Colebrook, NH (November 15, 2018) — Six local organizations are linking arms for the first time to bring change to the North Country trail system, Ride the Wilds, while raising industry standards for motorsport riding nationally. Funding the project, The Polaris Foundation has given the newly formed alliance a $100,000 grant, which will go toward the creation and installation of 1,000 new ATV trail signs that will provide directional guidance and promote safe and responsible riding practices throughout the trail system.
“Ride the Wilds is an iconic trail system that provides thousands of miles of trails where riders can create memories, discover adventures and spend time with friends and family,” said Lucy Clark Dougherty, president of the Polaris Foundation. “Polaris is honored to support this community’s collaborative effort to enhance off-road riding experiences.”
Working together to improve community relations by showcasing a strong collaboration between township, clubs, landowners and state entities, organizations included in the alliance are Bear Rock Adventures, Great Northwoods Riders ATV Club, Metallak ATV Club, Millsfield ATV Club, The North Country Chamber of Commerce and Umbagog ATV Club. With a focus on improving overall rider education, safety and experience through better signage, expected completion is May 2019.
“The new initiative will improve navigation, decrease improper access and enhance the overall quality of the trail system,” said Corrine Rober, owner of Polaris Adventures® Certified Outfitter, Bear Rock Adventures and marketing chair for North Country Chamber of Commerce. “Bear Rock is on the front lines when it comes to customer feedback, and one of the most consistent recommendations from our guests is to improve ATV trail signage. With tourism growing in our community, it’s our job to provide these improvements and ongoing education so locals and tourists alike can properly utilize our trails.”
According to New Hampshire’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, data shows tourism is a driving factor of economic growth in Coos County. Largely due to off-roading, Ride the Wilds has been the only economic initiative in the county since 2013. From 2012 to 2017, spending on lodging and meals increased 34 percent annually, which rose to 37 percent during months when off-road trails were open. This added spending helps support local economies through jobs and the generation of additional tax revenue.
In addition to promoting tourism, the alliance has been in direct collaboration with Chris Gamache, the head of the Bureau of Trails for the state, to ensure the signage is also helping reach larger bureau initiatives throughout the trail system.
“The project to improve ATV trail signage, which is one of the most significant areas of improvement needed on the trails, is a tremendously positive initiative, and we look forward to working on these improvements with the local clubs and chambers," said Gamache, chief of the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails.
Communities benefitting from the new signage include Clarksville, N.H.; Colebrook, N.H.; Columbia, N.H.; Dixville Notch, N.H.; Errol, N.H.; Millsfield, N.H.; Pittsburg, N.H.; West Stewartstown, N.H.; Averill, Vt.; Beecher Falls, Vt.; Canaan, Vt.; and Lemington, Vt.
For more information, visit https://www.chamberofthenorthcountry.com/ridingtowardchange.html.
About North Country Chamber of Commerce: The North Country Chamber of Commerce strives to serve its members by way of business advocacy, promotion of regional attractions and involvement in initiatives to foster economic growth. It promotes northern Coos County, New Hampshire and northeastern Essex County, Vermont. Visitor information and brochures about the area can be found in the State Rest Area and Community Interpretive Center three minutes north of the Chamber on Route 3. The visitor center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. www.chamberofthenorthcountry.com
About Polaris Industries Inc.: Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) is a global powersports leader that has been fueling the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts for more than 60 years. With annual 2017 sales of $5.4 billion, Polaris’ innovative, high-quality product line-up includes the RANGER®, RZR® and Polaris GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles; the Sportsman® and Polaris ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; Indian Motorcycle® mid-size and heavyweight motorcycles; Slingshot® moto-roadsters; snowmobiles; and pontoon, deck and cruiser boats. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments and accessories, along with a growing aftermarket portfolio, including Transamerican Auto Parts. Polaris’ presence in adjacent markets globally includes military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric vehicles. Proudly headquartered in Minnesota, Polaris serves more than 100 countries across the globe. Visit www.polaris.com for more information.