Recreational Trail Grants Awarded for 2013

The following Recreational Trails Program projects have been approved by the Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board, the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, and the Federal Highways Administration. These are reimbursable, grant-funded projects happening throughout the state between 2013 and 2015.

NORTHERN AREA

Trail Dozer Acquisition: Alaska State Parks- Northern Region was awarded $50,000 to buy a trail dozer that will help repair and maintain the 68 miles of trails in the Chena River State Recreation Area.

Bridge Replacement: Alaska State Parks - Northern Region was awarded $10,327.60 to repair three wooden bridges on trails located in Chena River State Recreation Area.

Isberg Recreation Trailhead: The Fairbanks North Star Borough was awarded $50,000 to build a trailhead parking lot. This new lot will provide off-street parking for trailhead access and will help reduce traffic congestion.

Maclaren Summit Trail Extension: DNR Mining, Land, and Water, Southcentral Region, was awarded $50,000 to extend an existing ATV trail located at milepost 37 of the Denali Highway. Sustainable design standards will be employed, thereby, fostering the preservation of the cultural resources, (as it is partially located in the Tangle Lakes Archaeological District, Special Use Area) the natural resources, and the habitat.

SOUTHEAST AREA

Pullen Creek Stream Walk: The Taiya Inlet Watershed Council was awarded $29,000 to implement the Pullen Creek Stream Walk Project. It will be a pedestrian, interpretive trail along Pullen Creek, a spring-fed salmon stream in Skagway. The Stream Walk will expose pedestrians to lower Pullen Creek, connecting visitors and residents to nature, showcasing stream restoration, and interpreting natural and cultural history. The Conceptual Design for the Stream Walk was finished in October 2012. It was guided by a group of community members and funded in part by the Municipality of Skagway and in part by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

KENAI PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND AREA

HoWL Trails Days: HoWL was awarded $50,000 to teach environmental stewardship to Alaskan youth by assisting the Kachemak Bay State Park Trails Department by: 1) assessing HoWL's 2012 renovations at Left Beach and continuing to maintain the site; 2) brushing the trail from Humpy Creek to Emerald Lake and installing signs on Portlock Plateau; 3) brushing the Glacier Lake Trail; 4) picking up litter and doing other campsite maintenance at Grewingk Glacier Lake; and 5) placing cairns above tree line on Grace Ridge. All work will be performed by volunteer youth and HoWL instructors.

Lookout Mountain Maintenance Building: The Kachemak Bay Nordic Ski Club was awarded $50,000 to build a 30'x30' building that will house ski-trail grooming equipment and provide a location for maintenance of this equipment. It will also be used for special events (such races, clinics, high school and middle school ski team training) as a shelter for skiers, instructors, and spectators.

Tsalteshi Trails Improvement Project II: The Tsalteshi Trails Association was awarded $50,000 to mulch, level, and add trail signs and maps to the recently constructed Owl and Squirrel trails in the Tsalteshi Trail System near Soldotna. Metal halide lights on the Moose, Eagle and Rabbit trails will be replaced with LED lighting. Additional grooming equipment and a trailer will be purchased to better maintain all trails for public use.

Cabin Hoppers Maxey Groom: The Caribou Hills Cabin Hoppers were awarded $30,378 to purchase a 2013 Maxey Groom for their Tucker snowmobile trail groomer. They will also purchase a 2000 gallon, double-walled fuel tank to replace the 3 older 500 gallon, single walled tanks currently in use.

MAT-SU COPPER BASIN AREA

Eska West ATV Trail: Mat Su Trails Council was awarded $50,000 to reconstruct the first mile of Eska West ATV trail near Sutton, including a major repair at the stream crossing. The parking lot was damaged during the flooding in the fall of 2012 and this project will include making minor repairs to the parking area to address drainage and mitigate further erosion and damage. Signs will be placed at Slipper Lake and along the road directing riders to the trail head. Carsonite trail markers will be placed along the trail.

Greenbelt Central Singletrack: The Mat-Su Borough was awarded $20, 939 to layout and construct two 30" wide single-track, non-motorized, multi-use trails, totaling 0.9 miles using modern sustainable best practices in the Matanuska Greenbelt on Matanuska-Susitna Borough Public Recreation land. The trails will enhance and expand the new Bearberry Bluff Trail constructed in 2012, provide connectivity to adjoining trails, and give trail users more options for dispersed recreation.

Wilson Park Pump Track: The City of Palmer was awarded $37,277 to build Wilson Park Pump Track/Trail. It will be a new recreational bike trail that fulfills multiple goals of the City's 2012 Parks, Trails and Recreational Facilities Master Plan. The pump trail will be Phase 1 in the construction of Brittany Estates neighborhood park (Wilson Park), and will remain as a unique feature within the Park which will serve a higher density neighborhood of starter-homes.

YCC Talkeetna Lakes Park: The Upper Susitna Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $36,354.32 to perform trail work in Talkeetna Lakes Park, on the multi-use X Lake Loop Trail. Two and a half miles of maintenance and over a half mile of reconstruction are needed for this public trail. Two new Nordic ski trails built in 2011 require approximately 3 miles of finishing work, and canoe portage trails require maintenance and a small amount of new trail construction.

Cross Park Trail-Nancy Lake: Alaska State Parks, Mat-Su, was awarded $49,500 to complete the reopened, multi-use, East Red Shirt Lake Trail Upgrades/Chicken Lake Cross-Park Section, which needs: brushing/logging, foot trail tread reroute; wet-ford armoring and drainage structure rehabilitation; installation of geo-block, and informational signs on 4.5 miles of trail and at trailhead areas.

Mile 16 Bike Trail: Alaska State Parks, Mat-Su, was awarded $50,000 to complete construction of the roughed-in 1.84 mile flow-style downhill bike trail near Hatcher Pass. Work will include a combination of hand and mechanized trail work to finish the tread work on a terra firma bike trail. They will also install drainage features, harden sections of poorly drained soils, construct aerial bike features, construct and install trail information kiosks, and construct bridges across Fishhook Creek.

Lucky Shot Bridge: The Willow Area Community Organization was awarded $50,000 to design and construct a pedestrian bridge along the Lucky Shot Trail within the Willow Creek State Recreation Area. Dimensions will be approximately 180' x 5' constructed with all weather wood decking and compliant with all permits and Alaska State Parks standards. Completion of this project will allow for an extended recreational trail system.

Government Peak Single Track: Alaska Trails was awarded $50,000 to execute the Government Peak Singletrack project. It is a planned network of trails located within the Northwest corner of the Government Peak Recreation Area off Edgerton-Parks road near Hatcher Pass. The initial 3.5 miles of trail will be designed for all levels of mountain bikers, but also desirable to hikers, Nordic skiers, snowshoe users and winter bikers. Construction will be to International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) Sustainable Trail Standards.

STATEWIDE

Tool Trailer: Alaska Trails was awarded $18,833 to replace, and upgrade the equipment in, their two mobile tool trailers. Alaska Trails currently has two 5'x8' trailers that were originally funded through the Alaska Trails Initiative Program in 2007. Each trailer is able to outfit a trail crew of 25+. Over the years the two tool trailers have been used extensively to help construct over 30 miles of sustainable trails, but the tools are worn out and need replacing, and the trailers need to be upgraded to a bigger and more user-friendly model.

SAFETY AND EDUCATION

Alaska Trails 2014 Trails Conference: Alaska Trails was awarded $32,250 to stage another statewide trail gathering in the spring of 2014. It will focus on all aspects of sustainable trail building, trail management, and trail advocacy. By teaching sustainable trail management techniques to Alaskans from across the state, the 2014 Trails Conference is intended to provide a solid benchmark for trail builders, managers and users.

Trail Information and Public Outreach Phase 1: Alaska State Parks was awarded $40,933 to pay for the creation of a number of new maps and trail guides to replace many of the publications currently being used in Alaska State Parks. One goal of this project is to create new park maps for all major park units (State Parks & State Recreation Areas) in a consistent style and format. Trail guides will also be created for the most popular individual trails or trail systems within those park units. The guides will be two sided with a trail description on one side, and a map on the other. Trail descriptions will include trail mileage, elevation gain, points of interest, and special/safety considerations.

To obtain more information about the Recreational Trails Grant Program, please visit the program's website at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/grants/trails.htm, or contact Darcy B. Harris, the Alaska State Trails Program Coordinator, at 907-269-8699 or darcy.harris@alaska.gov.

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