||04-03-2013 02:56 PM
Mud Season Class VI Road Closures
This is a reminder to everyone that mud season is in full effect. Many towns impose weight limits on their Class VI roads this time of year to prevent rutting and erosion caused by off-road vehicles while the ground is soft and sensitive.
Some towns have legal mud season closures, while others do not. The liability is on the driver to determine if the trails they are running are open or not. By rights, the town must post signs at the entrances to the roads, but the signs can fall town, be torn off, forgotten, etc, and may not always be visible. Consequences for being caught on a closed road can include fines upwards of $1,000 and the potential to be held responsible for damages caused to the road.
Please adhere to the rules this time of year. It's for the sake of the trails. If the laws continue to be broken, the towns are likely to discontinue or abandon their rights to the Class VI roads and give the property back to the landowners, making it illegal for us to use them ANY time of year.
This past weekend there were multiple instances of groups and individuals going out on closed trails (namely Pembroke and Bradford that I'm familiar with, most likely others as well). The trail heads ARE being watched by the residents and authorities. Also as with any trail, open or not, any time of year, please respect the road and other users. Spinning up mud holes and ruts causes erosion and makes the trails less enjoyable for the next person, especially if that person happens to be on horseback or mountain bike for example.
Not all towns close or restrict their Class VI roads for mud season. An idea we're doing over at ExploringNH is to try to generate a list of all the towns and when their legally imposed mud season begins and ends, or if they have one at all. We can get a similar list going here, if people want to contribute. I know everyone has the itch to go out wheeling, but we can all help each other stay safe and legal and keep the trails open.