Hassan helped officially open the final segment of Phase 1 of the network.  With the entire first phase complete, OHRV riders can now travel from Lancaster to Pittsburg without trailering.  Ride the Wilds leaders anticipate opening Phase 2 - Corridor D - of the network early this summer.  Phase II will connect the communities of Northumberland (Groveton), Stark and Milan via an East/West connection in the southern area of the system.

All 15 towns within the Ride the Wilds trail system allow OHRV's on town roads along with some state highways.  Riders should look for "OHRV permitted" signs on open sections of highway.  All OHRV trail openings are dependent on conditions.  Visit http://www.nhstateparks.org/experience/atving/trail-information.aspx for a complete list of trail openings.

For more information and to purchase OHRV raffle tickets in advance of the grand opening celebration, visit www.nhgrand.com/ride-the-wilds/raffle2015.aspx

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