In late 1974 the Grantham Selectmen suggested to a local group of snowmobile and XC ski enthusiasts that they consider forming a club to promote the enjoyment and conservation of the town’s extensive trail system located outside the Eastman Community; and to foster good relations between the burgeoning sports of snowmobiling and XC skiing.
The rest is history! Named the Blue Mountain Snow Dusters (BMSD) to reflect the afternoon hue of Grantham Mountain, the club was incorporated in 1975 by the State of NH as a not-for-profit recreation organization with a unique dual charter of a snowmobile and XC ski club. It remains today as the only club in the state with a dual charter of this kind and proudly displays this distinction on the club logo.
Our all- volunteer club has worked hard over the years to develop and maintain about 65 miles of recreational trails on public and private property throughout Grantham and neighboring towns, and all at no cost to the taxpayer. In addition to providing trail oriented recreation activities to the public, it also assists the Grantham Fire Department in winter search and rescue operations, and supports the activities and programs of “Our Town” and the recently established Grantham Recreation Department.
Maintaining our trails for winter outdoor recreation became an all-season effort in the mid 1980s when mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding became popular in the area. Recognizing this, the club acted to expand its charter and membership choices to include snowshoeing, walking, hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding and became a true all- season outdoor recreation club. Today, Its official title is the Blue Mountain Snowdusters, Outdoor Recreation Club, Inc., but most folks know us as the “BMSD”. The club continues to develop new recreational programs for its members. The recently revised club by-laws established a Director of Recreation to help develop and oversee these programs.
As part of our all-season program, BMSD has built and maintains two warming huts – one at the historic site of the Village of Grantham at Grantham Four Corners on the Croydon Turnpike in North Grantham, and one in the Reney Memorial Forest just off of Route 10, south of the Town Library. Club members built, paint, clean and provide firewood to these huts which provide a welcome place to warm up on the winter trail, or get out of the rain on a summer hike.
Our founding members had a keen interest in conserving the recreation trails, promoting well-being in the community, and giving to those in need. In support of these ideals BMSD was largely responsible for reviving the dormant Old Home Day tradition in Grantham when it organized and hosted the Old Home Day picnic and street dance at Grantham’s bicentennial celebration in 1976, and for several years thereafter. The BMSD has been a prominent part of the annual parade and picnic since then. We have also participated for the past 35 years in the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association’s annual Easter Seal Ride-In; and in 2011 were among the 115 clubs statewide that raised nearly $100,000 to support the annual Easter Seals Campaign.
Our interest in building community and helping those in need continues to grow. BMSD created a team in 2009 to participate in the annual Prouty Challenge Walk , Ride, and Row fundraiser for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, NH. Calling themselves the Grantham Mountaineers, the BMSD Prouty Team includes a combination of Eastman owners and Grantham and area residents who walk, bike, and row in the Connecticutt River Valley to raise money for cancer research at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. For the 2011 Prouty, the team consisted of 36 members, and raised a record $16,000.
Our proud heritage would not have been possible without the cooperation and support of our town’s private landowners and the Grantham Board of Selectmen. The BMSD trail system utilizes many miles of town owned roads and byways, but it is literally held together by connector trails crossing privately owned land with the generous permission of landowners. We are very sensitive to the need to protect and preserve these vital links in our trail system and ask that you do your part by: staying out of environmentally sensitive or posted areas, staying on the established trails at all times, practicing carry –in, carry-out of your disposable trash, and reporting any suspicious or abusive behavior you see on the trail system. Every small contribution that you make helps strengthen our relationship with landowners and the general public while every bit of abuse by any user of the trail system hurts us and threatens our recreational opportunities in the future.
We invite anyone interested in preserving and supporting our activities and trail system to join the BMSD. Through our mutual interests and individual contributions we can be assured that future generations will also enjoy and respect Grantham’s beautiful recreational trail system. Following you will find highlights of BMSD activities and programs that make us what we are. We are confident you will find them interesting and inviting:
LANDOWNER APPRECIATON DINNERS:
The BMSD has become well known throughout our region for its annual Ham and Bean dinner. We have a Ham and Bean dinner in the fall to bring landowners and friends together to honor and them for their cooperation and support. . The food is always great, the prices always affordable, and the fellowship always exciting.
OLD HOME DAY:
Grantham’s annual Old Home Day is a chance for Grantham residents and friends to celebrate their great community. Held on the Fourth of July, It is an old Grantham tradition that was revived with the help of the BMSD at the town bicentennial in 1976. Today, the festivities include a large parade, and a gala town picnic which offers activities for all ages at the Grantham Recreational Park. Look for the BMSD and the Grantham Mountaineers BMSD Prouty Team in the parade and enjoy lunch and desert at their food booth at the picnic. Funds raised by BMSD at the picnic support trail maintenance and the BMSD Prouty Team.
BMSD ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT:
Inaugurated in 2010, the annual BMSD golf tournament is held in September at the Newport Country Club in Newport, NH. The popular tournament raises funds to help with BMSD trail and equipment maintenance. It includes a great tournament at a challenging golf course and finishes with an outstanding feast and awards ceremony. Look for the Tournament announcement in mid- summer and join in the fun to support a great cause!
ANNUAL HAUNTED PUMPKIN FESTIVAL:
As part of our community building goal, BMSD helps “Our Town”and the Village School run the Annual Haunted Pumpkin Festival at the Grantham Village School. Conducted in October, the very popular event draws many excited folks of all ages and BMSD volunteers.
GROUP RIDES AND COOKOUTS:
BMSD group snowmobile rides are conducted regularly during the snow season, usually on Sundays. Rides usually start and end at the Grantham Four Corners Warming Hut and include a club “cook-out” at the hut. XC skiers, snowshoers, mountain bikers, and hikers join the snowmobilers for the cookout. Look for the annual Group Ride schedule in December.
ANNUAL RADAR RUN:
The BMSD conducts an annual radar run, weather permitting, on Stocker Pond near the Cote & Reney Lumber Co. in east Grantham. This popular event is very well attended and participants race for “Bragging Rights”. Anybody can participate. A food and beverage tent is offered by BMSD. Funds raised are dedicated to trail maintenance.