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Director’s Message

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Enjoy the Great Outdoors

New Hampshire welcomes snowmobile and off-highway recreational vehicle riders to responsibly enjoy our thousands of miles of trails throughout the state. With over 7,000 miles of snowmobile and 1,300 miles of OHRV trails, including the Coos Trail system in the North Country which offers more than 1,000 miles of trails alone for ATVs and UTVs, there is something for everyone. New Hampshire boasts beautiful lakes and rivers, oceans and mountains, fields and forests. All levels of riders from beginners to experts can enjoy a day outdoors and some amazing scenery along the way.

The number of riders has been increasing in recent years so trails can become crowded, all the more reason to obey the rules, ride with courtesy, and use proper safety equipment. Some trails now include authorized roadways, where safety is even more crucial because riders are sharing the roads with cars and trucks. Always be sure to wear a helmet and eye protection.

There have been some new laws and regulations put in place in recent years so it is important that riders review this entire digest. These changes include increases in some fines, a restraint system and helmet requirement for those under 7 riding in a UTV, an eye protection requirement for all operators unless the OHRV is equipped with a windshield or screen that protects the driver’s eyes and face, and blue and/or red colored lights are now only permitted on OHRVs and snowmobiles used by state, county, municipal, or federal agencies. Rules can change mid-year as well, so be sure to check our website for the most up-to-date information at www.wildnh.com/ohrv.

An accident can happen in the blink of an eye with no notice, and rider safety is our greatest concern. All ages and skill levels are vulnerable to accidents, but inexperience plays a large role. In the past 6 years, over 80% of riders involved in accidents (OHRV and snowmobile combined) had not taken a Safety Course. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department strongly recommends that all riders participate in a Safety Education Class. State law requires that all operators 12 years of age and over must possess either a valid motor vehicle driver’s license or must have successfully completed an approved OHRV or Snowmobile Safety Education Class.

Please respect the rights of the landowners who permit riding on their property. The vast majority of riders follow the rules and practice safe, responsible riding, but illegal off-trail riding, speeding, and modified exhaust systems damage the reputation of all riders and threaten the essential partnership with landowners that make the sport possible. It is their generosity that allows us to have so many miles of great trails.

Also consider becoming more active in your sport by joining a local snowmobile or OHRV club. These organizations and their volunteers are a valuable asset and work to get landowner permission, maintain trails, and educate riders. So get outside, be safe, and enjoy the Granite State.

Glenn Normandeau

Executive Director

NH Fish and Game Department

N.H. Fish and Game — Our Mission

As the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works in partnership with the public to:

  • Conserve, manage and protect these resources and their habitats;
  • Inform and educate the public about these resources; and
  • Provide the public with opportunities to use and appreciate these resources.

The NH Fish and Game Department receives Federal Assistance from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and thus prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and sex, pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or service, please contact or write the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration, 4001 N. Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop: WSFR – 4020, Arlington, Virginia 22203, Attention: Civil Rights Coordinator for Public Programs.