Colebrook News and Sentinel
June 4, 2013
New Hampshire governor Maggie Hassan has
accepted an invitation to the grand opening of Ride the Wilds, over 1,000 miles
of interconnecting ATV trails, to be held at Coleman State Park in Stewartstown
on Saturday, June 15.
The event is co-hosted by the North Country OHRV Coalition, the N.H. Bureau of Trails and the North Country Chamber of Commerce. OHRV Coalition president Harry Brown will offer opening remarks at noon, followed by a few words from various state officials before the ribbon-cutting.
Guided ATV tours will be offered all day starting at 10 a.m. to all N.H.-registered ATVs, and vendors will also be on hand to exhibit products and services. "Ride the Wilds is more than a trail system," Mr. Brown said. "It is an economic engine which will drive business to local shops, restaurants and properties."
The coalition consists of 16 OHRV clubs and two Chambers of Commerce. The group received $15,000 from the Coös Economic Development Corporation to develop and execute a marketing plan. New Hampshire Grand will also aid in the marketing effort, and is working with the coalition to develop a Web site, signs and maps, and possibly mobile applications for smart phone users
Several trails opened up on May 23, and a list of open trails can be viewed at www.metallakatvclub.com.
The club is still working on a solution to connect Colebrook to Pittsburg via Beecher Falls. Last week, the club learned that a 200- to 300-foot portion of Ethan Allen property in Beecher Falls was no longer open, effectively blocking the way from the railroad tracks to Middle Street.
The original route followed the rail bed from Colebrook to Stewartstown and into Beecher Falls, which would allow access to Halls Stream Road. Mr. Brown said that the club is continuing to work on the issue.
The OHRV groups did receive some good news on Tuesday at two separate public hearings, held in Stewartstown and Colebrook.
The evening's first meeting, held in Stewartstown, concerned the use of South Hill Road from the junction of Noyes Road to the Colebrook town line. Fewer than ten people attended the meeting, after which the selectboard voted to approve the proposal.
Bear Rock Road resident and Metallak ATV Club member Robert Petrofsky said that last Saturday a group of ATVs went by his home, and three of them were going over 30 miles per hour. He suggested more signs stating the 10-m.p.h. speed limit, and observed that it may be a good idea to have signs similar to those on Canaan snowmobile trails advising riders to keep their machines on the road. Mr. Brown said the club plans to put up more signs; one meeting participant suggested residents take note of speeders' plate numbers and report them.
Colebrook's public meeting came later in the evening and concerned portions of South Hill and Hughes roads. The proposal under consideration was for ATVs to come from Stewartstown and travel on South Hill Road before turning onto the upper portion of the town forest before continuing to Hughes Road. The Colebrook board of selectmen had approved ATV travel on the upper portion of the forest at their last meeting.
Club member Arthur Beauchemin said the trail will make Colebrook a hub and will allow for access to Diamond Pond in Stewartstown and Millsfield's ATV system. Club president Craig Washburn said they will have the trail open on Saturday.
Selectman Jules Kennett said that if the town ran into any issues with the roads, the board has the authority to "pull the reins back," and said riders need to be reminded to stay within the rules. On a show of hands by about 15 people, all supported the use of ATVs on the roads. The board passed Mr. Kennett's motion 2-0; selectman Bob Holt had a prior commitment and was out of the area.