David Stiles, standing, president of the Bear Mountain Riders ATV Club in Hartford, speaks Thursday to the Canton Select Board to encourage ATV access route on Staples Hill Road. Selectmen voted 4-0 against it after comments from Canton and Hartford residents. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

CANTON — The Select Board voted 4-0 Thursday night against opening an ATV access route on Staples Hill Road.

Meeting at the Town Office, Chairman Brian Keene, Vice Chairwoman Michelle Larrivee, Carole Robbins and Kristi Carrier did not support the request. Selectman Rob Walker viewed the meeting via Zoom and did not vote.

Around 20-plus people, many of them landowners or members of ATV clubs in Canton, Hartford and Peru, attended the meeting. It was the third meeting on the subject.

David Stiles and Dan Brissette, Hartford residents and members of the Bear Mountain Riders ATV Club, spoke. Stiles said it would be beneficial to legally access the top of Bear Mountain.

Keene reiterated from the town’s last meeting in April with the ATV clubs, Brissette and other Hartford club members said there was a trail through Pine Shores in Hartford with ATV access. Landowners in the area disagreed.

Several Canton residents spoke against ATV access on Staples Hill Road.


Kerry Huckins said he “would rather pay taxes and have it quiet than I would have ATVs.”

Richard Landry agreed, saying the machines should not go up the road because “they make too much racket.”

A Canton resident said she loved ATVing and she and her family are not against the activity. However, she said, “Staples Hill is a very dangerous road, it has a lot of curves, it has no side banks, so nobody can really (move) over.”

Resident Christine Carrigan said she read the state guidelines on ATV use on roads. The guidelines, she said, included two questions particularly pertinent to Staples Hill Road: Is there ample room to run off the shoulder area and does the roadway have horizontal and vertical curves that will make it unsafe for either the user of the ATV or the motorist.”

Carrigan said the road does not have any shoulder area and there are many “unsafe horizontal or vertical curves” on the road.

In other business, Town Clerk Kathy Walker said Carrigan accepted the selectperson seat for a three-year term after received 12 write-in votes in Tuesday’s election. It had been held by Kristi Carrier, who did not seek another term.


Shawn Goodrow was unopposed in his bid for a one-year term on the board. Walker did not seek reelection.

Carrigan and Goodrow will be official sworn in July 1.

Write-in candidates Thomas Peters, Robyn McClintock and Brian Jordan have each accepted three-year terms on the Planning Board.

The town clerk said the town has hired Patricia Patnaude of Stow as town treasurer. She will begin her duties next week.

Keene said Friday that David Saphier of Mexico was appointed town health officer following an executive session by the board Thursday.

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: