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Thread: Riding the Intertie, Willow to Talkeetna ?

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    Default Riding the Intertie, Willow to Talkeetna ?

    I'm trying to figure something out, and maybe folks on this forum know the answer. I'm wondering if you can ride from Willow to Talkeetna on the Intertie (power line right of way). In particular - I'm wondering if you can start at the Willow-Hatcher Pass Road and ride the Intertie north, eventually hitting the Talkeetna River just past Larson Lake (where you can head down to Talkeetna). I'm thinking the route may be blocked by landowners in the Montana Creek area. If so I'm wondering if there are ways around that.

    Also - I'm wondering if anyone has every snomobiled the Intertie from Talkeena north to the Hurricane area, where the train tracks cross the Parks Highway. Thanks.

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    [QUOTE=Dinglishna;874658] I'm thinking the route may be blocked by landowners in the Montana Creek area. If so I'm wondering if there are ways around that.

    QUOTE]

    Yes it is blocked, but not by the local land owners. The intertie owners have it blocked and yes there is a way around at least for the one I know of. Thatís the least of your problems what about all the rivers and streams you have to cross. If it was me and I wanted to do it, I would go for it, you might be surprise what you will find for trails. Donít forget a chain saw and lots of gas.

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    Personally I prefer like the Tank/Talkeetna Mail trail just a little farther to the east of the intertie. It has less over growth. The farthest north I have ridden it though is to Caswell. So I don't know beyond there how to get to Talkeetna, I would like to know though.

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    psc210: I like the tank trail too and yes - that's as far as I've been up the Intertie from the south. As far as brush on the Intertie, I'm thinking it might be getting better soon. By that I mean - recently I was on the Intertie east of Mastadon Road east of Talkeetna. A whole fleet of brushing machines are up there and it looks like they are preparing to do contract brushing work under the Intertie. For how many miles and in which direction, I don't know.

    RM: I know what you mean. But I recently poked around up there and most of the streams seem to be solid. Montana Creek is easy to get across under the Intertie.

    So why am I asking about the Intertie? Well, think about it ... a great loop would be Willow - Tank Trail & Intertie to Larson Lake and the Talkeetna River - Talkeetna - cross the Big Su to Trapper Creek - then ride the Su Valley Winter Trail back past Trapper Lake and back to Willow. That would be a great loop.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    It's basically completed, but in sections. The brushing by the hydro-axes has certainly messed things up in areas though. The intertie north of the Talkeetna River to where it crosses Clear Creek is doable in most years of good snow. I've done it a bunch of times. However, to follow it up onto Curry Ridge is a whole other story.

    The biggest problem is that the intertie was built by helicopter. Bad terrain? No big deal they just jumped over it. We, on sleds, don't have that luxury so the intertie has become mostly just a landmark and trails use it when they can.

    There definately has been no support in the local area (north of Sheep Creek to the Talkeetna River) in establishing a route like you are talking about. This area is full of the most convinced NotInMyBackyard types that you have ever encountered. Everyone is secretive of their trails and most don't want to see any out of town traffic at all. Hell, years ago they tried to run a sled dog race above treeline into Talkeetna from the south and the Talkeetna Community Council was against it because it would establish a trail from the south. They ended up re-routing it along the beside the highway trails that already existed. Personally, I'd love to see a groomed trail in the high country or along the intertie route from Willow to Talkeetna. I'm just not willing to fight for it after 30 years of political battles in this town/area.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the info AKDoug. Good point about the Intertie being built by helicopter, that doesn't bode well for sno-go routes. Your comment about the folks in the Montana Creek area rings true. It only takes a quick trip there to understand that the place has its share of paranoid, gun-toting NIMBYs.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, the few that didn't mind having some sleds and ATV's around have been poisoned by bad users of both. A whole lot of drunken traffic speeding down the back roads sure makes it hard for us good users.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    AKDoug: I understand. And I don't blame the folks that live there. I would be anti-non-locals if drunks were terrorizing where I live. Just wish they would put down their guns when I go by ... cuz I'm a sober, respectful and generally friendly person. Thanks for the tip about the Intertie going north from the Talkeetna River to Clear Creek ... I'll have to check that out.

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    It can be rough. Definately take a friend.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Just found this link on the web. MEA has contractors working this winter on clearing brush to make a 100 foot corridor under the Intertie for 43 miles from the Talkeetna River to the Willow Fish Hook Road. MEA makes note that this is not a public easment. But they also acknowledge that many snowmobilers and mushers use this route. Here's the link:

    http://ktna.org/2011/01/07/mea-to-cl...aska-intertie/

    So - maybe not this year, but next year there will be a brush free Intertie route from Willow to Talkeetna. So my idea of a Willow - Intertie - Talkeetna - Trapper Creek - SVWT - Willow loop might have a chance with this brush clearing. I hope that snowmobile clubs (WTC, Mid Valley, CRR) take note of this and potentially see if some right of way for snowmobiling could be established. Actually - snowmobiling on this stretch of the Intertie would save the MEA money. They wouldn't have to brush as much if snowmobiles knocked down the brush each year.

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    Just because the power line is there doesn't mean there isn't private property under the wires. The last 10 feet of my yard in anchorage has a utility easment and power lines above it. CEA, ACS and GCI have the right to come into my yard to maintain their lines but you don't. Not saying that the intertie goes over private property but it might. If it does not, it would be a cool loop.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    The intertie does in fact have easements through private property. Those easements grant access to the utility companies and that's it. It's not really enforced but you will run into at least one native corporation no trasspassing sign where the intertie crosses the middle fork of Montatna Creek and several others in various places along the route. However, there is nothing to say that if a guy was willing to put in the time and effort into getting permission to put a trail through those pieces of property it could still happen. If you use public monies like Trac grants their is likely going to be a public comment period and I guarantee that there will be resounding opposition to it in the Talkeetna and Sunshine Community council areas that encompass the intertie from Caswell to the Talkeetna River. It's unfortunate, but it's the truth.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Unhappy Legal? It will be a big job!!!!

    The WTC has tried to see if we could get that legal to ride but to many in those are against it! Snow Trac does not fund trail easments or surveys. That goes to Rec Trail Funds which are now in trouble.
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