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Most northern ATV trails won’t be open for Memorial Day

May 17, 2019

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Late winter snow and heavy spring rain has delayed the opening of all-terrain vehicle trails in much of northern New Hampshire, which usually happens Memorial Day weekend.

Wet and cooler-than-average spring weather has delayed snow melt in several areas, the state’s Bureau of Trails said Thursday. It said trails and roads are too wet for Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Use.

Trails Bureau Chief Chris Gamache said in a news release it’s anticipated that more trails will open for the 2019 riding season on or about June 1. However, there are areas where spring rains have caused trail damage and those areas will not be open until later in June.

Many hotels have been booked for the Memorial Day weekend in anticipation of open trails. But the bureau said opening the trails now will result in unnecessary damage and result in permanent trail closures.

“We do not take this decision lightly and we all fully understand the impact not having these trails open for the upcoming holiday weekend, which is the traditional start of the summer season, will have on local businesses.” Gamache said. “We have spoken with the local clubs and landowners around northern New Hampshire and there is still too much snow on the ground in many northern areas and the many of the other trails are still too wet to operate on.”

Many clubs said it was a difficult call, but the right one to make.

New Hampshire has a network of over 1,200 miles of trails throughout the state. The largest network is in the north, in the Great North Woods region.