The club built the new 4x4 trail at Jericho Park and will maintain it. While the trail only climbs a few hundred feet in elevation overall, Pouliot said there are a lot of hills and obstacles.
"It's definitely not flat," he said. describing it as "rugged" with boulders and stumps the vehicles must traverse. On the scale of difficulty, he said the trail is rated moderate with spurs that are more difficult for those who want a tougher challenge.
Pouliot said the trail has been a long time coming. He first spoke about developing a trail for 4x4 vehicles about ten years ago when the state was developing its master plan for Jericho Park. He said state Bureau of Trails officials were supportive of the concept and a 4x4 trail was included in the master plan for the park. But there were a number of steps that had to be taken before it could happen.
One requirement of the state was a club that would build and maintain the trail, which lead to the creation of North Wood Off-Road Club. Since the legislation creating Jericho Mountain State Park specified it was for Off Highway Recreational Vehicles, a bill had to be passed to allow a 4x4 trail at the park. In 2013, the legislature approved a bill that allowed 4x4 trails at the park for a three-year trial period.
Working with the Bureau of Trails and N.H. Department of Environmental Services, the trail was mapped. Pouliot said last summer four to ten members of the club worked on the trail just about every weekend. Most of the work involved cutting trees and brush. He said a few rocks were moved but no major earth moving was required.
At the end of this season, Pouliot said the state will evaluate the trail and decide whether to make it a permanent part of the park or shut it down. He said the club hopes to show the trail is used and there is enough demand to expand the 4x4 trail system at the park.
Pouliot said the entire trail will take about three to six hours to complete but there are short cuts allowing drivers to quit along the way. It starts from the parking lot at the park and there is a $20 fee per vehicle.