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Thread: Trails around Caswell/Sheep Creek

  1. #1

    Talking Trails around Caswell/Sheep Creek

    I am the new owner of a cabin up in the Caswell Lakes area (Eagle's Nest) and looking for information and maps on ATV trails for the summer. Anyone willing to share some information to help get me started?
    I found one trailhead this fall at the end of Bendapole, not sure if that's the only access to the hills.
    Thanks!

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    I believe most of Eagles Nest is gated and PRIVATE ACCESS/TRAILS only.

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    Why do you think willowone is not allowed to use the trails off of Eagle Nest he is a land owner in Eagle Nest?

    Bent a pole is not in Eagle Nest, and the end of Bent a Pole is State land anybody can use trails on state.

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    There is one off the north end of Bendapole that heads up into the mountains. It's a muddy mess, but doable. There are also other trails down at the Eagle's Nest end of things, but they generally lead to private land. The only "official" trail is the Mail Trail .http://www.matsugov.us/index.php?opt...raw&Itemid=238

    Your best option is to ask your neighbors with ATV's to show you around.

    The trail at the end of Bendapole is not state land, but it gets you there. I think this is the reason the trail hasn't been officially recognized by the borough. It has some land use issues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    There is one off the north end of Bendapole that heads up into the mountains. It's a muddy mess, but doable. There are also other trails down at the Eagle's Nest end of things, but they generally lead to private land. The only "official" trail is the Mail Trail .http://www.matsugov.us/index.php?opt...raw&Itemid=238

    Your best option is to ask your neighbors with ATV's to show you around.

    The trail at the end of Bendapole is not state land, but it gets you there. I think this is the reason the trail hasn't been officially recognized by the borough. It has some land use issues.
    I need some help here, it's been years since I rode at Caswell. Is the trail at the end of bendapole the one that is a truck trail for a short distance till it hits sheep creek then narrows? If it's the one I am thinking of I rode it to the headwaters of the north fork of the Kashwitna.

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    There is a trail there, but it's private (if we are talking the same one) The Ward family owns the property on the west side of the mouth of the N. Fork and much of the land west of there until it hits Eagles Nest II.
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    Bend a poll runs north and south, at the north end there is a trail that will take you the North fork, it is a snowmobile trail. I know of no problems using this trail.

    The wards do own a small piece of land at the end of S. Woodland Way, where the GATE is. There is a legal access around the Wards land to the Kashwitna. I do not know if the Wards still have mineral right to several hundred acres by Kashwitna or not, it is still state land and if you are is this area you are not trespassing on Wards lands.

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    Jack and Joe Ward own hundreds of acres running east from the eastern most part of Eagles Nest II, along with others. If you look at the borough property maps there is really no legal public access to the North Fork unless you wrap around in from the north, which you mentioned.

    Every parcel from the mouth of the North Fork downstream is in private hands now. The parcel on the west and east side of the mouth of the North Fork doesn't come up with an owner on the Borough website right now unfortunately. However, it's clear there really isn't any more ATV access from the southern part of Bendapole any more.

    I know that Johnson said they would put in access to the Kashwitna as part of Eagles Nest II because they absorbed the locally used trail, but I don't know how that panned out.
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    Looking at the borough maps does not tell the whole story about access to the Kashwitna Rv. If you spent the time and did the research you will know there really is a public access to the Kashwitna Rv.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    Bend a poll runs north and south, at the north end there is a trail that will take you the North fork, it is a snowmobile trail. I know of no problems using this trail.

    The wards do own a small piece of land at the end of S. Woodland Way, where the GATE is. There is a legal access around the Wards land to the Kashwitna. I do not know if the Wards still have mineral right to several hundred acres by Kashwitna or not, it is still state land and if you are is this area you are not trespassing on Wards lands.
    I hate to jump into this because I am going off 12 year old memories But Scott Ward told me they owned the 20 acres around the gate. When I first found the trail from the gate to the mouth of the n. fork [1996]it was just that, a trail not a road. In fact there was no gate at that time.
    Then about 98-99 or so someone did a ton of cat work on the trail and turned it into the road it is today. This got me wondering who owned it so I went to the Palmer town hall and looked at the plat maps. No owner was listed and when I asked the clerk about that [mean old hag-it was like going to DMV] she said only property owners who pay taxes are listed, which led me to believe it was native corp. land.

    Anyway what I am getting at is are you suggesting the trail past the gate is state property, and the only reason the Wards can justify all the trail improvments is a mining claim?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim in anchorage View Post
    Anyway what I am getting at is are you suggesting the trail past the gate is state property, and the only reason the Wards can justify all the trail improvments is a mining claim?


    No I did not suggest that.



    The wards and a native corp. had sub-surface leases on several thousand acres around Kashwitna, looking for gas. As far as I know nothing was ever done. Jerry Ward said he put in the road to get to his land, he never mentions a mining claim and I never found any information about a mining claim.

    I have never gps the road so I can not say if part or all is on state land.

    It does not matter if there was a mining claim or not you can not build a road through state land with out state permission.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    No I did not suggest that.



    The wards and a native corp. had sub-surface leases on several thousand acres around Kashwitna, looking for gas. As far as I know nothing was ever done. Jerry Ward said he put in the road to get to his land, he never mentions a mining claim and I never found any information about a mining claim.

    I have never gps the road so I can not say if part or all is on state land.

    It does not matter if there was a mining claim or not you can not build a road through state land with out state permission.
    I see. When you said 'mineral right" I assumed a mining claim of some sort.




    '

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    I have never gps the road so I can not say if part or all is on state land.

    It does not matter if there was a mining claim or not you can not build a road through state land with out state permission.
    There is no state land east of the south end of Bendapole until you get a couple hundred feet from the mouth of the North Fork. All land south of the mouth of the North Fork on the north side of the Kashwitna all the way down to where Eagles Nest II hits the river is private land. It is owned by primarily several owners, Bucket Creek corp, the Wards, and some other corp. There is a road easement that comes off south of the gated road the Wards put in, but it only runs about 1/2 way to the North Fork mouth. Now, there probably is access to the Kashwitna south through or around Eagles Nest II, but I don't know what it is.

    I have been to the borough and have looked at the plat maps back when I was the chairman of the Sunshine Community Council back in the mid 90'S. That's the last time I have physically looked at the paper. The reason for that research was the desire of the Caswell area residents to maintain a trail to the Kashwitna because the Eagles Nest subs were going to take it away. Frankly, I left the Community Council before the whole thing was settled.

    I have no dog in this fight and stay away from Caswell with my ATV. I imagine that there is theoretical public access to either the North Fork or the Kashwitna by way of section line easement, but I bet there isn't a trail on it. I know for a fact that my friends that live year round in the subdivision knowingly trespass to use several trails. They've admitted it to me as recently as last month

    So, back to the original poster. ATV access to legal trails around Caswell is possible, but difficult.
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    I have a letter from the State of Alaska saying how to assess Kashwitna through public land.

    Now do you believe me when I say there is public access and state land?

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    Hey, I don't NOT believe you. I just believe that the trail the Wards use is most likely not on public land. That is..if we are talking the same trail. Is the letter talking about access through state parcels or along a section line? Is it access to the North Fork or just to the Kashwitna? Is there actually a trail that follows the description the State gave you?

    It's a big complicated area. My only concern is that, on a public forum, I don't want a million people coming through the subdivision looking for riding areas that don't exist. Until a trail is properly marked those trails don't exist yet. I'm all for legal access to state property beyond privately held parcels. I've been part of several conflicts in regards to this in the local area. All have been settled amicably when the landowner realizes that a road right-of-way or section line easement exists....except for one in another part of Caswell
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    My only concern is that, on a public forum, I don't want a million people coming through the subdivision looking for riding areas that don't exist. Until a trail is properly marked those trails don't exist yet.Caswell
    A trail does not have to be "properly mark to be a trail and you know this is true.

    A million people, I do not think so.

    My concern is, if I tell you someone in the area will destroy the trail, like they did before.

    I do not know what the problem is with some of the people in the Caswell area. It makes me think someone in the area is making drugs or poaching, why else are they so agents people accessing state land.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    A trail does not have to be "properly mark to be a trail and you know this is true.
    Absolutely. Unfortunately when you have a trail that originates in what is essentially a residential area it would be nice if it was marked. Especially when many of the old trails were actually trespassing.
    A million people, I do not think so.
    Poetic license But both you and I know what happens to certain trails when their location gets spread on the 'net. I've been more than friendly sharing info on trails that I feel can handle the additional traffic.
    My concern is, if I tell you someone in the area will destroy the trail, like they did before.
    I totally agree. There are a whole bunch of ATV'ers out there that have no idea how much work goes into building a good trail.
    I do not know what the problem is with some of the people in the Caswell area. It makes me think someone in the area is making drugs or poaching, why else are they so agents people accessing state land.
    I happened to be sitting in my office talking to one of my good friends who lives full time with his family off of Bendapole. He's one of dozens of good people who are regular customers in my store that are full time residents of Caswell. Almost all these guys have sleds and ATV's, so they are not anit-motorized recreation. The only big issue they have is the ATV traffic on the roads during the weekends. It wouldn't be a big issue if the offenders would slow down and be courteous. As we all know, it only takes a few to mess it all up for the rest of us. It gets so bad that my friend can't even let his kids ride their bikes on the roads on the weekends anymore. On one weekend this summer, during a bar-b-que, we had a truck pull in with a 4 place looking for the trail to the mountains. We explained where it took off at the end of Bendapole and that there really was no parking down there. Two hours later they were an additional group of four ripping around the subdivision. I really don't think most people in Caswell would have an issue at all with a trailhead parking lot and one sign saying the trail starts here. As it sits now, there is no place to legally park and a sketchy trail that isn't all on public land. I know for a fact that at least two of my friends in Caswell fought tooth and nail to get two of the trails officially recognized as public trails, but were overcome by all the requirements, permits and land issues to get it done. They just shrugged their shoulders and went back to using the old trails and trespassing.

    Visitors forget that Caswell is rapidly growing into a residential area with people who have jobs and want to sleep at night. There is state land outside of dozens of subdivisions in South Central Alaska. How would they like it if we all showed up, parked our trucks on their street, raced up and down their roads, and made a racket all night? They wouldn't be too happy either.

    The other battle is with the guy of the end of Amundsen. He blocks legal access all the time and even the locals have issues with this.
    Rutting Moose, I really think we are on the same side of the coin on this. I do not want legal access closed at all. I just want the information out there that finding that legal access can be difficult at best and that there are many places the residents are fed up with trespassing issues.

    Healthy debate is good. I hope you have a Merry Christmas
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  18. #18

    Thumbs up

    Probably the best Rainbow Fishing in the valley is on the North Fork of the Kashwitna, at the confluence. Late fall, it's every cast and good sized ones. Fair for Silvers too.
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  19. #19

    Default Trail at Caswell

    The trail at the end of Bendapole is trail #1 and goes up the mountain. Just before the first hill it is posted because CIRI owns the parcel of land right there. CIRI allows access up the trail with a permit. Contact CIRI and get a permit and go have fun. The Wards do own the land past the gate and most of the land to the river. If you get to the northfork of the kashwitna and want to fish be sure to read the reg book. NO RETENTION OF RAINBOWS WITH 1/4 MILE OF THE CONFLUENCE.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    I have a letter from the State of Alaska saying how to assess Katina through public land.

    Now do you believe me when I say there is public access and state land?
    I have a map from DRN showing a trail running East from Caswell lake up the North side of the Kashwitna all the way to the headwaters. It is a historical trail and trumps all property rights. The problem is it's probably 100 years old and doesn't physically exist even if it legally exists. As near As I ever could tell the road immediately North of the road to Wards gate, running parallel to it, was part of it but it goes East and quits at a huge beaver pond just West of the N fork. But no one could stop you from improving or using it. The problem with many of these historical trails[and there are dozens all around the state] is finding them.



    I am not a lawyer

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