On Sunday, January 24, the members of New Hampshire Snowmobile Museum held a vintage snowmobile ride at Bear Notch State Park in Bartlett, NH. We will do it again on March 7, details below.
Bear Notch Vintage Ride
About 25 riders showed up from New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, some with more than one sled to ride. The morning started out with the temperature around 2 below zero but did get all the way up to about 18 degrees later.
However, the wind was the real enemy, with heavy gusts all day. Three rides went out that day, with two nine-mile loops in the morning and a 27-mile loop later. Some braved all three rides, others only made one or two. Luckily only one sled had to be towed back to the parking lot.
Variety of Vintage Sleds
A good variety of snowmobiles were there for the ride, sleds from a 1963 Polaris rear engine to a 1992 Arctic Cat EXT. I did however have my 2008 Ski-Doo, in case of emergency. Three riders showed up with twin-tracked machines, two Ski-Doo Alpines, and one Aktiv Grizzly. From trail to muscle sleds, and entry level too.
Museum Vice President, John Lumnah, and I handled the food and refreshments: hot dogs, cup o’ soup, and snacks were available to all that braved the cold and wind. Hot chocolate and coffee were the big hits of the day though.
Museum member Charlie Bierce led all three rides, with Doug Kauer taking up the tail on the first two rides and me taking that position on the last ride, to monitor for breakdowns or problems. Thank you to all who participated in the ride, especially Charlie Bierce for leading the groups, as well as all his help in pulling this ride together, and Doug Kauer for his help monitoring the early groups.
White Mountain Trail Club
A big shout-out to the White Mountain Trail Club for grooming the area before our ride, pushing back the snow banks in the parking lot, getting us permission to use the driveway across the street from the lot and securing the use of the parking lot at the Joshua Bartlett Elementary School for any overflow parking. It takes the effort of so many to put on a ride like this. A heartfelt thank you to you all.
Upcoming Ride March 7
For anyone who missed the Bear Notch ride, the New Hampshire Snowmobile Museum is hosting a vintage ride in Franconia Notch on March 7, 2021, with help from the White Mountain Snowmobile Club taking care of the food concession.
Anyone who missed riding in Bear Notch, or who would like to watch the vintage sleds head out, we will be meeting at the Whale’s Tale waterpark to head out onto the trail at around 8 a.m.
The ride will head up the bike path, past Cannon Mountain, up to the Lafayette camping area for a short break, and then back to the Whale’s Tale for food and refreshments. A second, and possibly third run up the trail, time permitting. For more info check out our website or Facebook page. We hope to see you there!