ATVs

Mary McIntyre

For this week’s Radio Field Trip, we’re heading off the highway and onto the trails of the North Country.

Do you have a suggestion for an upcoming Radio Field Trip? Click here to submit your idea, or email us at fieldtrips@nhpr.org.


Going Local: The White Mountains

Jul 25, 2018

We look at the White Mountains as part of our regional series, Going Local.

The White Mountains have some of the best hiking, ATV trails, skiing, and other outdoor sports opportunities in the country, and the region features plenty of attractions for families and adventurers alike. However, sustainable workforce opportunities and affordable housing remain a challenge for the area, and the ever-growing popularity of tourist attractions like Mount Washington present problems for both traffic, and conservation. We'll talk about what makes the White Mountains region unique, and what is on the minds of people who live there. 

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says one man has died while riding an all-terrain vehicle.

The department says 62-year-old Roger Johnson was found next to his ATV with fatal injuries on June 20 in Chatham. He was pronounced dead at the scene that afternoon.

The investigation revealed the South Chatham resident was following another ATV when he left the roadway and struck a tree. Johnson was not wearing a helmet at the time.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A group of residents in the town of Gorham is suing to shut down a popular ATV trailhead.

Neighbors of the trail say they are fed up with the dust, noise and fumes from the four-wheelers. In their court filing, they cite an escalating number of police complaints lodged in Gorham in recent years involving ATV and OHRV riders. 

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The New Hampshire House voted to allow people to carry loaded guns on ATVs, snowmobiles and other off-highway recreational vehicles. A bill lifting existing restrictions passed 181-148 on Thursday but will still need Senate approval before taking effect.

Chris Jensen, NHPR

Just a few years after opening up local roads to ATV traffic, residents of the town of Stark are debating whether to reverse course. A warrant article up for a vote at tomorrow’s town meeting would close local roads to off-road vehicles beginning in mid-April.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

As the state transitions from ATV season to snowmobile season, off-highway recreational vehicles (OHRVs) are hugely popular and have a nearly year-round presence in parts of New Hampshire. We follow up with NHPR's Off-Road series by Casey McDermott and Todd Bookman by looking at their safety record, and the economic and environmental impact of this sporting culture.


One of the biggest selling points New Hampshire uses to promote ATV riding is that it’s something the whole family can enjoy. But as the sport grows in popularity, health and safety officials are growing concerned – saying the state’s laws are ignoring the serious danger these machines pose to kids.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Local economies don’t turn on a dime. When a factory town loses its factories, and workers lose their jobs, it can take decades for a community to get back on its feet.

That’s been the reality in places like Berlin and Gorham: two former paper mill towns in the North Country now trying to reinvent themselves.

Businesses, officials and residents are hoping that ATV tourism can provide a much-needed financial boost. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

An estimated 12,000 ATV enthusiasts descended on Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin for the second annual “Camp RZR” festival this weekend, sponsored by off-road vehicle manufacturer Polaris. But trails weren’t the only place where the ATVs’ presence was felt.

Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce

The city of Berlin will host its eighth annual ATV festival this weekend, a celebration of the sport and its importance in the local economy.

Festival-goers can take a spin on their ATVs through a mud pit at Jericho Mountain State Park, or catch live music on Main Street in Berlin.

When the Jericho ATV festival first started in 2010, it attracted a couple hundred people. Now it draws around 6,000.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Year will bring plenty of new rules and regulations to New Hampshire, covering everything from police body cameras to the use of laser pointers. Here's a look at some of the bills that will officially be law as of January 1st:

Chris Jensen for NHPR

 

More riders on all-terrain vehicles are being seen on New Hampshire trails — and now, on some local and state roads — and the Fish and Game Department's 42 conservation officers are feeling stretched.

In recent years, towns in Coos, Grafton, Sullivan counties and elsewhere have been allowed to open up their roads to the vehicles, beyond the state's 1,200 miles of riding trails.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The Ride the Wilds ATV network covers about 1,000 miles in the North Country and now a new ATV group in Jefferson is looking at getting in on the economic action.

At a meeting last week, members of the Jefferson ATV club said a link to Ride the Wilds might draw tourists to local businesses.

But club president Roy Parkhurst said the first step was seeing how residents feel about the prospect.

“It is a proposal. There is nothing written in stone here. You people are going to decide whether we have trails in the town,” he said.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

 

Two men who suffered non-life-threatening injuries from an ATV rollover in Stewartstown have been taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Fish and Game officers say the accident happened on Saturday near the entrance to a campground at Coleman State Park.

ATV Crash Requires Helicopter Evacuation

Jun 12, 2015
Courtesy of New Hampshire Fish and Game

 A 59-year-old man was seriously injured Friday in an ATV crash in the North Country, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.The crash occurred about 1 p.m. on the Blueberry Hill Trail near Stratford when Timothy Flanders of Hill, New Hampshire, swerved to avoid a water hole and rolled his ATV several times, said Conservation Officer Glen Lucas. He suffered injuries to his right leg, chest and head and was taken by helicopter to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

Northern New Hampshire's "Ride the Wilds'' network of 1,000-plus miles of interconnected off-highway recreational vehicle trails is open for the season.  

A grand opening event for one of the largest such trail systems in the country was being celebrated Saturday at Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin.  

The final segment of the network's first phase opened in August, enabling riders to travel from Lancaster to Pittsburg.  

A Hudson man has been fined $1,000 for riding a four-passenger ATV on a North Country snowmobile trail not marked for that use.

There were three charges brought by Fish and Game against Jeffrey Rogers, of Hudson, over the September 12th incident in Stewartstown.

Appearing in District Court in Colebrook Thursday, Rogers plead not guilty to charges of operating an off-highway recreational vehicle in a wetland and causing damage to property.

Chris Jensen, NHPR

  An attempt to boost the economy of the North Country by drawing tourists to a 1,000-mile network of ATV trails is getting a boost itself as the federal government is providing about $152,000.

 “This is a tremendous shot in the arm for the 'Ride the Wilds' marketing program,” said Harry Brown, the president of New Hampshire Off Highway Vehicle Association.

 

 

The key to the new “Ride The Wilds” ATV trails network in the North Country is allowing riders to use some roads to get into towns and reach food, fuel and lodging, thus boosting the region’s economy.  But that’s part of a nationwide trend that has some safety researchers worried.

 

“At this point in the United States more ATV deaths are happening on roads than are happening off-road,” says Rachel Weintraub, a researcher with the Consumer Federation of America. 

The two ATV riders killed Saturday in separate accidents were each from the North Country, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The first accident occurred on South Hill Road in Colebrook about 1:15 when David Howe, 40, of Colebrook was killed when he rolled his ATV.

The second accident occurred a little more than an hour later on the Dixville Peaks Trail where  Clifton Scott, 79, of Stewartstown missed a turn. His ATV also rolled.

So far this year three ATV riders have died in accidents in New Hampshire.

Two ATV Riders Killed In North Country

Sep 21, 2013

Two ATV riders were killed Saturday afternoon in separate accidents in the North Country, according to police and rescue reports.

One fatality occurred in the ski area near Dixville Notch and the other at South Hill Road in Colebrook.

At least one of the accidents involved a rollover.

No additional details were immediately available.

So far this year three ATV riders have died in the state.

In August a 56-year-old tourist was killed in an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle in the southern part of the state near Fremont.

A 56-year-old tourist was killed in an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle Thursday evening near Fremont, according to a news release from Fish and Game.

The victim was identified as Dulce Compres-Nunez of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

Fish and Game said she was a passenger on an ATV driven by 23-year-old Yefrey Perez of Methuen, Mass. Perez lost control and struck a tree.  Both riders were wearing helmets. Perez suffered minor injuries.

The accident occurred about 7:30 p.m. the Rockingham Recreational Trail near South Road in Fremont.

The plan to open some streets in Coos County to all-terrain vehicles as part of the “Ride the Wilds” network is being greeted with dismay by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,  says Carl Purvis, an agency spokesman.

“It is much better to ride that ATV on terrain it was designed for as opposed to taking it onto a paved road,” Purvis said.

Purvis said ATVs were engineered for dirt and riders can have handling problems on pavement. They can also be struck by cars.

Colebrook Opens Streets To Welcome ATV Tourists

Jan 10, 2013
Chris Jensen for NHPR

The town of Colebrook in the North Country has taken a new step to try and attract ATV-riding tourists.

It’s opening up some of its streets to the all-terrain vehicles.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

Colebrook’s select board has approved opening up 21 streets in the town to ATV riders, says Jules Kennett, one of the three selectmen.

 “We finally came up with what we believe is the safest, most accessible way to get the ATVers into the center of town.”

The speed limit would be 10 miles per hour.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Harry Brown shuts off his ATV on the side of a cross-country ski trail notched in the woods above the Balsams Grand Resort.

 “We’re going to head north out of the Balsams property,” he says.

Brown is among those working on a new network of ATV trails through the North Country.

Currently ATV enthusiasts have permission to ride in a half dozen places including Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin and on private land.

But ATV enthusiasts say touring the same trails again and again can be boring.