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Legal action aimed at closing ATV trail gateway continues

November 07, 2018
GORHAM — The lawsuit filed by 13 Gorham residents against the town and state to close an ATV trailhead continues after judge allows suit to continue.

Justice Lawrence MacLeod handed down his order for the case to proceed on Oct. 16 in North Haverhill.

At a June hearing, Gorham resident and one plaintiff Diane Holmes, who lives on Route 2 near the gateway, told the court that ATV use there has "taken away my ability to enjoy my home."

Many residents claim that there is significant noise and dust created by OHRV riders at the trailhead which is a nuisance to locals there. Also, claims have been made that many riders do not follow the 10 p.m. curfew. Also, some claim that some riders do not abide by posted speed limits.

The residents filed their lawsuit in March of last year, and the case was moved from Cos County to Grafton County.

The trailhead and trail itself is located on state land, and is the most southern gateway to the 1,000-mile Ride the Wilds system in Cos County.

The town of Gorham has filed a motion for reconsideration, and is appealing the nuisance claim and asking MacLeod to dismiss it all-together.

The residents want a writ to enforce the zoning ordinance and is asking to close the trailhead for good. They want a preliminary injunction that would stop the town and the state from allowing access there and to "proceed to trial free from any sovereign immunity claim" as stated in court documents.

The trails in the Ride the Wilds system leads to the ATV park at Jericho Mountain State Park.

There has been a strong economic boost from OHRV riders who come from all over the country to enjoy the trails here and many towns have adopted ordinances that allow OHRV traffic on roads.

Some communities, including Stark, unsuccessfully tried to get OHRV use on roads banned.

Garnett Hill
Martin Lord Osman
Garnett Hill
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