Take A Walk Worth Remembering Places
Sunset at Elderberry Park. Over 400 miles of pleasant hiking and walking trails make Anchorage an acclaimed walking city. The trails wind through woods and creekbeds beside and below the major highways. They take a little effort to locate, but they're worth it. About 130 miles of trail are paved. Even on paved city trails, you’ll need to use caution around any wild animals you encounter. Give wide berth to any moose you see, especially a mother with her calf. This is a list (below) of walking and biking trails you can reach from the city center.
Trails In The City
1. Westchester Lagoon
Paved Waterfront Trail
This modern trail connects the downtown area and Kincaid Park. It offers birding, views, benches and a relaxed walk. 15th and U Street.
2. Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
Watch For Moose
A paved trail follows the edge of Cook Inlet from Downtown Anchorage to Kincaid Park. The trail has scenic views of Cook Inlet and is perfect for walking, biking, jogging, or just sightseeing in the great Alaskan outdoors. You can get on the trail at Elderberry Park, Westchester Lagoon, or Earthquake Park.
3. Chester Creek Trail
Bike, Walk or Push A Stroller
This trail starts at Westchester Lagoon and runs to the University of Alaska. During evening traffic jams, you can get across town on a bike by using the Chester Creek Trail. It's even faster than driving a car. It travels through northern forestland, under the roads and along Chester Creek. This trail runs beside a pleasant woodland stream, and connects the ocean with the University in midtown. This is a great biking trail for families.
4. Potter Marsh
Potter Marsh is at the south end of Anchorage, on the Seward Highway. It has a nice boardwalk and viewing stations where you can watch ducks, birds and salmon. This is a good place to take an evening walk.
5. Kincaid Park
Vigorous, Interesting Park
Kincaid Park is a coastal park and trail system on Raspberry Road, near the airport. Accessible by trail or car, Kincaid Park offers paved and unpaved trails for walking, biking and jogging. There’s a climbing tower, inexpensive standard golf – and frisbee golf – in the summer, and miles of cross-country ski trails in the winter. Families appreciate the picnic grounds. It's possible to take pictures of moose along the road to Kincaid Park.
6. Campbell Creek Science Center
Wilderness In The City
There are 12 miles of relatively flat trails in the Campbell Tract. Park beside the Science Center if you’d like to get a map. The center is at 6865 Elmore Road. During salmon season, bears often fish in the creek. You should be cautious when using a trail beside water. Walk or jog with others and don’t use music players which keep you from hearing what’s ahead on the trail.
7. McHugh Creek
Good Family Area
Just a few miles south of Anchorage, at Mile 111 on the the Seward Highway, McHugh Creek is a state day use area on the mountain side of the road. It has paved walkways, picnic areas with barbecue grills and viewing platforms. Trails lead into the woods.
8. Bird Creek
Many Opportunities For Diverse Recreation
This is primarily seen as a fishing area – but it also has a good parking lot, and paved trails to the creek. Watch out for bears! A campground is also located here. Longer trails head off from here in several directions, including a long bike trail to Girdwood. (Photo, Buck Shreck)
9. Eagle River Nature Center
Turn at Eagle River, and take the Eagle River Road to Mile 13. There’s a fee for parking. It has restrooms. Visit the Eagle River Nature Center to learn about Alaska. Gorgeous mountain views. You can take an easy walk on a self guided trail or take a guided nature hike by registering at 694-2108. There are programs on most Sunday afternoons at 2 pm. The longer and more rugged Crow Creek trail system is accessed from Eagle River Nature Center.
10. Winter Trails
Iditarod, Fur Rondy and Winter Skiing
Starting with the first snowfall, the Anchorage trail system is taken over by skiers, mushers, and hardy bicyclists who outfit their bikes with hand warmers, head lamps, and extra fat studded tires. This winter activity culminates with a Ski Tour of Anchorage and the Fur Rendezvous Sled Dog Race and the Iditarod Race Start.