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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I live in Southern NH, but there isn't really any good places to ride around here.
The closest place to me is the Rockingham trail, but it's built on an old railbed, which makes for a long boring ride.
In the Summer I keep my ATV at my buddys place in Ossipee, but it's still a 60+ mile ride to get to the legal riding areas in Gorham and points North. Over the last several Summers, we rode most of the trails from Gorham, Belin, Jericho, Success Pond, 7 Islands, Millsfiled, Errol, Dummer, Dixville etc. For the most part, they're just these boring and dusty Class VI dirt logging roads. When I ride, I want to have a bit of variety with a mix of fast woodland trails some slower terrain challenges, but that's not what we generally find on the NH trails system.
Last Summer we started to look for other places to ride, and the answer was just to the East over in Maine.
We looked at the Maine trail maps and found a LOT more places to ride, many of which were a lot closer to our starting point, which is in NH within a few miles of the Maine border. Every August Maine has a registration reciprocity weekend. If your ATV is legally registered in any state, Maine will allow you to use your machine in Maine, without a Maine non-resident registration for that weekend. So we took advantage of that and went over to Shapleigh and rode the trail to Abbott Mountain. What a difference! In addition to being only a half hour drive from my buddys house (instead of the usual 1.5-2.5 hour drive) the trails gave us the whole gamut of riding challenges we were looking for. There were wide, flat and fast stretches, slow narrow and winding sections, some rocky and hilly terrain too, and everything in between. It was great, just what we were looking for to break up the monotony. And that was only the first place we went in Western Maine, there are so many more that we'll be exploring next year. Until someone sent me this link, I had no idea there were so many trail areas, so close to where his house is, just over the border.

https://www.gpstrailmasters.com/content/goomap/atv-map.html

Another thing about Maine is LE's attitude towards ATV's is so much more relaxed than in NH. The laws about where you can ride are not as stringent as NH and they're OK with you riding down the side of the road getting between trail sections. Just be respectful, don't ride like an a$$hole and they'll leave you alone.
So next year we won't even bother renewing our NH registrations, which is currently $87 a year for RESIDENTS.
While Maine is only $91 a year for NON-residents. So for only $4 more, we'll be riding trails that are a lot more fun, and saving a lot of time and gas towing our machines to and from the trails.
Don't get me wrong, I love living in NH, but Maine seems to offer a much better experience for ATV riding.
 

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Your correct but many of the trails in Maine are dual use, i.e. snowmobile and ATV. Also, and this is the most important reason, the ATV/Snowmobile clubs are very active in Maine. They fix (bridges) and mark the trails, talk to landowners, monthly meetings, Halloween rides, education classes, etc. In addition, some of the Maine retail stores that sell these products also get involved.

Suggest wherever you ride in Maine you give the local ATV/Snowmobile club their annual membership dues. I support two Sebago region clubs in the early spring with their membership dues. Below are just two links to clubs

https://www.atvmaine.org/
https://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/trail_activities/atv/clubs.shtml
and others
 

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Maine has close to 8000 miles of ATV trails, be sure to try the greenville area, Downeast sunrise trail , Airline snack, patten, to name a few.
 

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Waterboro,Buxton,limington..parsonsfield..steep falls..shapleigh.. Hollis all are nice trails..ride them all the time
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just a reminder for those that ride in NH or intend to, there's a new law that mandates all ATV's, UTV's and OHRV's have a rear view mirror.
The motorcycle handlebar clamp-on type will work fine, and you can get a pair for $20, but you only need one.
 

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glad you updated this thread. so we ride NH every spring and I have a bud that has hit Maine as part of a fishing trip. He says Maine is the spot. we are like you we enjoy the club's trails and not the connector per say.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As I mentioned in an above post, I'll be registering my machine in Maine this season.
My current NH decals expires at the end of June, and I won't be renewing it this year.
Another advantage Maine gives you over NH is the ability to register at the beginning of May, and your decals will be good for 14 months, expiring the end of June of the following year. So you can start riding in May and not have to pay twice.
NH doesn't allow this. All registration decals expire at the end of June.
So lets say you weren't registered in NH last year and wanted to ride there before July 1st., you'd have to pay the full amount, and then pay it again at the end of June if you wanted to continue riding after that.
I'm just waiting until next week, because as of May 1st, non-residents can order Maine registration decals online here:

 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did my Maine registration online in the wee hours of May 1st, I got #003.
So I'm good in Maine until June 30, 2021
A printout is all I need until the decals arrive, but the trails don't actually open until May15th anyway.

In NH the trails officially open on May 23rd, but that could change, so check the website before you head up there.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Maine Trail Info:


ATV trails are CLOSED for Mud Season. Opening dates will vary across the state and depending on the weather, but no one should expect any of the trails to open before May. All signs should have an opening date of May 15th or later. Many will say June 1 because that is what the landowner permits require. Please respect the landowners wishes and obey the closure signs to save the trail system.

We will open the trails as soon as they are ready but in the meantime we need everyone to stay off until the frost is out, ground is dry, and the landowners say we can go.
Thank You
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I finally made it out to the trails last weekend for my first ride of the season.
We rode a good segment of the Plantation Trail in Parsonfield Maine.
I didn't have a local club trail map, so I used the one here:
It didn't match up very well with my own topo GPS (Garmin Montana 510) readings.
We wound up on Cedar Mountain, which wasn't even on the Trailmasters map, and we couldn't find much of the actual trails it did show. We found a designated parking area that intersected the trail, but it wasn't marked on the Trailmaster map.
Anyway, it was hot as hell last Saturday, and I'm glad I wasn't riding the NH trails, where you suck dust and bake in the sun.
The Maine trails are mostly under tree cover so you spend most of the time in the shade.
 
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