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Snowmobile Group with New Land & Groomer Aims To Help Boost Economy
MILAN — The Milan Trail Huggers ATV Club was selected for national recognition by the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) for its Nash Stream Bridge, in the “Construction and Design” category.
The club was one of 12 recipients of the CRT’s 2020 Tom Petri Recreational Trails Program Annual Achievement Awards.
This year they were all presented live in an hour-plus-long virtual ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 22. A recorded version is available online at rectrails.org.

Trailmaster-grantwriter Larry Gomes of Stark filmed himself describing the 90-foot-long by 10- foot-wide wood-and-steel Bridge in Stark with the impressive structure directly behind him.
The bridge took literally thousands of ATVS and snowmobiles off a local town bridge, eliminating a noisy annoyance to local homeowners.
The club hired an engineer at its own cost to custom design the bridge for this specific location.
In order to connect existing trails, an additional 1,900 feet of a 15-foot-wide trail also had to be built, including 5 feet of ditching on either side.

The memorial bridge is dedicated to James M. Herbert, a longtime club volunteer trail master for the Groveton Trailblazers Snowmobile Club, who had lived near the site and died shortly before ground was broken.
The Northern Gateway Trails ATV Club at its own expense also installed properly distanced picnic tables overlooking the scenic river that were greatly enjoyed this summer by the public.
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The bridge’s steel elements were designed in sections so they could be delivered in a standard flatbed trailer and then bolted together on-site using more than 500 bolts.
A total of 39 volunteers spent 275 hours building the bridge. The project cost was $71,480 with matching funds making up 25 percent of the total. RTP grant monies were used to buy the steel and other materials, paying for the heavy equipment rental expenses.
The N.H. Bureau of Trails Grant-in-Aid program that is funded by OHRV registration fees, provided funds to buy lumber, culverts and gravel.
“Thanks to the CRT for recognizing this critical project and to the RTP grant program for the bulk of the funding,” Gomes said.

Another Granite State project also won national recognition: The Monadnock Trail Improvement Project in the Youth Conservation/Service Corps and Community Outreach category.
Both Commissioner Sarah Stewart of the state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and Planning & Development specialist Johanna Lyons were filmed explaining how delighted that the state was recognized this year for two projects.
U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster also sent congratulatory letters. The other 10 award-winning projects are all over the map: Idaho, Georgia, California, Illinois, Oregon, Virginia, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and South Carolina.
The award is named for former Congressman Tom Petri from Wisconsin, a Republican who served in the House for 18 terms (1979-2014).
RTP program specialist Alexis Rudko of the DNCR nominated the Nash Stream Bridge for the award, and Harry Brown of Stewartstown, treasurer of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, supported the nomination.
The Milan Trail Huggers Club has learned that it was awarded an RTP grant for the Bell Hill Connecter Trail.
“The project will definitely get built next summer,” Gomes explained.
The Coos Economic Development Corp. also granted the club $2,500 to cover some of the otherwise non-reimbursable costs of hiring qualified consultants to provide detailed wetlands and structural information in the grant-writing process.
The Bell Hill connector project calls for a new 1.17-mile-long recreational trail in Stark. It is designed to eliminate ATVs from traveling on 2.12 miles of gravel town roads, which is a goal supported by both homeowners and ATVers.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation to boost RTP funding to 175 percent of its current level, and action in the Senate led to a study by the U.S. Department of Transportation that will be released shortly.
The Coalition for Recreational Trails believes that nearly $300 million in federal motor fuels taxes will soon be generated annually by non-highway recreational activities — the source of revenue identified by Congress in 1991 as the basis for RTP funding.
Gathering on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, were (from left) then-District 1 state Sen. David Starr of Franconia, who presented proclamations honoring the late Groveton Trailblazers Snowmobile Club trail master Jim Herbert and the Milan Trail Huggers ATV Club to Dianne Herbert and her widowed mother Marilyn Herbert; along with Stark residents Albert Cloutier, a private landowner and Trailblazers’ officer, and Milan Trail Huggers trailmaster-grantwriter Larry Gomes, who played key roles in the dedication of a new 90-foot-long bridge over Nash Stream. The multi-use bridge has just received a well-respected national award for its “construction and design.” (EDITH TUCKER PHOTO)

Gathering on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, were (from left) then-District 1 state Sen. David Starr of Franconia, who presented proclamations honoring the late Groveton Trailblazers Snowmobile Club trail master Jim Herbert and the Milan Trail Huggers ATV Club to Dianne Herbert and her widowed mother Marilyn Herbert; along with Stark residents Albert Cloutier, a private landowner and Trailblazers’ officer, and Milan Trail Huggers trailmaster-grantwriter Larry Gomes, who played key roles in the dedication of a new 90-foot-long bridge over Nash Stream. The multi-use bridge has just received a well-respected national award for its “construction and design.” (EDITH TUCKER PHOTO)

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Other Clubs Websites

Stratford Nighthawks – Our sister club to the Northwest that shares our snowmobile map.
Lancaster Sno-Drifters – Our neighboring club to the South and owners of a suspension bridge across the Israel River.
Umbagog Snowmobile Association – Our neighboring club to the Northeast (located in Errol) with trails through Dummer and the 7-Islands area.
Colebrook Skibees – Our neighboring club to the North and sponsors of the Snowcross race at the Colebrook airport.
Milan All Weather Riders Trails with some fantastic views along the NH and ME border.
Swift Diamond Riders Sponsors of the annual Snowdeo with a trail system through Colemen State Park.
Pittsburg Ridge Runners – The Northernmost and largest snowmobile club in NH.
Whitefield Sno Kings The club just south of Lancaster with trail access to the Mountain View Grand Hotel.
White Mountain Ridge Runners Our neighboring club to the Southeast (located in Berlin) with trails through the White Mountain National Forest.