Though close to the town of Talkeetna, the Chase Trail leads into the tamest edges of the Alaskan bush. The first five miles of this 14-mile trailmostly flat and gravelfollow the Alaska Railroad. Families and those just visiting for the day should love it. Occasionally, a train passes, bringing a roar to an otherwise peaceful landscape. About 5 miles outside of Talkeetna, the trail leaves the tracks and enters a thick sprucebirch forest.
The land adjacent to the trail is private property, so please, no trespassing. Also, be aware that dangerous wildlife (brown bears and moose in particular) do make an appearance from time to time. Be alert and keep your distance. Never run from a bear or moose. Instead, back away slowly and give them their space.
The community of Chase, for which the trail is named, originated in 1922 as a railroad station at Mile 236.2 of the Alaska Railroad. Today, only a few hardy residents remain, living self-sufficient lives along the banks of the nearby Susitna River.
Other areas have blossomed too. Nodwell, just off the Chase Trail past mile 5, has grown into a small community and once even boasted a bar. Clear Creek, at the end of the trail, is known for its great fishing. Locals recommend the trail to tourists, especially those who want to go beyond Talkeetna's main drag of cafés and shops.
Parking and Trail Access
The trailhead is in the northwest corner of the Alaska Railroad parking lot in Talkeetna.
I rode a good portion of the Chase Trail on Saturday evening. The trail was in good shape for easy mountain biking, and possibly for a commuter bike. The gravel is loose in some spots, but very predictable. There was some ATV traffic, but everyone was ...