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Polaris donation helps boost local ATV trail system

by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter

Alliance members, left to right, Kris Dickson and Mark Dickson (Umbagog ATV Club), Steve Baillargeon and Corrine Rober (Bear Rock Adventures), Jodi Gilbert (Executive Director, North Country Chamber of Commerce), Craig Washburn (Metallak ATV Club), Dianne Mattot and Darrin Joque, (Great Northwoods Riders ATV Club), and Andrew Martin (Umbagog ATV Club). (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
November 20, 2018
REGION — The Ride the Wilds alliance, formed in recent years has played an instrumental role in boosting ATV tourism in the North Country by way of creating and improving the local trail system. Recently the group received a hefty donation in the amount of $100,000 from Polaris to install up to 1,000 signs.

The idea behind the signs is to make certain that proper trail etiquette is followed throughout the system to include respecting the local communities.

Collaboration between the following groups, Bear Rock Adventures, North Country Chamber of Commerce, Umbagog ATV Club, Great North Woods ATV Club, Metallak ATV Club and the Millsfield ATV Club have all contributed to the project.

Ride the Wilds is the largest interconnected ATV trail system in the Northeast to include roughly 1,000 miles. The trail system is cared for by 11 non-profit groups and is funded through various ways to include grants, registration fees and fundraisers.

The trail system boasts a variety of terrain from 'wide sweeps of undeveloped land that encompass the mountains, bogs, pastures and panoramas of northern New Hampshire to graveled roads, woods trails and plenty of nice and messy muddy areas, as described on the group's Web site.

Towns with trailheads leading into the system are Milan, Berlin, Gorham, Errol, Dixfield, Millsfield, Pittsburg, Colebrook, Stratford, Stewartstown, Lancaster and Groveton.

Those interested in riding the system would be happy to know that each town involved permits the use of ATV's on certain roads to make food, gas and lodging more accessible. As shown on the system's website there are over 120 miles of trails in the 8,000-acre Perry Stream Land and Timber Company holdings maintained by the Great North Woods ATV Club in Pittsburg and more than 120 miles of trails maintained by the Metallak ATV Club in Stewartstown, Colebrook, Columbia and Dixville.

There are more than 130 miles of trails in Millsfield maintained by the Millsfield ATV Club and

50 miles of trails in Success and Milan maintained by the Sunrise ATV Club. 80 miles of trails can be found in the 7,500-acre Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin maintained by the State of New Hampshire. There are more than 120 miles of trails across 30,000 acres in Stratford maintained by the North Country ATV Club.

Noted is the fact that the Kilkenny Trail Riders of Lancaster, the Umbagog ATV Club of Errol, the Presidential ATV Club of Gorham, and the Androscoggin ATV Club of Berlin maintain several additional miles of trails.

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