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NH Class A trails

  1. #1
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    NH Class A trails


    Some time ago Epping NH started converting some of its Class VI roads to "Class A trails". A couple I have ridden once upon a time. My resident family dirt bike hater has taken some pleasure in telling me how what I dun was illegal. Yesterday I was hiking in the area and noticed at least one of them was posted as a Class A trail. But the sign said something like limit 1000 lbs. Even the hardly ableson isn't that heavy. By read of the sign a dual-sport is good to go.

    Pulled up the NH law and it seems somewhat ambiguous.

    I. A class A trail shall be a full public right-of-way, of indefinite duration subject to public trail use restrictions. It shall not have the status of a publicly approved street, and shall not be used as a vehicular access for any new building or structure, or for the expansion, enlargement, or increased intensity of use of any existing building or structure. It may, however, be used by the owners of land abutting on such trail, or land served exclusively by such trail, to provide access for such nondevelopment uses as agriculture and forestry, or for access to any building or structure existing prior to its designation as a trail, and such owners' access for such uses shall be exempt from applicable public trail use restrictions, subject only to reasonable time, season and manner regulations imposed by the local governing body. The municipality shall bear no responsibility for maintaining the trail for such uses by abutting owners. Such owners shall, prior to excavation, construction or disturbance of a class A trail, obtain permission from the municipal officers, in the same manner prescribed for highways in RSA 236:9-11.
    I guess the section in bold defers some access details to the town. I haven't been able to find details from Epping posted anywhere yet.
    There was an RSA cited on the sign. I meant to snap a photo for reference but forgot.

    If it really is open to motorized vehicles under 1k lbs, I am half tempted to spark up the WR and go run it. Take photos just to send the gloater.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  2. #2
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    Re: NH Class A trails

    I'm almost certain it's up the the town to decide the limits on Class A trails. Class A status lets the town maintain their right of way and effectively limits normal vehicular traffic to abutters who need to access a building/property where a Class IV lets any registered vehicle travel it for any purpose. They can allow any form of recreational access they like. There may be hope with the 1000lbs limit but if there are no ATV/trailbike permitted signs, I would be cautious until you can verify it. If it's open to ATVs, I'm assuming you would need an off-road registration since normal plated vehicles are not allowed on them.

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    Last edited by ZX-12R; 03-22-21 at 06:24 AM.
    "...i would seriously bite somebody right in the balls..." -bump909

  3. #3
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: NH Class A trails

    Interesting. My from the hip read was plated street vehicles under 1k lbs would be okay. This would effectively close it to ATVs (not plated) and jeeps/4x4's (overweight). Maybe local farm plated UTVs and such would be okay. A plated dirty or ADV'er would slip right through that.

    This particular road connects to an old road that he also insists is now class A, but all local signs seem to point to as still class VI. So there is a reason excuse to through-travel.

    Next time I get egged on I'll try to dig deeper into Eppings laws here.

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  4. #4
    Lifer jimmycapp's Avatar
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    Re: NH Class A trails

    Why does he hate dirtbikes?

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  5. #5
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    Re: NH Class A trails

    231-A:1 Class A and B Trails.
    I. A class A trail shall be a full public right-of-way, of indefinite duration subject to public trail use restrictions. It shall not have the status of a publicly approved street, and shall not be used as a vehicular access for any new building or structure, or for the expansion, enlargement, or increased intensity of use of any existing building or structure...
    Now that I read the RSAs a little more, it seems the limitation is on access to new and existing buildings or structures. It doesn't specifically exclude other uses.

    231-A:4 Public Trail Use Restrictions.
    In this chapter "public trail use restrictions" means any restrictions upon use of a trail by the general public. Such restrictions may be imposed by a landowner as a condition of grant or dedication of a trail acquired under RSA 231-A:5, or by vote of the local legislative body or its designee at or subsequent to the time the trail is established, or by the local governing body under RSA 41:11. Such restrictions may include, but are not limited to, prohibition of motor vehicles, prohibition of wheeled vehicles, prohibition of off highway recreational vehicles, or restriction to specified modes of travel such as horse, bicycle, or foot. Such restrictions, if posted using legible signs at entrances to the trail from public highways, or at any property boundaries where new or different restrictions become applicable, shall be enforceable in the same manner as traffic violations as set forth in RSA 265. Any person violating such restrictions shall be guilty of a violation.
    This excerpt enumerates several limitation examples that could be set on Class A trail which probably means vehicular traffic isn't inherently excluded by the RSA and would be decided by the town that owns the right of way. I doubt any town publishes this information in an easy to find manner. I also don't know if there are signage responsibilities on the town either.

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    "...i would seriously bite somebody right in the balls..." -bump909

  6. #6
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: NH Class A trails

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmycapp View Post
    Why does he hate dirtbikes?
    Why does anyone hate anything?

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  7. #7
    Hypertarded
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    Re: NH Class A trails

    I hate everything, it's easier for me to remember....

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