JANUARY 15, 2013 - Paula Tracy writes about the outdoors for WMUR.com
COLEBROOK, N.H. - Colebrook selectmen have approved a request to open portions of roads on the eastern part of the town and into the town center for all-terrain vehicle use with automobiles beginning this spring.
Gorham town officials are looking at a similar measure as part of a larger effort to make the Great North Woods a national destination for ATVs.
Chris Gamache, director of the state bureau of trails, said Berlin, Pittsburg and now Stewartstown have passed measures to allow the riders access to stores, gas stations and restaurants from the trail to the road.
On Jan. 9, Colebrook joined in as well. About 80 attended a public hearing on the subject Dec. 19 where there was widespread support for the idea, he said.
With Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin becoming the center for ATV riding in the state, a plan is now under way to develop a network of trails which will allow riders to travel from Berlin to Errol to Colebrook to Beecher Falls, Vt. to Pittsburg and loop back with connections between Dixville and Stark.
"It would be a several hundred-mile route if you did the whole thing," said Gamache.
"This would be a national draw for ATV riders. We have a lot of international attention from Jericho right now," he noted.
The selectmen agreed to open up roads after the spring thaw in Colebrook. Those roads include East Colebrook Road, Pleasant Street, Gould Street, Cross Street, Reed Road, Colby Street, Russell Road, Bear Rock Road, Brandy Lee Lane, Cree Road, Bill Bromage Drive, Depot Street and Lombard Street.
Gamache said he met last week with Gorham selectmen, who are looking at their roads and ATV map and may have something in place there in time for the spring.