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May 16. 2013 10:37PM

OHRV paradise

Happy trails at Jericho Mountain State Park


Members of the New Hampshire House Resources, Recreation and Developement Committee are ready to hit the trails at Jericho Mountain State Park. (Sara Young-Knox)

BERLIN — A decade ago Jericho Mountain State Park was just a pipe dream, most of its wooded 7,800 acres privately owned, with the exception of the city-owned recreation land around Jericho Lake.

Today, thanks to collaboration among the state, city of Berlin, and ATV clubs, it's comprised of 80 miles of off-highway recreational vehicle (OHRV) trails, a campground, visitor center, picnic pavilions and more. The park's trails, and the other state ATV trails, open for the season Thursday, May 23.

Mayor Paul Grenier of Berlin welcomed members of the New Hampshire House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee to the ATV park on Thursday, praising the adeptness of the state in building out the park with those community partners.

"We did not have the resources to make it the jewel it is today," he said, praising how the state has done a lot with limited resources.

State Bureau of Trails head Chris Gamache was there to give the committee an update on and a tour of the park. For the tour, he had help from three local businesses who rent ATVs: Jericho Motorsports, Northeast Snowmobile and ATV Rentals and Absolute PowerSports, and from the Androscoggin ATV Club, among others.

"I guarantee you one thing," the mayor told committee members, "you will be blown away by the views."

Before the ride, Gamache presented the Landowner of the Year to the City of Berlin. The award recognized the city for its efforts and its forward thinking in planning for the future, both in protecting the easements of present trails, and planning for new trails.

Among the park's partners is the Androscoggin Valley ATV club, which works, and continues to work, on the trails. The building arts students at the Berlin Regional Career and Technical Center constructed the visitor's center, which will be open this riding season.

syoungknox@newstote.com


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