Monday, December 15, 2008

The latest news

A public hearing about Anchorage’s bear problem will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 16 beginning at 5 p.m. at the Loussac Library. Here is this morning’s article concerning Assemblyman Starr’s proposal. The agenda item falls late in the meeting. If you feel strongly about this issue and wish to testify, we recommend going early to sign up. Take a sack dinner and a good book.

Here is the full text of Starr’s resolution.

The new trails (we are informally calling them the STA Trails) are a hoot to ski and snowshoe! After the recent snowfall the lower loop is in excellent condition with the exception of one downed birch tree (hint). There are two spruce trees on the South Intermediate Loop’s lower reaches in need of removal. Skiing and snowshoeing the trails after a dump of snow is encouraged.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bill Starr's bear resolution

Eagle River Assemblyman Bill Starr has drafted a resolution to address the bear situation at the Assembly meeting on Tuesday, October 28th. You may comment by e-mailing the Anchorage Assembly members or by attending the meeting.

Click here for a contact list.

Click here for the agenda.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Clearing the trails

Today's work party cleared more trees from the new trail system. It's always impressive what a few volunteers can do in a few hourse (especially with a chain saw). Thanks to all the folks who came out and took on this mess:

One of the more impressive tangles involved several trees that completely buried a switchback.

Deep into the cutting of timber and tossing of debris.

Almost there.

Ready to ride.

"Fifteen minutes ago," Mike said, "We didn't know where this trail was."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trees blown down on the trails

Mark Your Calendars!

Please Help Us Clear the New Singletrack Trails!

Saturday, October 18th
1:00 p.m.

Meet at the Prospect Heights Parking Lot, then
walk down the Gasline toward Hilltop.
Enter the second trail entrance on the right,
which is marked “Advanced Loop”
(trail entrance is blocked by a chain)

Chain saw if you have one
Hand saws
Work gloves
Food and water

Dress for the Weather!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's a mess out there

With the freeze/thaw that’s going on this time of year, the surface of the new trail has become incredibly muddy and is not holding up well to traffic. Please refrain from using it until the ground stays frozen throughout the day. Once winter sets in the trail will be awesome for skiing, snow shoeing, running and snow biking.

Monday, September 29, 2008

FNBP Trails Plan Timeline

Greetings Trail Advocates,

I would like to remind everyone how far Anchorage mountain bike advocacy has come in the past 3 or 4 years. We have organized as a user group and have gained the respect of other park users and Parks & Recreation. Without their support we wouldn’t have been able to build Brown Bear and now the new network of singletrack. I am very appreciative of the partnerships that we have developed. Once the go-ahead was given to begin construction of the news trails, Parks & Rec threw 100% of their cooperation into the project. They have donated in-kind, approximately $33,000 worth of services and spent many hours with us out on the trails.

The FNBP Trails Plan is another step in the process of thoughtful management of the park. Thanks for your support, and thanks for participating!

Here is the timeline for the FNBP Trails Plan.

September, 2008
Public Open House
Proposed Trail Network, Classifications & Project List Available for Review

October 6, 2008
Comments Due on the above review documents

December, 2008
Complete Draft Plan Available for Review

January, 2008
Stakeholder Follow-up Meetings
Steering Committee Meeting
Parks & Recreation Commission Review & Public Hearing (January 8, 2009)

Spring 09 Final Trail Improvement Plan Review by the Urban Design Commission

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Will our trails be blocked?

Greetings Singletrack Advocates,

The Municipality of Anchorage Parks & Recreation Department is putting the finishing touches on the Far North Bicentennial Park Trails Plan. One omission from the most recent version of the plan is Phase II of the Hillside Singletrack Project. This second phase is located on the north side of Campbell Airstrip Road and just below Stuckagain Heights neighborhood.

As a bit of background, the Basher Community Council passed a resolution unanimously in support of Phase II of the project. It also received extensive multi-agency review through the Coastal Zone Management Program and an Environmental Checklist. This occurred before this summer’s problems with the bears reached a critical point.

The reason given for the removal of the project was the need to maintain wildlife corridors. I can understand that the wildlife issue deserves more thoughtful discussion and the development of a management plan. Removing Phase II of the project essentially eliminates the hope for any future trail project in this area. At least if the project is in the plan, it could conceivably happen at some point in the near or distant future. If it’s not in the plan, any proposal could be turned down simply on the basis that “it isn’t consistent with the Trails Plan.”

Parks & Rec has to balance a lot of competing issues in the park. Singletrack concerns are just one of them. There are many difficult choices to be made. It would be worth your time to visit the Trails Plan website and click on the link to give your individual opinion. There are a lot of supporting materials available on the website as well.

Please note that the plan is a work in progress, and will later be presented for public review. Now is the time to speak up on behalf of our trail project.


Monday, September 22, 2008

National Public Lands Day

Please Join Singletrack Advocates

for a Trail Work Day on the New Singletrack Trails

Saturday, September 27th

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Hilltop Chalet


8:30 to 9:00 Coffee and Muffins

9:15 Trail Work Begins

12:30 p.m. Pizza Party at Campbell Creek Science Center


Sign Post Installation

Brush Clearing

Items to Bring

Work Gloves

Water Bottle


Tools will be provided

Please email Janice for more information

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

FNBP Trails Plan Comment Period

Don’t be blindsided when it comes to change in Far North Bicentennial Park! Comments on the proposed FNBP Trails Plan are accepted until October 6. You can learn more about the draft plan at: This website also contains links to documents. Please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with this proposal.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trail work

We had another great trail work party last night. It looked like the turnout would be a little thin, but we “collected” volunteers along the way. We hauled alders farther off the trail on the first part (the open section) of the intermediate loop.

There are over 150 people on our e-mail list, yet we see the same few, dedicated faces each time. The more people we have turn out, the faster the trails will open. Cold beers await those who help out.

Our next work session will be Tuesday, August 26 at 6:30 p.m., meeting at the Prospect Heights Trailhead. If you’re late, walk down the Gasline and enter the first trail entrance on the right.

Many hands make light work!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Patience, rewarded

The first section of the new trails is open to ride! This is the ONLY section that is currently open. It starts at the project sign at the top of the Gasline and heads south. It ends when it pops out onto the Gasline. The next section that proceeds to the north of the Gasline is CLOSED and will remain closed until the hand crew finishes the trail in mid-September. Patience, Grasshopper, patience.


Please do not ride the trail when it's muddy. Normally a trail like this would "rest" for a year before it's open to ride.

Have fun!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Please join us for our second
Hillside Singletrack Trails
Work Party!

Wednesday, August 20th, 6:30 p.m.
Meet at the Prospect Heights Parking Lot

Walk down the Gasline Trail and take a left at the project sign if you’re late.

Work Gloves
Progress Report:

Please keep in mind that the trails are not yet open to riding. There is still work being done on the trail.

Intermediate Trail—about 3 miles long thus far:
This trail is 2/3 finished. The Muni's youth crew did a great job over the 8 days they were on the job. About 3,000' of this trail is yet to be finished by a hand crew that will be onsite in September.
The intermediate trail is currently being seeded with native grasses. This will help define the tread, stabilize disturbed soil and encourage new growth. By leaf fall, this will look great. The 3,000' that will be finished by the hand crew next month has not yet been seeded. After freeze-up, that section will be covered with a "dormant seed" that will come up in the spring.

Advanced Trail—7,000’ roughed in thus far:
The excavator and Sweco are doing their best to provide more challenging features. Because of the lack of rocks, however, the trail designer is using topography to create challenges. There is one awesome boulder about 2.5' high that will be a great wheelie drop (there is also a chicken route around this). Last week the contractor was building a switchback that will provide some challenge. Although climbing turns might be preferable for sustainability, this area seemed better suited to a tighter turn.

Thank you to everyone for cooling your knobbies and not riding the trail while we continue with construction. STA tuned for more updates.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trail Work Volunteer Day

Join us!

Saturday, August 16th
Time: 9am - 12pm
Where: Helen Louise McDowell Sanctuary - Anchorage
Project: New trail construction, trail corridor maintenance and placing/tamping/raking gravel on the new loop

From the New Seward Highway
Go East on 36th Avenue
Turn Right (South) onto Rhone St.
Turn Left (East) onto Crescent St.
Turn Right (South) onto Helevetia St.
Park above junction with St. Gotthard
Follow signs to trailhead
Do bring:
2 liters of water
layers for warmth & cooling
rain gear
work gloves
work boots

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Trail Closure

Because of the recent bear attacks, Mayor Mark Begich has ordered Rover's Run closed until the authorities determine it to be safe for public use.

This closure affects the entire trail from Gasline to Viewpoint. Please stay off the trail and watch this site for an update when the closure is lifted.

In the meantime, be careful out there. When riding in Far North Bicentennial Park, carry pepper spray, make plenty of noise to avoid surprising bears and, whenever possible, ride in groups of three or more.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

One step closer to new singletrack

Part of our 24-person crew.

Wednesday night’s work party on the new trail was a success, with a great turnout, dry weather and a bunch of tasks accomplished. The first three-mile loop has been roughed in, and it’s going to be a hoot to ride! (But please remember it’s not yet ready to ride. Give it some more time.)

Thanks to the 24 people who showed up and got their hands dirty, and thanks to Janice for providing the after-work refreshments. After letting the mechanized equipment work for a while, we’ll hold another work party Aug. 13 at 6:30 p.m. Make plans to come pitch in, and check out the new singletrack!

Two volunteers place temporary logs
to keep riders on the trail. After the main
tread is well-established and vegetation
returns to the trail edges, the logs will
rot away, be covered with weeds, or be removed.

Large, partially buried rocks will help
establish trail boundaries, control flow and speed,
and, in some cases, provide technical challenges.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Work Party on New Trail

Announcing our first organized volunteer work party on the new singletrack trail!

Date: Wednesday, July 30th
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Upper trail entrance (Park at the Prospect Heights Trailhead and walk down the Gasline trail to the 2nd knoll. There's a big project sign there. If you're late, come on down the trail till you run into us.
What to Bring: Shovels, pruning sheers/loppers, crowbars (we need at least two crowbars), "bear repellant."
Provided: McCleods, Pulaskis
Goals: Provide drainage for soggy spots; strategically place rocks and logs as trail features and obstacles to keep people on the trail tread; trim assorted strategic branches that will keep people on the trail tread.
Incentives: Good Company; "liquid carbonated beverage" post-work party.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Patience is a virtue

Reports are coming in from people excited by what they're seeing up at the new trail site. The trail is taking shape and it's looking great, so excitement is growing.

Now is a good time to remind everyone that we understand your excitement and eagerness to check out the new trail—really, we feel it, too—but please remember that the trail is not ready to ride! The tread is still soft and early exploring will damage it.

We've come this far, so please be patient and wait for an announcement that the trail is ready for use. It is being professionally built, so we need to sit back and wait for the experts to work their magic for us so that we'll have sweet singletrack for years to come.

Thanks for your patience.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Here we go!

It's actually happening folks. The blades about to hit the ground for construction of Anchorage's first true singletrack network designed and built specifically for mountain bikers!

Ground breaking begins on July 15th in the southeastern corner of the project area closest to the Prospect Heights trailhead.

The response to the recent fund drive has been excellent! We brought in $11,760, of which BP employees—taking advantage of the BP Fabric of America Fund—have thus far contributed $3,050! We also received an anonymous contribution through The Cody and Jennifer Gauer Giving Fund at the National Christian Foundation. These are examples of how individuals are able to leverage funds through their work places or to access funds through charities and foundations on our behalf.

Thank you to everyone who contributed and/or spread the word to friends and co-workers, encouraging them to pitch in and help us raise the money.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Successful cleanup

Fourteen people showed up for the National Trails Day cleanup project in Far North Bicentennial Park.

We were hauling out wood that was used to build illegal structures in the park and filling in some holes. Work started the night before when two volunteers cut some wood into manageable chunks we could haul out easily with the bike trailers.

People removed nails, carried lumber by hand and used three trailers to get everything out to the road. We filled post holes and a hole that was created when the renegade trail builders were building a jump. We also tidied up a piece of trail that had a slightly banked turn built on it.

The project went pretty smoothly, and we were especially happy to have new volunteers with young, strong backs to haul and do lots of shoveling! Plus, having the three trailers was a great help.

So, thanks go out to the volunteers: wood cutters Greg & Tim K.; and the Saturday crew: Elizabeth, Bonnie, Oscar, Jeff, Mary, Laura, Ted, Kyle, Nik, Debbie, Carol, Brian and Jon. Well done!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

National Trails Day

Please join us:

Saturday, June 7th
Registration at 8:30 a.m.
Project Begins at 9:00 a.m.
Meet at North Bivouac Parking Lot on Basher Road

There will be a free pizza luncheon for all volunteers at 12:30 p.m. at the Campbell Creek Science Center, 68th Avenue and Elmore Road. For more information call 267-1247.

Singletrack Advocates will once again help with a National Trails Day project in Far North Bicentennial Park. This year we will dismantle and clean up an unauthorized attempt at creating freeride stunts in an area between the Tank Trail and the Gasline to the east.

Items to bring
Work Gloves
Claw Hammer or Crow Bar
Wheelbarrow or BOB Trailer
Water and snacks

Friday, May 23, 2008

Brown Bear Trail Work Day

Let’s give Brown Bear Trail some TLC
before a summer of hard use!

Thursday, May 29th 6 p.m.

Meet at the north end of the Hilltop Ski Area parking lot
to meet Christopher, your crew leader.

Suggested Items to Bring
Work gloves
Water bottle
5 Gallon Bucket

Need more information?
Please contact Christopher at

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ALMOST there

Here’s a brief update on our trail building progress. Grant agreements are being drafted and signed, crews scheduled out and we are on track for our ground-breaking on July 15th! One hitch, though: because of some unforeseen costs and increases in diesel fuel prices, we are short at least $25,000 to complete Phase I of the project. Phase I involves the construction of 8.5 miles of singletrack. We will still be able to build trail, but unless we can come up with more funding, we might have to shorten the project.

This is an appeal to those of you who have not yet contributed to the trail project. Please consider donating generously. Please also consider asking your colleagues, business associates and friends for contributions on our behalf. Some businesses offer incredible programs to contribute. BP employees, for example, may request a contribution from BP through its “Fabric of America Fund.” That means that BP would pony up to $500 per employee simply by requesting a corporate donation to the trail fund! Please inquire about other such opportunities at your work place.

Donations made to us through Alaska Trails are tax-deductible. Donations made online directly to Singletrack Advocates are not tax deductible. To donate online please go to and click on the “Donate” button on the right hand margin. To make a tax-deductible donation, please send a check made payable to ALASKA TRAILS to us at: Singletrack Advocates, PO Box 240574, Anchorage, AK 99524.

Let’s give it one more big push and raise the rest of the money to build a showcase singletrack trail!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Illegal stunts damage FNBP

Renegade stunt builders started cutting trees and attempting to build a wooden, banked turn in Far North Bicentennial Park last fall. They also built a dirt jump, but didn't get far before the snow fell. The damage they caused is now emerging from the snow, and people are starting to complain to the Parks & Rec department.

One trail user went to this week's meeting of the Far North Bicentennial Park user group to show photos of the vandalism, and to express concern that it poses a hazard to other park users, especially since the unauthorized project resulted in holes that were later hidden by snow.

If you know who is involved, or if you are among those building the structures, please make it stop. Please disassemble and clean up the debris. Then find an area that may be suitable for building these kinds of features, make a plan, learn what it will take to build it. Contact Singletrack Advocates. Contact the Parks & Recreation Department. Get a permit and build some legal structures.

But don't step on the goodwill that has been built by others who have worked to get other user groups together so that we can have legal, sustainable, challenging singletrack right here in Anchorage.

Mountain bikers who are available to do volunteer work during National Trails Day on June 7 might consider offering to clean up this site.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Bike commuters unite!

There’s a new cycling organization in town, one that advocates for safe bicycle use and sharing the road. The Bicycle Commuters Alliance of Anchorage solicits members to give voice to the scores of cyclists forsaking the high price of gas for the practical and recreation benefits of commuting to work. Learn more about BCAA at

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tank Trail citations

Fort Richardson MPs are issuing citations to unregistered users of the Tank Trail. A couple of weekends ago they set up a post and wrote tickets to recreational users one by one. These folks got off with a warning but, according to military police, the penalties are as follows:

1st offense: Ban for 1 year (this applies base-wide to all property on Fort Rich, including the base itself)
2nd offense: Ban for 5 years (base-wide)
3rd offense: Ban for life (base-wide)

How to Obtain a Permit
1. To use the Tank Trail or any other Fort Rich property for recreational purposes you must obtain a USAG-AK Recreational Access Permit available at the main Fort Richardson Gate. Permits are good for 2 years from the issue date and must be carried with you. For information call 384-0296 or 384-2916.
2. Check in by calling the USARTRAK automated system BEFORE entering the training lands and you will need your RAP number to access the system. The system provides daily training closures. The Phone Access System number is 384-3181.
3. Check out upon leaving the training lands for the day. Call the USARTRAK number and enter your RAP number for automated check-out. 384-3181.

For more information, click here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Park Foundation grant

The Anchorage Park Foundation has awarded us $7,500 for the Hillside Singletrack Project. This wouldn’t have been possible without your donations to the project. There will be a congratulatory celebration this Thursday, April 24th at 11 a.m. at the Elizabeth and Roy Peratrovich Park, Corner of 4th and E Streets. Please join us!

Thanks again for your support of STA and this project.

Friday, April 11, 2008

We’re On the Way!

Because of our exceptionally well-planned and organized proposal, and overwhelming support from other user groups, the Parks & Recreation Commission on Thursday night approved our proposal to build Phase I of the Hillside Singletrack Trail Project.

The Parks & Rec staff recommendation to the commission was to limit us to a single, 4-mile loop trail this summer, would could have jeopardized the overall project by forcing us to build a majority of the trail network in 2009. If the extra workload, weather, or other factors kept us from completing the work by the fall of next year, we would be at risk of losing funds from grants with sunset clauses.

By the end of the night, the commissioners were so impressed by the project and its broad-based support, they rejected the staff recommendation and voted unanimously to approve our proposal.

The Phase I work that the commission approved involves the area above Hilltop Ski Area and the Spencer Loop ski trail. It consists of two loops, one intermediate and the other advanced, for approximately 8.5 miles of finished singletrack. This will be done as a “pilot project” while the Far North Bicentennial Park Trails Plan continues through public process and is finalized next spring. Phase II of the project (north of Campbell Creek) will go through an approval process once the Trails Plan is complete.

We are committed to working with the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage to come up with an optimum alignment of a groomable multi-use trail connecting the Gasline at Hilltop Ski Area with Prospect Heights in Chugach State Park. Effort will be made to make efficient use of the acreage in order to maximize the amount of space for singletrack.

Thank you to all the people who attended Thursday night’s meeting to show support, and to those who spoke on our behalf, including representatives of the orienteering and Nordic user groups.

And an extra-large thanks is owed to Janice “Queen Bee” Tower—who has waded through a morass of bureaucracy over the past three years while doing an unbelievable amount of work to get us to this point—and to Lisa Holzapfel of the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. Lisa is an invaluable ally and supporter of our efforts.

And thank you to all of you who have donated money, attended STA fundraisers, testified at public meetings and otherwise given your moral support toward the effort. All of this is greatly appreciated.

We are still on schedule for a targeted ground breaking on July 15!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Time to be heard

On Thursday, April 10, at 6 p.m. in the Spenard Recreation Center, we are on the Parks & Rec Commission Agenda as an action item. The request is to go forward with building ½ of the total scope of the project—essentially the entire southern section of the project area. We will need a lot of supporters at this meeting, so please be there to possibly testify on our behalf, emphasizing not only mountain biking but the multi-use aspect of the project. Let’s show that we’d like more singletrack in Anchorage!

Monday, March 17, 2008

A big success

We'd like to give a big "thank you" to Sage Cohen for an inspiring slide show last Friday night. Because of the generosity shown by Sage and the folks who attended her standing-room-only show, we raised approximately $1,600 in donations. With matching funds from the Park Foundation factored in, that means we have an additional $3,200 to help build new singletrack in Anchorage!

So additional thanks are due to everyone who pitched in.

For those eager to see more details on the planned trail network, keep an eye on this site. We're working on a map that we hope to post here soon.

If you missed the slide show, or you haven't yet made a donation to our trail fund, please click on our PayPal button or follow the instructions in the post below to find out how you can help. As great as $3,200 sounds, it is still just one step in a long journey; we still need more help to make the trails a reality.

We're getting there, but we can't do it without you. Please invest in the future of mountain biking in Anchorage. We'll all benefit.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Trail fund update

Greeting Singletrack Advocates,

With temps in the 40s and all this wind, it won’t be long till we’re out riding the dirt!

My recent call for donations brought in $830!!! For every hundred dollars raised we can build about 30 feet of trail. This round of donors can place their names on about 250 feet of singletrack! If we get the Anchorage Park Foundation 1:1 match, they’ve leveraged another 250 feet.

If you work for a company that gives matching gifts, here’s how to turn a $100 gift into $400: make your gift, apply for the corporate match (now you’re up to $200), and with the Park Foundation match your $100 becomes $400!

But hey—no donation is too small or any less valuable. It all goes to help build singletrack.

You can donate to the trail fund online by clicking on our PayPal button. Unfortunately if you donate to STA directly your contribution is not tax-deductible. But you can get airline miles if you’re using a credit card. If you donate through our 501(c)3 funding partner, Alaska Trails, your gift IS tax-deductible. Please make checks to:

Alaska Trails
c/o Singletrack Advocates
PO Box 240574
Anchorage, AK 99507

Let’s build trails!

Janice Tower

Monday, February 25, 2008

How you can help

We've added a PayPal button on the right-hand side of this page to make it even easier for people to help us build more of what we all love—singletrack!

Simply click on the link if you prefer to donate electronically.

To make a tax-deductible donation, you can send a check to our our project partner, Alaska Trails Inc. a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization. Make your check payable to Alaska Trails Inc., and mail it to Singletrack Advocates, P.O. Box 240574, Anchorage, AK 99524.

For more information contact

Thursday, February 21, 2008

We need you

We have been hard at work over the past year to bring you Alaska’s first system of soft-surface, narrow trails sustainably built for mountain bikes and foot traffic to meet the need of users who enjoy the recreation opportunities provided by trails that retain more of the natural characteristics of the landscape. This is an update of our fund-raising efforts and a plea to our friends to pitch in and contribute to the project. Today I was notified that we will receive $50,000 from our Recreational Trails Program grant!

To date we have raised $191,571 through federal, state and private contributions. Our fund-raising goal is $264,000. Please consider this an official plea to help us reach our goal.

The Anchorage Park Foundation will match dollar-per-dollar, financial contributions, volunteer time and inkind support toward park projects, up to a maximum of $40,000. We are $72,429 short of meeting our goal. If we raise $40,000 as a group, the Park Foundation will kick in $40,000. Sounds like a good deal to me! I have not pushed hard for private contributions until now. With a good showing from the private community we will reach our goal and make our dream of building singletrack a reality. The Kincaid Project Group sent out a newsletter stating that the ski community steps up for snowmaking . . . NSAA members give generously . . . they have raised $36,000 from 191 members.

If your company participates in a matching gift program, you can leverage even more funds for this project. Your donation is tax-deductible when you contribute to us via our project partner, Alaska Trails, Inc. a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization. Make checks payable to Alaska Trails Inc., and send to Singletrack Advocates, PO Box 240574, Anchorage, AK 99524

I’d like to thank the following contributors thus far:

Alaska Trails Initiative Grant: $91,571
Private contributions: $10,000
Slana Surveyors Inc.: $1,000
Arctic Bicycle Club: $
REI Inc.: $5,000
National Park Service, Challenge Cost Share Program: $30,000

State of Alaska Recreational Trails Program: $50,000


You said you wanted to build singletrack! So let’s get 'er done!!!

Janice Tower
Chair, STA

Friday, February 15, 2008

Help us build trails!

Singletrack Advocates is seeking matching donations for an Anchorage Park Foundation Grant.

The Anchorage Park Foundation will award up to $40,000 to organizations seeking to improve parks and trails. The Rasmuson Foundation contributed $1 for every $1 raised in a campaign to stimulate philanthropy for Anchorage parks. The maximum matching award amount for a project will be $40,000. Singletrack Advocates will apply for funding to help build the Hillside Singletrack Trail.

STA needs to raise $40,000 through private contributions! Any amount of donation is appreciated, but please consider giving generously. Contributions are tax deductible when made payable to our partner organization, ALASKA TRAILS, INC., a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. For more information please contact Janice Tower at

Send contributions to: Singletrack Advocates, PO Box 240574, Anchorage, AK 99507

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fund-raising update

We received the full amount of our request to the National Park Service, Challenge Cost Share Grant for $30,000! This money will pay for crews to do the hand-finish work on the trail system we're planning. The plan is to utilize a combination of Parks & Rec’s “Youth Employment in Parks” program (3 days of work) and the SAGA trail crew from Juneau (3 weeks of work). Thanks so much to Lisa Holzapfel with the National Park Service RTCA, our friends at Alaska Trails and Parks & Rec for their support!

Here’s the fund-raising tally thus far:

Alaska Trails Initiative Grant: $91,571*
Private contributions: $11,000
Arctic Bicycle Club donation: $2,000
REI Grant: $5,000
NPS, Challenge Cost Share: $30,000

TOTAL: $139,571

* We are waiting to hear a confirmation from the ORTAB board on whether we’ll actually get what they approved us for in the preliminary round.

We are also waiting to hear about the RTP grant from Alaska State Parks for $50,000. Also in the hopper is a grant from the American Hiking Society for $5,000, and Janice will be submitting an application for the Park Foundation for $40,000.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Trails for winter cycling

Here are some guidelines for which trails are open for cycling in the winter months.

Any trail that is a part of the paved, greenbelt trail system is open. This includes the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Chester & Campbell Creek trails and the paved portion of Russian Jack Springs Park.

Any natural surface (non-paved) trail in Kincaid Park that is groomed for skiing should be avoided. Some singletrack trails, however, are used in the winter months, particularly near the bluff just below the chalet.

Non-paved trails in Russian Jack and on the APU campus that are groomed for skiing should be avoided as a courtesy.

Far North Bicentennial Park and the Campbell Tract are the most popular areas for snow riding because of the the miles of multi-use routes. Multi-use means anything that is not limited to ski or mushing only. Most maps include legends that show which routes are open to multi-use. Before you go onto the trails, get a map of the park and study it; then take it with you.

The current rules for Chugach State Park show that routes open to cycling in the winter months are the same as those open in the summer. (We’re trying to change that.) Click here to find out which trails open to bicycles in Chugach State Park.

For information on the Anchorage area trails, get a copy of the Anchorage Cross Country Ski Trails Map, produced by the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage (NSAA). It’s available at most bike or ski shops. (While there is a downloadable version on the NSAA website, it’s not up-to-date.) The trail guide "Mountain Bike Anchorage" includes a chapter on winter cycling and lists routes that are open to winter bicycling. It’s also available at area bike shops and book stores, among other places. It includes maps of routes in the Chugach State Park.

The NSAA grooms some of the multi-use trails. You can find the grooming report on that group’s website.