When we met our host, Karl, here in New Hampshire’s North Country, he told us about the many moose that live in these parts. But he didn’t guarantee we’d see one, even though the sign on the highway warned that “hundreds of accidents” have resulted in people meeting moose with the fronts of their cars.
As we drove down Route 3 searching for our elusive lodgings, WOW! we spotted two moose crossing the road, the big bull with gleaming eyes from the headlights, and cars stopping to let the two big beasts cross into the woods.
We’re settled into a cozy apartment at the Trailside Lodge in North Stratford NH. We had a tough time finding this place in gigantic Coos county, where cell service barely exists and GPS isn’t really an option. It’s a throwback, but thankfully, people at the Dollar General were helpful and gave us detailed directions to get here. We spent about an hour trying to drive down an ATV trail, scraping the car on rocks as the road got thinner and worse with every foot.
We gingerly made our way back the rutted trail, me leading the way up front with a flashlight to keep the car from hitting any more boulders. Ironically, we had just finished taking a tour in a side by side ATV over another part of this vast 1000-mile network of trails built just for driving ATVs on.
At dinner in the Dancing Bear Pub in Colebrook, Harry Brown described how he never let the headwinds stop his effort to create this big network of trails called Ride the Wilds. His group has even succeeded in getting area towns to allow ATVs to traverse local streets to get to the trails and to create a seamless experience for visiting trail-riders.
Casey Hibbard of Bear Rock Adventures guided us in a six-passenger ATV up and down the rough trails past some beautiful vistas, including the view of Dixville Notch through the clouds. Clients can rent a wide selection of ATVs at Bear Rock, prices range from a half day for $145 to a two or three seater for $230 for a full day. They have 23 vehicles and have had many sell-outs since they began the business last year.
Live free and ride is how they roll here in the most northern county, Coos, pronounced Kay-Oss. Locals get a kick out of hearing the county pronounced kooos.