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Alaska Department of Natural Resources

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Denali Overlook - Courtesy of Thomas Bol Photography

Mat-Su Region

Nancy Lake Canoe Trail System

Jackknife-Ardaw Trail


★ ADA Facility - No
★ 22,685 Acres
★ Tent Campsites (see fee page)
★ Daily Parking Fee (see fee page)
★ Picnic sites
Cabins (4) (see fee page)

Useful Information

Nancy Lake Brochure
Lynx Lake Loop Video Trail Guide


★ Canoeing
★ Cross country skiing
★ Fishing
★ Snowmachinine riding

An attraction that the area is well known for is the Lynx Lake Loop canoe trail which travels through an eight-mile chain of lakes. Portages are well-marked with orange, diamond-shaped signs marked with a "P". Wet sections are covered with boardwalk.

Beginning at the Tanaina Lake Canoe Trailhead at Mile 4.5 of the park road, the Lynx Lake Loop is an ideal weekend trip, although it can be easily paddled in a full day. A longer trip can be made by continuing south from Lynx Lake to Butterfly and Skeetna lakes before returning on the same route to rejoin the loop.

An alternative trip for those who want to reach the recreation area by canoe is to travel down the Little Susitna River, at Mile 57 of the Parks Highway in Houston. The river is mostly easy traveling, but some canoeing experience is advisable. Canoers should use a map to be sure of their location on the river and watch for the sign marking the portage to Skeetna Lake. Travel time on the river is four to five hours from the highway to the portage. Canoers should be alert when meeting powerboats. Overnight canoers are requested to use designated campsites along the canoe trail and remember that fires are permitted only in the fireplaces provided. There is a large amount of private land along Lynx Lake and camping is limited to the campground on the northwest shore.

Canoes are available for rent from Tippecanoe Rentals in Willow. Schedule to have one waiting for you at the trailhead on Tanaina Lake

Occupants need to bring all personal items including drinking water and leave the site neat and clean when they leave. It is best to bring firewood, as finding firewood may be difficult. Only wood that is down and dead may be gathered. Use of the cabins is by reservation only.

67.3 Parks Highway

Driving Directions:
Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is a ninety minute drive north of Anchorage along the Parks Highway. To enter the recreation area, turn west onto Nancy Lake Parkway at Mile 67.3 of the Parks Highway.

Mission Statement

"The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation provides outdoor recreation opportunities and conserves and interprets natural, cultural, and historic resources for the use, enjoyment, and welfare of the people."

Accessibility Notice

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Atwood Building
550 West 7th Avenue
Suite 1380
Anchorage, AK 99501
DNR Public Information Center:
(907) 269-8400
DPOR Director's Office:
(907) 269-8700