Bridge spanning Pisgah brook now holds emergency ATVs
HINSDALE, N.H. -- All-terrain vehicles used for medical emergencies can now safely cross over a brook about a mile into Pisgah State Park following the construction of a wooden bridge by a team of volunteers.
The 5-foot-wide replacement bridge built along a hiking trail by eight members of the Friends of Pisgah spans a brook and allows ATVs the ability of crossing to get to a sick or injured person and cart them out of the woods. FOP President Gary Montgomery told the Reformer the trail is strictly for hiking, but the bridge must be able to handle an ATV used in rescue efforts by police departments or the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The brook that passes underneath the new bridge feeds into the Kilburn Pond, but Montgomery did not its name.
Montgomery said the only work that remains to be done on the bridge are handrails and 4-foot ramps on either side of it. He said he hopes to complete the project this weekend with FOP Vice President Matt Edson, though there is another bridge along the South Woods Trail that also must be tended to. Montgomery said the other bridge was crafted about a month ago but still requires a ramp. This bridge is not ATV-accessible and is meant only to connect two pieces of the hiking trail. He told the Reformer the Friends of Pisgah have built numerous bridge in the park over the years, though he did not know the exact number.
"This summer alone, we have built two, and there are several other ones that need to be built," he said Tuesday. "Most of the bridges in the park are really in disrepair. They just haven't had the attention that need over the years."
Montgomery said the newest bridge should last at least 20 years. He said the Friends of Pisgah are trying to take stock of all the trails and see what work needs to be done. With more than 13,300 acres, Pisgah is the largest state park in New Hampshire.
John Herrick, a Friend of Pisgah in charge of trails, said the work on the newest bridge was originally slated for Aug. 9 but was rescheduled for Aug. 16 because the two horizontal logs -- called stringers -- used to support the bridge's deck had been cut, but were not yet in position. Herrick told the Reformer the stringers are 34 feet long. He mentioned the previous bridge in that spot was about 15 years old.
Montgomery said the FOP held a 5-kilometer and a 10-kilometer walking/running race in the spring to raise money needed for certain projects within Pisgah. He said the newest bridge is one of those projects.
He also said it is important to remember there are maps of Pisgah that illustrate which trails are designated for which activities. He said there are separate trails for hikers, ATVs, snowmobiles, horseback riders and mountain bikers. People also use Pisgah for hunting, fishing and bird-watching.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.
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