Coos County Takes Up Mount Washington Trail Dispute

Dec 13, 2017

Cog Railway trains ascend Mount Washington.
Credit Cog Railway

A dispute over a new trail atop Mount Washington will go before the Coos County planning board.

The Mount Washington Cog Railway cleared the three-mile trail for recreation and maintenance uses along its train tracks near the summit.

The trail runs mostly in a path left by state installation of a power line in 2010.

The nonprofit group Keep the Whites Wild says the trail violates county ordinance.

They say the Railway should have gotten a building permit, arguing the trail is a business use that might carry heavy-duty Snowcats for trail grooming and sightseeing.

Railway president Wayne Presby disagrees.

"As far as I'm concerned, those are all recreational activities that are allowed within the zoning ordinance by right,” he said after the county commission meeting Wednesday.

Coos County commissioners have asked their planning board for a report on the issue before they decide what, if anything, to do about it.

The planning board meets next Jan. 24 in Lancaster.

Christopher Jensen contributed reporting from Berlin.