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Thread: Trails around Eagle River?

  1. #1
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Default Trails around Eagle River?

    I'm new to XC skiing and looking for some trails. A friend is taking me out to Kincaid for a crash course.

    I'm in the dark about where to go after that. Beach Lake sounds pretty cool. Any other suggestions?

    I'm not looking to run from Eagle River to Girdwood just yet so simple, smaller things would work great.

    Thanks!
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    If you are looking for groomed trails, Kincaid and Beach Lake are great trail systems. Also, there is the Hillside trail system that I am on pretty much daily. Another good option if you are coming from Eagle River would be the trails at Bartlett High School. For classic skiing, Russian Jack has some fun trails as well.

    Let me know if you have any questions about trailheads. Some depends on whether you are willing to ski some in the dark or will be out during daytime. There are lighted trails at many of these places, but skiing during the day or with a headlamp opens up a lot more trail option and access points.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Agreed with the Beach Lake trails, but be warned that there are some pretty tough, hilly trails out there. There are some pretty mild loops as well, so pay attention to the maps. When the map says "executioner", "yo-yo's", "luge", and "agony hill", believe it.

    I understand that they also put in some groomed trails at Eagle River High. I haven't tried them yet, but it might be worth checking out.

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    Member muzzyman87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I understand that they also put in some groomed trails at Eagle River High. I haven't tried them yet, but it might be worth checking out.
    When I skied them last year, they were very flat and boring. I am a HUGE fan of the Beach Lake trails.
    I am not against the flippin kenai, since I cannot but suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering every other stream... ~Paul O'Neil~/~Wyo2AK~

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    I also like the Beach Lake trails. Last year was my first year of XC skiing, and I found Beach Lake to be a good "beginner" course that also offers more intermediate and a few difficult loops. And Brian is right, the signs are dead on as to what you can expect on the trails......ask the group who watched me go crash-bang-pow through "Devils Corner" last winter!
    I live in Eagle River, by the Nature Center, and they have trails to ski too, although they are not groomed. There is also the Eagle River itself, once the ice is thick enough to ski on.
    Also check out the websites below, which offer maps and grooming reports for MANY XC ski trails around Anchorage and the Valley as well as Kenai.

    http://www.crosscountryalaska.org/trails/version1.php
    http://www.matsuski.org/

    PM me if you'd like to ski around ER sometime........

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Beach lake trails are the best, and some of them are lit, which is nice for an after work ski. As mentioned Eagle River High now has a few kilometers of trails. If you want some ungroomed casual trails, you can go out the N fork of Eagle River, about 1/2 way back to the nature center, not a very long trail until the river freezes up. The Eagle River Nature center trails can also be skied. There is also the South Fork of Eagle river, but it's a bit steep at the start, and they snow can get pretty deep back there later in the winter. Eaglewoood subdevision has about 5 miles of trails, but they haven't been groomed in years, and are pretty narrow.

    Anchorage has trails that run throughout almost the entire city, you can start at Russian Jack park, and ski through the University, Far North Bicentennial over to Hilltop, down the Chester creek to the Coastal trail and then all the way to Kincaid. If you work in town, you should have little trouble finding a trailhead close to your work that'll allow a casual lunch time session.

    The one thing to watch out for are conditions. The past few years it seems every snowfall is quickly followed by a thaw and then a freeze. Icy conditions are extremely challenging for a new skier, so try and avoid them. When there is a couple inches of fresh snow, go out and hit the trails, because they are much more foregiving.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I appreciate the help and info. Keep it coming!
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

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