August 31, 2012 - By Harry Brown, Trail Administrator, Metallak ATV Club
STEWARTSTOWN - The Metallak All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Club is excited to announce that it has completed a new OHRV trail in the towns of Stewartstown and Dixville.
The trailhead is at Coleman State Park where ample parking already exists. The trail then proceeds south on Diamond Pond Road, onto Rusty's Road, and then up an upgraded snowmobile trail to the summit of Sugar Hill where there are significant views of the hills and mountains of Vermont, N. H. and Canada.
A newly constructed OHRV trail then continues down the backside of Sugar Hill - a challenging section - onto The Balsams' property and proceeds along an existing but upgraded cross-country ski trail to the North Gate of the property line between The Balsams and Bayroot properties.
From this intersection, the trail proceeds along an upgraded snowmobile trail with outstanding views to the Golf Links Road near The Balsams Hotel. It continues to follow an upgraded - but very steep and challenging - snowmobile trail up to meet a new trail just recently completed because of the Granite Reliable wind farm that was installed last year. This section of trail offers outstanding views to the west. It then goes down the wind tower road and meets up with existing OHRV trails in Dixville at the junction of Philips Brook and West Branch Clear Stream Roads. The length of this trail is about 18 miles.
We anticipate that another section of trail will be available in the next couple of weeks that will allow OHRV riding to the north by connecting to an existing trail system. Once completed, this will give full access to the North and South where extensive OHRV opportunities already exist.
This will create a 48-mile loop trail, starting at Coleman State Park that includes incredible terrain along with outstanding vistas.
This trail construction has been paid for by several sources: the outstanding support of local businesses; Grant in Aid from the state Bureau of Trails of the state Division of Parks and Recreation, funded by OHRV registration fees: and a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant, also administered by the state Bureau of Trails. RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from non-highway recreational fuel use: fuel used for off-highway recreation by snowmobiles, ATVs, off-highway motorcycles, and off-highway light trucks.
This trail system could not have been accomplished without the generosity of the following landowners: Lloyd Howe, Northern Pass, Balsams LLC, and Bayroot LLC. Many Metallak OHRV Club members volunteered hundreds of hours of work under the guidance of the state Bureau of Trails staff.
The Club and the North Country OHRV Coalition believe that this trail system will offer a unique riding experience for recreational riders from throughout the eastern United States. The riding season is longer than six months and does not rely on a natural snow cover to participate, as does snowmobiling.
OHRV riders have very limited riding opportunities south of the notches and in states south of the Granite State border.
We truly view this effort as an economic stimulus to the Great North Woods, similar to the opening of a new factory.