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Thrill Ride: North Country's ATV Trail System

Thrill Ride: The North Country ATV Trail System

By Dan Mathers; Photography by AJ Derosa

As kids, many of us enjoyed the thrill of zipping through the woods on a bike, go-cart, or dirt bike, kicking up clouds of dust and getting good and dirty as we bounced over rocks and logs and plowed through mud puddles. But then we got older, got jobs, got married, and the thrill went away.

Or did it?

A good way to find out is through ATV riding, and one the best places to ride is northern New Hampshire, where you’ll find more than 1,000 miles of interconnected ATV trails known as the Ride the Wilds trail system.

As the largest ATV trail system in the Northeast, the Ride the Wilds trails offer something for every kind of rider, whether you’re a novice looking to enjoy a gentle ride or an expert seeking the adrenaline rush of challenging trails and steep, rugged climbs. The trails are open each year from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September, and the options of where to go are virtually endless.

Similar to snowmobiling, ATV riders can cruise for days on end without seeing the same trail twice. The trails weave through the vast wilderness of the North Country, providing ATV riders with breathtaking views of mountains, fields, forests, and waterways.

All the communities along the trail system allow ATV access on town roads, so riders can access services, stores, restaurants, or connect to other trails, making it easy for riders to fuel up, re-provision or get something to eat.

If you don’t own an ATV, several local businesses rent them and provide instructions on how to ride safely. Among them are Notch View Resort in Colebrook, Bear Rock Adventures in Pittsburg, Cabins at Lopstick  in Pittsburg, and Let’s Ride Rentals in Stewartstown.