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ATV trail opens through the city of Berlin



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The trail through the city officially opening on Saturday, and OHRV riders came from around the region for the celebration. (Photo by Erik Eisele) (click for larger version)
November 11, 2009
BERLIN — The ATV trail through the city of Berlin officially opened on Saturday, with more than 100 riders taking part in the first ride across the city. The trail opening was the culmination of a year of effort by the city council. It connects the trails in Jericho Mountain State Park to the west of the city to the trails in Success to the east. It connects about 100 miles of trails.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony Mayor David Bertrand called the trail "the first step" in turning Berlin into an outdoor recreation destination. This new addition makes Berlin "the finest trail-riding venue in New England," he said.

The mayor's statement echoed the hopes of many people involved in organizing the trail: that Berlin can build a sustainable economy by attracting ATVers, snowmobilers, hikers, hunters and other people seeking outdoor recreation.

The effort is part of the 21/21 Initiative, which the city council adopted, that proposes building an economy around outdoor recreation. The trail, which predates the initiative, is an example of the types of efforts the city hopes to make.

Riders met at Jericho Mountain State Park at 10 a.m. and unloaded their machines. People from around the state and from around New England who came out to ride. In the days leading up to the event the story went out on the Associated Press news wire, and it made newscast on New Hampshire Public Radio. None of the television crews event organizers hoped for showed up, but plenty of ATVs, dirt bikes and side by sides were cruising the city streets.

Deputy Police Chief Brian Valerino led the caravan of ATVs into Tondreau Park, where they stopped for the ribbon cutting ceremony and the mayor's proclamation. ATVs parked front to back along the edge of the parking area, creating almost a continuous circle of ATVs around the parking lot.

Members of the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club, which partnered with the city, said they still had some things left to do the trail, like paint larger green diamonds so they are more noticeable. They are planning to make them three foot diamonds.

Members of the club also said they plan to paint white arrows inside the diamonds to give riders a clear idea of where the trail goes.

The kiosk at Tondreau Park also has yet to be completed. Students at the high school have been working on it, and the beams were erected for the first day but the roof was not yet on it. The kiosk is being built for the cost of materials, which will be around $2,000.

Despite the incomplete status of several side projects, the opening of the trail went very well said AVATVC Trail Master Erik Anderson. There weren't any problems with the first leg of the journey, he said, and they were impressed with the turnout.

The riders continued on from Tondreau Park to Success Pond Road, the eastern terminus of the trail, and then rode back to Jericho Mountain State Park. Several stopped to get food and gas at the Big Apple on their way down Hutchins Street. That, organizers said, is exactly what they were hoping for.

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