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Thread: Biking the Palmer hay flats: Where to start from?

  1. #1

    Default Biking the Palmer hay flats: Where to start from?

    Somewhere in my browsing the web last fall I heard that the hay flats are closed to ATV traffic nowadays. I do know of one or two "trailheads" but am unsure where they might lead me too since Iv'e never ridden out there before.

    Ideally I would like to bike from Palmer, across the hay flats, and end up at or near Reflections lake/ Knik river area.

    I've done some searching on the MSB website and the Hayflats refuge site for any "officially designated" trails, but nothing jumped off the screen at me.

    Google earth has some fairly clear pics of the flats and there are several trails visible, but many seem to fade into nothing. I just dont want to spend all day out there wandering around if there is a designated trail I could follow.

    Anyway if someone could school me on whats available out there to ride that would be great.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by akpirate View Post
    Ideally I would like to bike from Palmer, across the hay flats, and end up at or near Reflections lake/ Knik river area.
    The Ezi Slough area is muddy (like quicksand) and very wet. If leaving from the Old Glenn Bridge, you'll have to cross the Matanuska River where it dumps into the Knik. In short, river crossings will be required.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
    The Ezi Slough area is muddy (like quicksand) and very wet. If leaving from the Old Glenn Bridge, you'll have to cross the Matanuska River where it dumps into the Knik. In short, river crossings will be required.
    No, dont want to do that. I'm thinking more like from South Palmer, not the Old Glenn. Google maps clearly shows trails weaving around parts of the Matanuska river and into parts of the hay flats, no clear paths connecting south Palmer with the Reflections lake area, though you can see good bits and pieces of trails that do exist.

    I would like to spend a day cruising around out there lost with the GPS, I just dont know the best approach, or if its even legit to venture out there because of landowner issues. If thats the case it seems a shame that that much area is off limits.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by akpirate View Post
    Google maps clearly shows trails weaving around parts of the Matanuska river and into parts of the hay flats, no clear paths connecting south Palmer with the Reflections lake area, though you can see good bits and pieces of trails that do exist.
    Yup. There are lots of trails between Palmer, the Glenn Hwy, and the Knik River. However, if you want to make it from South Palmer to Reflection Lake, you'll have to get wet.

    I would like to spend a day cruising around out there lost with the GPS, I just dont know the best approach, or if its even legit to venture out there because of landowner issues. If thats the case it seems a shame that that much area is off limits.
    There are landowner issues, but those are all at the periphery of the highways. Once you get onto the trails, you'll find water to be the obstacle.

    Your desire is at your feet to satisfy. Take your bike and GPS and enjoy! Don't do just a day; enjoy it for many days. I've enjoyed the place for many, many years. In all honesty, a canoe and good, rubber boots beat the bike, but by all means, do the bike.

    Google this: Kaye Marie Drive. Go to the end of that street and begin your adventure!

  5. #5
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    Sorry I am not able to contribute...just wanted to ask where y'all get your maps from?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MommaF8 View Post
    Sorry I am not able to contribute...just wanted to ask where y'all get your maps from?
    Try trails.com:

    http://www.trails.com/

    It requires a subscription of $50. I paid this subscription several years ago and used it all that time. Recently they changed their format and wanted another $50 for access to their "enhanced features", which used to be part of the original deal. But I found the service very handy in order to gain access at home to USGS topographic maps. If I want maps larger than I can print from trails.com or on waterproof paper, I'll go to Sportsman's Warehouse and print one from their map computer.

    Also, Google has a map capability that shows satellite views. It's updated regularly. I just went to Aero Tech to buy some aerial maps from their historical archive (very expensive!), and talked with the folks there. The area I was interested was the Trunk Road area. The Google map was updated there this past April, probably because of the new road being finished up right now. They told me that Google overflies an area every three to five years for updates, depending on changes. Sometimes their "updates" aren't all that great. An example would be the Beluga area. They updated it there during winter, and their winter photos showed less detail than their previous summer photos of the area.

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