Dear Valued Members,
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for their patience this past year. Members for sticking by us, both by joining and donating time and money, and going above and beyond by purchasing a phenomenal amount of both fund-raising t-shirts. Local business owners for their support and for reaching out to legislators to help get the new road crossings approved. The Bureau of Trails for their knowledge, guidance and support with all the legislature bills.
A simple thank you seems insignificant to Jon & Aime Strickland who stepped forward and graciously allowed the trail to cross their property so the closed trails would not impact your ride.
We are forever grateful to Phil and Susan Lambert and Vincent and Michelle Rossillo who have given land for a new trail on South Hill. It is hoped this trail will be open to ride by mid-summer and the Fall excursion across it will be stunning. The club has worked since its inception to accomplish off road trails, talking each year to the landowners who would be affected, laying a foundation. This trail is extensive and expensive to do - estimated cost over $150,000. GIA funds will be applied but the Club must pick up 40% of the cost. We are focused, however, on getting it done to help avoid the intense negativity this recreational activity encountered this past year.
Above all, I wish to thank the Directors who didn't give up and helped "get ur done", often taking the brunt of unhappy comments. The Metallak ATV Club is very fortunate to have such a dedicated Board. It was a very trying start for both our members and us but I feel we all came through with flying colors.
The necessary rerouting of trails was not our only problem; the Sims Stream bridge washed, leaving no trail to the south. Repairs were costly and not part of the original GIA grant. Five bridges still need to be replaced on the Kelsey Notch trail. Adding to the woes was the State budget stalemate. Work still had to be done but there was no GIA funds being issued. Registration funds paid were also caught up in the stalemate, so that, even in August, clubs had not received their share.
Once we were able to open the complete trail system, it was busy. The Annual Landowner Appreciation and Steak Feed was well attended. The Fall Foliage Ride saw a substantial increase in riders over last year. Donations to the local food pantry was included and we all but filled a ski-doo trailer. Regrettably, we found it necessary to discontinue the Santa Schlep in November this year.
A sincere thank you to Mike Furbush for his excellent work creating our new trail signs. Due to the start-of-season issues, we were unable to get them up in all locations. It is hoped to get it done before the 2020 opening. Unfortunately, there are still people who pay no heed and travel where they shouldn't travel. This not only harms the Club's reputation but creates major issues when private landowners decide to close off their land, as experienced this past year.
The Metallak ATV Club membership topped 1,000 this year, making us the largest in the state. We couldn't accomplish all we do without the support of our members, and once again, THANK YOU
As always, Happy Trails,
Craig Washburn, President
PS - Sadly, we have just had to make the decision to not open trails for the Memorial Day weekend. The coronavirus pandemic and “Stay at Home” order partly determined this decision, but more importantly, Mother Nature once again. We are aware that many of our members have, perhaps, already had to mow their lawn. Believe it or not, a large portion of our trails are still covered with six to twelve inches of snow. That is why we are called the “Great North Country.”
Please stay tuned to the Metallak ATV Club on facebook and our webpage for opening updates. Believe me, we are as disheartened by this decision as all of you.