Record July rainfall creates hazardous OHRV riding conditions

Berlin Sun

Published: 07-17-2023 3:00 PM

New Hampshire Fish and Game’s (NHFG) Law Enforcement Division is warning riders that many trails throughout the state are washed out or closed due to heavy recent rains. Residents and visitors are strongly encouraged to consult the Bureau of Trails website for a list of trails that are closed as a result of July’s record rainfall totals. Visit www.nhstateparks.org/find-parks-trails/find-trails-maps-clubs/trail-advisories-and-closures for the most up-to-date list of trail closures and re-openings before heading to a OHRV riding destination of choice. Riders should also be sure to understand all the rules and regulations associated with safe and responsible OHRV operation. They are also asked to be respectful toward residents and landowners, to stay on marked trails that are open, to operate within their skill level, to wear protective equipment including helmets and eye protection, and to keep both hands on the handlebars. Current conditions will require attentive operation, especially for novice operators.

“In an effort to ensure OHRV riders are safe, we encourage all operators to check for trail closures and re-openings with the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails website before venturing out,” said Captain Michael Eastman, NHFG’s OHRV coordinator. “With historic rain fall causing major trail washouts and closures, riders should educate themselves before heading out onto the trails. Operating off trail without permission could also cause more damage than usual on private lands, potentially causing landowners to close OHRV trails in the state. Keeping trails open for future use through safe and courteous ridership will help keep this sport alive and well. Educate yourself before heading out and operate safely while on the trails.”

Safe and responsible riding is what both landowners and OHRV clubs expect. In addition to enhanced enforcement, safety education is another way that Fish and Game’s Law Enforcement Division works to foster responsible OHRV operation. Each year, volunteer OHRV safety instructors educate over 1,000 students regarding OHRV rules, regulations, and responsible and safe operation. State law requires all operators 12 years of age and over to have either a valid motor vehicle driver’s license or to have successfully completed an approved OHRV safety education class in order to operate off their own property. “We strongly recommend that all riders who purchase or rent an OHRV take a safety class to help reduce the risk of personal injury and property damage,” Eastman said.

For safety education classes, safe riding tips, information on where to ride, laws, and registration requirements, visit www.wildnh.com/ohrv/safety-facts.html.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.

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