New Hampshire Law
CHAPTER 215-A OFF HIGHWAY RECREATIONAL VEHICLES AND TRAILS
215-A:14 OHRV Required Equipment. – I. No person shall operate an OHRV unless it is equipped with: (a) At least one, but not more than 2 headlights, all in working order, when operating
at any time during the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.
(b) One or more rear taillights, all in working order, when operating at any time during the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise. (c) Adequate brakes in good working order sufficient to control the vehicle at all times. The brakes must be capable of stopping the vehicle within 40 feet at 20 miles per hour, or locking the wheels or track to a standstill. (d) The current registration decal affixed to the OHRV as required by this chapter. (e) Mufflers and an exhaust system which comply with the requirements of RSA 215-A:12. II. Any sled or trailer towed behind an OHRV shall be equipped with reflectors and a rigid hitch such as a tow bar.
III. Any police officer or person authorized to make criminal arrests may stop and check any
OHRV in regard to any safety equipment, mufflers, brakes, lights and appropriate inspections
pursuant to RSA 215-A:13.
215-A:42 ATV and Trail Bike Trails. – I. No ATV or trail bike trail shall be established after the effective date of this paragraph or subsequently maintained on state-owned property unless all of the following conditions are met: (a) The property has been evaluated by the bureau in cooperation with the department of fish and game and the department of resources and economic development, division of forests and lands, and other state agencies that are custodians of the property using the coarse and fine filter criteria, established under RSA 215-A:43, and has passed such criteria as determined by the commissioner of the department of resources and economic development and the executive director of the department of fish and game. (b) A memorandum of understanding (memorandum) exists between the bureau, the fish and game department, the department of resources and economic development, division of forests and lands, and all other state agencies that are custodians of the property. The memorandum sha ll include, but not be limited to, the responsibilities that each agency has in monitoring, maintaining, and enforcing relevant laws relative to the trail and the type of OHRV permitted on approved trails. The bureau shall enter into the memorandum only if it is certain that proper monitoring and maintenance of the trail shall occur, either through its own resources or those of others. The fish and game department shall enter into the memorandum only if it can commit sufficient resources to reasonably monitor for proper ATV or trail bike use on the property and enforce the applicable laws. (c) A written agreement is in effect between the bureau and a locally-organized ATV or trail bike club recognized by the bureau that details the club’s ongoing responsibilities, including but not limited to, monitoring the use and condition of the trail, erecting signage, educating operators, performing maintenance, and monitoring compliance with laws and regulations. Should the club fail to fulfill some or all of its responsibilities, the bureau or its agent may assume such responsibilities provided sufficient resources are available and committed. (d) A management plan exists for the property that specifically allows ATV or trail bike use on the property, and the ATV or trail bike trail does not otherwise conflict with the management plan. Any state agency proposing to establish or change a management plan that affects ATV or trail bike use on state property shall publicize such plan and provide the public with the opportunity to comment on the plan before enactment. II. An ATV or trail bike trail on state-owned property may be closed to ATV or trail bike use by the bureau, if the bureau finds that: (a) ATV or trail bike use on the property is not in conformance with this chapter; (b) Responsibilities assumed by the locally-organized ATV or trail bike club pursuant to subparagraph I(c) are not being met; or (c) Provisions of the memorandum between the state agencies as entered into pursuant to subparagraph I(b) require such closure. III. The bureau may not permanently close a trail under paragraph II to ATV or trail bike use except upon a request made to the commissioner of resources and economic development to act under RSA 216-F:2, III, and not without first holding a public hearing in the local area in which the trail is located. Such hearing shall be noticed to the requesting party and the governing body of the affected municipalities and advertised at least 14 days prior to the hearing in a newspaper of statewide circula tion and also in any local newspapers to the cities and towns in which the state property is located.
215-A:43 Evaluation Process. – Any new ATV or trail bike trail proposal on state-owned
property shall be evaluated by the department of resources and economic development using a 2step process. I. The new ATV or trail bike trail proposal shall be considered to have passed the initial screening process if the following coarse filter criteria are met: (a) There are no deed restrictions, laws, or purchase funding source restrictions that prohibit the use of ATVs or trail bikes on the property. (b) Less than 90 percent of the property is composed of the following types of areas in combination: (i) Exemplary natural communities as identified by the natural heritage bureau as
defined in RSA 217-A:3, XVI; (ii) Habitat necessary for the successful breeding or survival of federal or state listed endangered or threatened species; and
(iii) Forested wetlands consisting of group IIB forest soils as defined and mapped by the Natural Resources Conservation Service or non-forested wetlands as defined by the department of environmental services. (c) If it is to be a self-contained trail network, at least 700 contiguous acres are available within which the trail network can be situated, in either single state ownership or as a combination of abutting state properties. (d) If it is to be a trail corridor link, the trails which are being connected exist or will exist when the trail corridor link is established, or shortly thereafter. (e) The use of ATVs or trail bikes on the property does not conflict with the purpose for which the property was acquired by the state as provided by law, or as attested to by letters from grantors, department memoranda, historic records, or other credible documents, or, if such conflict exists, it has been set aside by some legal means that includes a formal review process by the custodial state agency. (f) The use of ATVs or trail bikes on the property is not prohibited by an existing management plan for the property. II. A new ATV or trail bike trail proposal that has passed the initial screening process of the coarse filter criteria under paragraph I shall proceed into a planning and layout phase and shall be considered to have passed such phase if the following fine filter criteria are met: (a) The new trail is supported by an organized ATV or trail bike club recognized by the bureau. (b) ATVs or trail bikes operated on the trail will comply with maximum decibel limit established by law. (c) Adequate parking exists or will be developed for the type of trail being proposed and the number of expected riders. (d) The bureau has given due consideration to local planning and zoning ordinances. (e) The proposed trail does not pass through a parcel with deed restrictions. (f) The bureau has given due consideration to local noise and obnoxious use ordinances. (g) The proposal is reasonably compatible with existing uses. (h) The proposal does not violate federal, state, or local laws.
(i) The proposal includes a monitoring and response system designed to detect and correct adverse environmental impacts. (j) The proposed trail layout incorporates existing motorized travel corridors whenever possible. (k) The proposed trail layout minimizes further fragmentation of blocks of forestland by locating trails on areas with existing development whenever possible.
(l) The proposed trail does not pass through a wellhead protection area as determined by the department of environmental services under RSA 485:48, II. (m) The proposed trail is not located on earthen dams, dikes, and spillways. (n) The proposed trail avoids areas having soil types classified as important forest soil group IIA or IIB as defined and mapped by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, unless there is an existing soil condition or surface roadway that can be used to reduce adverse environmental impacts. (o) The proposed trail is not within 100 feet of the ordinary high water mark of first and second order streams, 330 feet of third order streams, and 600 feet of fourth order and higher streams, except for purposes of stream crossing.
(p) All stream crossing structures meet 5-year flood design criteria. (q) The proposed trail is not within 200 feet of any water body, forested or non-forested wetland, or vernal pool. (r) The proposed trail avoids elevations over 2700 feet. (s) The proposed trail avoids important wildlife habitat features
for species of concern. (t) The proposed trail avoids known locations of federally and state listed endangered or threatened species, or their habitat, as specified on a site-specific basis by the fish and game department. (u) The proposed trail avoids known locations of rare plants and exemplary natural communities, as specified on a site-specific basis by the natural heritage inventory. (v) The proposed trail avoids alteration or disturbance of unique geologic features, formations, and designated state geologic waysides, as specified on a site-specific basis by the state geologist. (w) The proposed trail avoids alteration, disturbance, and adverse impacts to cultural and historic resources. (x) The proposed trail is not within 330 feet of known raptor nest trees, or within 650 feet of trees with eagle or osprey nests. (y) The proposed trail is more than 650 feet from eagle winter roosting areas and 330 feet from the edge of wetlands containing heron rookeries. (z) The proposed trail layout has a safe and appropriate trail design. (aa) Safety standards for highway crossings are met. (bb) Any planned use of the proposed trail with other uses is safely accommodated. (cc) Local enforcement officers have been contacted to review and provide input regarding enforcement issues. III. The bureau shall hold at least one meeting to inform the public and local cities and towns of the plan and layout for a proposed ATV or trail bike trail, consistent with the fine filter criteria in paragraph II, and to provide an opportunity for the public to comment. Information on the plan and layout shall be made available to the public at a place in the local area in which the proposed trail is to be located, at the bureau’s office in Concord, and on a public accessible Internet site maintained by the bureau. The meeting and the places to obtain the information on the plan and layout shall be advertised at least 14 days prior to the meeting in a newspaper of statewide circulation and also in any local newspapers to the cities and towns in which the state property is located. IV. No person shall operate an OHRV wider than 50 inches or over 1000 pounds on any state-owned trails. V. This section shall not apply to the change in use designation of rail trails to include
ATV and trail bike use.
215-A:44 Rockingham Recreational Trail. – I. No person shall operate an OHRV on any portion of the Rockingham recreational trail west of Route 28 when it is not snow-covered. II. No person shall use the parking lot at the Windham depot along the Rockingham recreational trail during the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise. III. The department of resources and economic development shall provide sanitary facilities at the parking area in Windham along the Rockingham recreational trail when the trail is snow-covered.
PUBLIC RECREATION CHAPTER 216-F MULTI-USE STATEWIDE TRAIL SYSTEM
216-F:1 Acquiring a Statewide Trail System. –
I. The commissioner of the department of resources and economic development may acquire by purchase, gift or devise any land, including but not limited to abandoned railroad and other public utility rights of way, private property, and easements over private property for the purpose of protecting or developing a statewide trail system.
II. Any expenditure for buildings or shelters along any of the acquired trail system, exceeding the sum of $500, shall be only expended on state owned lands following the normal budgetary procedures for any capital improvement.
III. Any department or agency of the state, or any political subdivision, district or authority may transfer to the department, land or rights in land for said purposes on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon, or may enter into an agreement with the commissioner providing for the establishment and protection of said trail system. Provided, however, that no land except abandoned railroad beds, acquired after the effective date of this chapter by the state or any agency or political subdivision thereofthrough the exercise of the powers of condemnation or eminent domain shall be included in such trail system.
216-F:2 Use of Statewide Trail System. –
[Paragraph I effective until July 1, 2006; see also paragraph I set out below.]
I. The trails within the system shall be held, developed and administered under this chapter primarily as recreational trails for hiking, nature walks, bird watching, horseback riding, bicycling, ski touring, snowshoeing and off highway recreational vehicles and the natural scenic beauty thereof shall be preserved insofar as is practical; provided, however, that the commissioner may permit uses of trails and land acquired hereunder, by the owner of adjoining land or others, in such a manner and at such seasons as will not substantially interfere with the primary use of the trails. [Paragraph I effective July 1, 2006; see also paragraph I set out above.]
I. The trails within the system shall be held, developed and administered under this chapter primarily as recreational trails for hiking, nature walks, bird watching, horseback riding, bicycling, ski touring, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and off highway recreational vehicles and the natural scenic beauty thereofshall be preserved insofar as is practical; provided, however, that the commissioner may permit uses ofCHAPTER 216-F MULTI-USE STATEWIDE TRAIL SYSTEM Page 1 of 4 http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xix/216-f/216-f-mrg.htm 5/24/2006 trails and land acquired hereunder, by the owner of adjoining land or others, in such a manner and at such seasons as will not substantially interfere with the primary use of the trails.
II. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right of the public to pass over existing public roads which may be or become part of the trail system, deny any owner access to his land or prevent the department from performing such work as is necessary for the purpose of forest fire prevention and control, insect pest and disease control and the removal of damage caused by any natural acts.
III. The commissioner is authorized to zone and restrict use of any section of the trails after consultation with the director of the division of parks and recreation, the director of the division of forests and lands, the executive director of the department of fish and game, and such other local and state officials as he shall determine, who may be able to assist him in determining appropriate public uses for such trails. A restriction on the use of any type of a mechanized means of transportation onportions of the trail shall be imposed by the commissioner where, in his opinion, it would be most disruptive for the other stated principal trail uses.
Where to Ride ATVs, UTVs and/ or Side by Sides in New Hampshire
Please Note: While searching for locations to ride ATVs, UTVs, and/or Side x Sides in New Hampshire we came across the following places. The following places to ride all terrain vehicles, utility vehicles, and side by sides in New Hampshire is a list we have come up with by researching, we are not affiliated with any of these places and/or locations and highly recommend contacting and confirming information before planning a ride. We make every effort to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and true. However, we cannot be held responsible for inaccurate information provided by outside sources.
Jericho Mountain State Park
Located at 298 Jericho Lake Rd Berlin, NH 03570
Just a few miles northwest of downtown Berlin in NH you will find one of the newest additions to the state park system. Jericho Mountain State Park provides opportunities for miles of trail riding for ATV, UTV, trail bike, and snowmobile enthusiasts alike. Throughout this New Hampshire park, visitors are treated to a number of scenic outlooks. Park guests can also enjoy swimming, fishing, canoeing and picnicking at Jericho Lake. The park also includes a 20 site ride-in/ride-out campground, cabins, a bathhouse and Visitors Center. The park is also home to the ever popular, Jericho ATV Festival. Berlin, NH ATV trails have some excellent off-road trails, where over 6,000 ATV enthusiasts meet up to ride together, take part in Mud Pit races, and look at the latest and best ATVs on the market.
Great North Woods Riders ATV Trails
The Great North Woods Riders ATV trails in New Hampshire are maintained by volunteers and approved by local landowners. Most of Great North Woods Rider’s ATV Club’s trails are located on 8,000 acres of the Perry Stream Land and Timber Co. property in Pittsburg, NH. The property is located between Indian Stream and Perry Stream with approximately 120 miles of trails ranging from graveled roads, wooded trails and some muddy areas. A few trails parallel Perry Stream and Indian Stream providing nice views and opportunities to do a little fishing.
- In order to ride your ATV on the trails, your machines must be registered.
- ALL of Route 3 North starting at Murphy Dam is off limits to all ATV’s.
- The only allowed travel on RT 3 is from Cheesefactory Road to Murphy Dam
- Please pay attention to signage/maps that show where you can and can not ride.
- If a trail, road or area is NOT marked/signed for ATV’s, it is CLOSED to all ATV riding – seeing tire marks DOES NOT mean it is open to ATV’s.
Metallak ATV Club
The Metallak ATV Club is located in Northern New Hampshire. Their goal is to help connect the trails in the Northern New Hampshire ATV clubs. Their trail system includes a trailhead at Coleman State Park over Sugar Hill to the Balsams and over Dixville Peaks, Nathan Pond trail connecting to Greenough Pond Road and The Millsfield Club trail system. They opened the Rail Trail between Colebrook and Stewartstown in 2013 and The towns of Stewartstown , Colebrook , and Columbia have decided to open some roads and streets to accommodate ATVs to access area businesses and to connect trails. The riding season is nearly for 6 months and gives an experience like no other for recreational riders throughout Northern New Hampshire. This opportunity is made possible by landowners, sponsors, members, and volunteers. Please follow all signage and respect our Landowners. Know before you go!
Warren ATV Trail
The Warren trail in New Hampshire is a 4 mile trail that starts at Rt. 25 in Warren. At the beginning of the trail sits a 70 foot Redstone Missile, an actual NASA rocket. The trail may not be very long, but offers beautiful scenery including Black Brook and also connects directly to the Mount Moosilauke ATV Club trails immediately to the south.
AMMONOOSUC VALLEY ATV CLUB
The Ammonoosuc Valley ATV Club in New Hampshire was founded in 1999. The club promotes the development of trails and helps to maintain the Ammonoosuc Rail Trail between Woodsville, New Hampshire and Littleton, New Hampshire. They also have a section of road that goes from Augies Take -A- Break in North Haverhill, NH., that takes you on a scenic ride to Woodsville, where you can hop onto the rail trail. They also have two brand new loop trails. One is called Salmon Hole Loop and is .6 miles long and the other is John Elliott Jr. Loop which is .5 miles long. The entrance to these loops can be found by turning off of the Ammonoosuc Rail Trail behind Schofield Septic. You can’t miss the sign.