Berlin NH ATV Jamboree August 5th and 6th

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peakbagger

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A heads up that there is potentially very large ATV event occurring in the Berlin NH area the weekend of August 5th and 6th. Pre Covid this drew in a lot of folks into the area maxing out motels and campgrounds who are already quite busy . Also not a great weekend to do Mt Cabot or trails accessible from RT 110 due to traffic south of York Pond Road (probably not bad if hikers drive in via Groveton). Berlin has recently taken over a portion of RT 110 to access the road to Jericho Park and the new owners of the Jericho Family Campground north of Park had been building out their accommodations and attractions. Events in Berlin usually lead to backups in the main street in Gorham during the daytime and especially in the evening. To those heading over to Maine on RT 2 or needing to access RT 16 from east of Gorham can expect some delays. Pinkham B/Dolley Copp road can be used to skip Gorham from RT 16 if heading west on RT2 (note Pinkham B is still as rough as ever on the paved sections).

Probably not a great weekend to visit the new brew pub in Gorham;).
 

skiguy

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A heads up that there is potentially very large ATV event occurring in the Berlin NH area the weekend of August 5th and 6th. Pre Covid this drew in a lot of folks into the area maxing out motels and campgrounds who are already quite busy . Also not a great weekend to do Mt Cabot or trails accessible from RT 110 due to traffic south of York Pond Road (probably not bad if hikers drive in via Groveton). Berlin has recently taken over a portion of RT 110 to access the road to Jericho Park and the new owners of the Jericho Family Campground north of Park had been building out their accommodations and attractions. Events in Berlin usually lead to backups in the main street in Gorham during the daytime and especially in the evening. To those heading over to Maine on RT 2 or needing to access RT 16 from east of Gorham can expect some delays. Pinkham B/Dolley Copp road can be used to skip Gorham from RT 16 if heading west on RT2 (note Pinkham B is still as rough as ever on the paved sections).

Probably not a great weekend to visit the new brew pub in Gorham;).
I'm acquainted with several business owners in the area. One of which is a Motel Owner. They are not only totally booked this weekend but the entire Summer. Should be a busy one in that neck of the woods most of the Summer.
 

Sherby

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I'm acquainted with several business owners in the area. One of which is a Motel Owner. They are not only totally booked this weekend but the entire Summer. Should be a busy one in that neck of the woods most of the Summer.

Unrelated to current topic, but maybe you can help me understand why it doesn't seem possible to have some hikers friendly (i.e. not the Top Notch Inn) in the Gorham area in the winter? There is a lot more offering on Lincoln's side.
 

peakbagger

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I am not a motel or hotel owner and therefore can only speculate. Several of the motels in town are seasonal due to lack of winter business and the remaining ones make their money on snowmobilers and skiers on weekends. I am unsure with winter reservations but in summer there is enough demand to require two night reservations on weekends and severely restrict cancelations. I suspect that typical hikers are less willing to lay out the credit card for such policies. The hostel in Shelburne has claimed that they would go year round once enough demand was there but Covid and the unexpected flooding problem https://www.gofundme.com/f/u8vp2-rattle-river-hostel-covid-19-supportseems to have delayed that approach. Hikers Paradise is no longer and given its rep in the last decade or so of operation is probably a good thing. The new owner runs it sort of as a ATV club and seems to have a very dedicated group of customers despite a fairly minimal investment in capital improvements.

I think it comes down to its expensive to heat and staff a business in the winter and hiker demand is relatively low, the business will gladly take hiker dollars to supplement other guests but they do not particularly try to attract that business. The new hotel at Great Glen is syphoning off the higher end trade and when I go down Main Street in Gorham in the winter with the exception of vacation weeks, few motels seem to be very busy.

My belief is the Notch Hostel in Woodstock is at best break even and is a "labor of love" more than a viable business. I think at one point they had long term guests over the winter. The Rattle River hostel in Shelburne did a lot of business Pre Covid and last summer but my guess is the owner at best is covering payments on the property as hiker business is generally very low margin and very seasonal. Its effectively a B&B with bunk space and tenting space. From my readings about AT hostels and a few discussions with owners when I was sectioning the AT , few if any make money and many get away with code violations that would shut them down. There are a lot of "horror" stories of well meaning people opening hostels and their homes to hikers and it not ending well due to thefts and substance abusing individuals by a small minority of hikers.

There are a few air B&Bs in the BG area but many are only operated seasonally. They cater to ATVs and Snowmachine people if they are even open in the witner.



Covid definitely messing things up but Joe Dodge Lodge at Pinkham has traditionally been oriented to hikers.
 
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maineguy

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Recent legislation passed by the NH legislature and signed into law by the Gov will add a new and exciting element to the ATV fest.

Now all participants can ride fully armed in open carry. This I suppose to disuade aggressive bears and fellow riders.

Fish and Game I salute you. Your already difficult job just got a lot more dangerous.

Oh yeah, it applies to snowmobiles too.

It's already permitted in vehicles (concealed or in plain view), backpacks, fishing vests (!), etc... so what is the big deal?
 
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Mike P.

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Am I correct that this weekend ATV's had access to the Auto Road? There were a ton of them all over and also a group of high-end sport car enthusiast.

Regarding any thread drift, any group of people using dangerous things recklessly or using things that don't belong on certain surfaces, usually has a small number of bad actors, It only takes a few bad, cyclist, motorcyclist trespassing hikers, fisherman leaving line and hooks, ATV, 4X4, folks who can't stop at a beer or glass of wine at dinner to ruin things and give their group a bad name. (yes, getting drunk and stupid with a gun is worse than leaving a mess of line and hooks along the stream.) No good hunter shot anyone accidentally and most gun-owners are responsible. It only takes one drunk gun owner to get mad at another drunk for that to go sideways. It should be a cliche and a stereotype that all ATV's or snowmobilers are operating DUI. If that was true, there would have been a chain of Fosters General Stores all along the corridor back in the 90's .

As choice has become a huge topic, you can choose to avoid these places and these events. I remember I used to read the AMC Outdoors listing of chapter hikes to avoid those trailheads in the days before FB. Sounds like the first weekend in August will be good for a Catskill Trip or something off the beaten path like I did yesterday, a summit I had not been too. (Saw less than 10 people)
 

JoshandBaron

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Recent legislation passed by the NH legislature and signed into law by the Gov will add a new and exciting element to the ATV fest.

Now all participants can ride fully armed in open carry. This I suppose to disuade aggressive bears and fellow riders.

Fish and Game I salute you. Your already difficult job just got a lot more dangerous.

Oh yeah, it applies to snowmobiles too.

Isn't confronting armed individuals already a part of enforcing hunting laws? Kind of what they signed up for.
 

peakbagger

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BTW - Berlin is closing various roads to support the event. Not a great time for a hike to destinations off RT 110 like Cabot. Main street in Berlin will be closed at times but taking the bypass on the east side of the river skips that. Maine Street in Gorham will nto close but there will be a lot of traffic on the street. Pinkham B/ Dolly Copp road can be used a s bypass for those heading north on RT 16 heading towards RT 2 west.
 

peakbagger

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Bump, the event is this upcoming weekend. Berlin has most of the events. RT 110 and Main Street in Berlin will be the most affected. Usually, the area tends to start to fill up on Thursday.
 

dug

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Bump, the event is this upcoming weekend. Berlin has most of the events. RT 110 and Main Street in Berlin will be the most affected. Usually, the area tends to start to fill up on Thursday.

Question PB, it appears that if we take the Cleveland Bridge to the East Side, we won't have issues as it's before the closure, correct? Visiting family that way, past Success Pond Rd. There's a chance we are going past Errol, but I'm trying to avoid the extra travel...
 

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Do snowmobilers and ATV riders see a lot of bears? IDK. I've seen three, two in situations where they have grown to live in suburban neighborhoods and the other, I was hiking solo and therefore was very quiet in my approach. I have lousy hearing & I've never had an ATV or snowmobile sneak up on me.

I glad the whole, alcohol and ATV's and snowmobile riding is fake news, otherwise, adding guns to vehicles and booze would be a place to avoid.
 

peakbagger

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Question PB, it appears that if we take the Cleveland Bridge to the East Side, we won't have issues as it's before the closure, correct? Visiting family that way, past Success Pond Rd. There's a chance we are going past Errol, but I'm trying to avoid the extra travel...

I would agree, Berlin's Main street gets shut down a couple of times a year and through traffic is routed over the Cleveland bridge and then around the former mill complex to the 12th street Bridge.

The traffic usually backs up before the Rt110 turn. Just avoid RT 110 and if someone really wants to hike Cabot there is always the option to come south on RT 110 from Groveton.
 

CaptCaper

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Recent legislation passed by the NH legislature and signed into law by the Gov will add a new and exciting element to the ATV fest.

Now all participants can ride fully armed in open carry. This I suppose to disuade aggressive bears and fellow riders.

Fish and Game I salute you. Your already difficult job just got a lot more dangerous.

Oh yeah, it applies to snowmobiles too.

That's really a dumb statement friend. Very narrow minded and not based on facts of the situation. Thank God I can carry while hiking in NH. And ATV
rs aren't the issue. Great people. Better them here then the gang bangers and drug lords and just plain creeps coming up from Ma and CT Bears aren't the problem. Leaving it in car or hotel room cause you can't carry isn't great ...I missed that out in Montana this spring.
 

Mike P.

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That's really a dumb statement friend. Very narrow minded and not based on facts of the situation. Thank God I can carry while hiking in NH. And ATV
rs aren't the issue. Great people. Better them here then the gang bangers and drug lords and just plain creeps coming up from Ma and CT Bears aren't the problem. Leaving it in car or hotel room cause you can't carry isn't great ...I missed that out in Montana this spring.

You said a mouthful, "That's really a dumb statement friend." We are all gang bangers, drug lords and creeps that are supporting the NH tourist industry. Why would those people even come up to NH? What kind of money would one get protecting your turf or selling drugs at high traffic areas like Pond of Safety or at Black Pond. Selling drugs at trailheads to fitness conscious people sounds very lucrative, was the franchise on submarine screen doors already taken?
 

peakbagger

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I saw one report of one serious accident at the park this weekend. It was pretty quiet south of downtown Berlin. The new entrance to the ATV trails in Gorham at the trestle and the new Parking lot just north of it has worked out well despite the shake up of the layout this spring. When I went by on Saturday all the primary spaces and overflow spaces were full. The ATV rental customer lot was just about full. The move of the ATV parking from its former location has reduced traffic on RT 2 west of town from the former parking lot to trickle. At least for this event, the lack of porta potties at the new lot was probably a real problem, the ATV rental place that now owns all three lots has been building a permanent restroom facility but it nowhere near ready. Mr Pizzas lot in Gorham was packed.

The chamber of commerce seems to have figured out how accommodate the crowds on RT 110 and on RT 16 better than in the past. It probably good that they stepped back in to run the event as the private individual building the Jericho Gateway park up the road from the state park has a lot of plans but not a lot of follow through at this point.

Fish and Game should be publishing their reports today and usually makes it on the website before tomorrow morning. The Berlin Sun will be on the stands tomorrow, but they normally "cheerlead" for the event in their coverage and avoid the negatives. Various legal infractions that make it to district court will show up over the course of several weeks. I know the Gorham cops were working the Berlin Gorham road heavily.

Overall I expect a lot of money into the local economy and lots of overtime for the local police and fish and game.
 
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