Bald Says State Will Develop Camping at Jericho Park

February 29, 2012
Barbara Tetreault
Berlin Daily Sun

BERLIN – The state will construct some cabins at the Jericho Mountain State Park to provide on-site camping at the ATV park. George Bald, commissioner of the state Department of Resources and Economic Development, said his agency is committed to getting some of the cabins open this season.

Bald made the announcement Friday night at the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce annual meeting. He noted the department received no response to its request for proposals to have a private developer build and operate a 200-site campground at the park under a 20-year lease with the state. Interested parties had until Feb. 16 to submit proposals.

In light of the lack of private proposals, Bald said he discussed the matter with the directors of parks and trails and came up with the decision to have the state provide some camping facilities. “What we're going to do is set up a series of camping cabins around the lake,” Bald said to the crowd of over 200 at the chamber meeting. He said the department is committed to having some of the cabins completed before the season is over.

Bureau of Trails head Chris Gamache Monday said additional details about the project are still being worked out. In an e-mail Monday, he said the department is still finishing the plan for where the cabins will be located and how many there will be.

Bald said the park is developing nicely and attracting attention from a number of states. He said riders have come from across the country as well as some foreign countries. Bald said adding camping to the park should increase the activity there.

The state purchased 7,200 acres in 2006 to develop into an ATV park. It is currently negotiating with Dillon Investments LLC to purchase an additional 1,500 acres. A master plan developed for the park back in 2007 calls for 136 miles of trails – about 70 miles have been constructed.

 

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