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Explore the best rated trails in Palmer, AK, whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Lanie Fleischer Chester Creek Trail and Glenn Highway Trail . With more than 9 trails covering 67 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I biked the trail last weekend with friends and rode home on an alternate route through Anchorage. The trail is beautiful, winds along the coast, through the forest, and past interesting informational kiosks. There's a short dirt path that leads to the beach near the south end of the trail that's worth a visit. We rode back through town and connected with the Chester Creek trail which is also beautiful. So many fun things to see along the way!
I rented a bike while in Anchorage on business and the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail was without a doubt one of the best trails I've ever been on! Smooth and scenic, well maintained trail, not too crowded, hardly any stops/crossings; it was a pure delight. I was there in June and it was perfect for biking, saw some moose and other wildlife. Really a pleasure to bicycle! Strongly recommend if you're ever in Anchorage.
One of the best that I've been on in the country
In the waning days of summer, which to this lifelong resident of SoCal felt like winter, my wife and I rode a portion of the trail on a blustery September afternoon. Being a couple of mid-sixties tourists from California, we enlisted the expertise of Alaska Trail Guides to provide bikes, lead the way, educate us about Anchorage history and the flora and fauna, and protect us from being trampled by a moose or mauled by a bear. I'm happy to report we safely saw several moose and managed to avoid any bear encounters!
We started at Earthquake Park and headed in the direction of Kincaid Park. The asphalt trail was perfectly maintained with occasional inclines, and the sights were stunningly beautiful including yellow leaves covering the trail, serene forests, lovely coastal views of Cook Inlet with its nearby islands, and snow capped mountains.
Unfortunately because of time constraints, Covid restrictions set by the guide company, and a group of seven senior citizens, we only went out about four and a half miles before turning back to Earthquake Park. As a result, about 50% of our ride was spent beneath the flight path of the international airport. If you like listening to and watching large jets land at an airport, then I guess that's awesome!
We traveled 2,600 miles to ride this amazing trail and were not disappointed with what we got to experience, but not being able to ride the entire length will be something I'll always regret.
This is a very pretty trail through the woods on the side of a mountain, with the river off to the other side. We started on the Palmer side and went about two miles in, then turned around due to so many steep washouts from landslides. We had already walked the bikes through two of them, and this last one had about a foot and a half you would actually need to jump, which seemed like a bad idea with bikes. When we got back to the trail head though, we decided to ride some more and went east on Eagle street and saw a trailhead for the Matanuska River Trail about 3 blocks away, which appears to be very new (perhaps still under construction). It was wide and took us gradually down toward the river and then back up, ending in a campground. This trail is also through quite lovely woods and following the river path. We rode on the Glenn Highway back to the trailhead then, making for about a six mile loop. The trail may also continue on the river, but we chose to go to the campground. As mentioned, it is very new and there was no markings or signage.
There is a parking area at Taku Lake Park North (near intersection of King St. & E 76th Ave.). Holds about 30 cars. Can be busy at times.
There is a Greenbelt parking area near intersection of Fischer Ave. & Lynnwood Dr. Holds about a dozen cars.
At Campbell Park there is a new parking area on the east side of Lake Otis Pkwy., 200 ft north of the Campbell Creek bridge. Holds about 30 cars. South of the bridge 200 ft is another parking area off E 48th Ave. (also on the east side of Lake Otis Pkwy.). Holds about 20 cars; may be busy at times as there is a playground adjacent to it. Directly from these parking areas you can follow the Campbell Cr. Trail easterly (upstream). To travel westerly on the trail: Take the bike path south along Lake Otis Pkwy., 1/4 mile to and thru a pedestrian underpass. Then follow a bike path north along Lake Otis Pkwy., 1/4 mile to quiet E 47th Ct. Follow this west 1/4 mile to find Campbell Cr. Trail at the end.
At the Chuck Albrecht Ball Fields there is a parking area that can hold over 100 cars. This is located on the south side of Doctor MLK Jr. Ave., 1/2 mile east of the intersection with Elmore Rd.
Nice trail in parts, but lots of rock slides to cross over the course of 6.5 miles. Trail is also being re-routed in a few places due to the river bank eroding. Probably walked our mountain bikes about 1/3 of the distance. Beginning and ending sections are flat. Almost no traffic- only saw 2 hikers on the route.
Amazing view, well maintained trail.
SKATERS BEWARE, TRAIL HAS STEEP GRADES!!! I have logged hundreds of miles skating on a portion of this trail, and never seem to tire of it.
The portion that is best for skating is from the pullout at Milepost 100 of the Seward Highway to Girdwood. This is a 20 mile round trip. The beginning and end are 8 feet wide; the bulk of this is 10 feet. There are 2 steep hills that are 12 feet wide.
West of Bird Point the trail has a mile-long level section (always fun to skate, especially with a tailwind), the rest is hilly and winding.
East of Bird Point it climbs then descends a couple hundred vertical feet. I have measured grades greater than 6% in this area.
The trail has its share of root cracks (even on one of the steepest slopes) to be aware of.
SKATERS NEED TO HAVE GOOD BRAKING SKILLS ON THIS TRAIL!!! I always carry a "brake pole" (similar to a hockey stick with a rubber foot instead of a blade). I drag it to slow my speed; I have never skated the 20 miles without needing to use it.
Approach it cautiously, control your speed, and enjoy the trail!
I saw a moose closeup on the wooded section of the coastal trail past the airport. The views of Anchorage and the mountain range across the water are breathtaking. Surface is smooth, it gets somewhat hilly at Earthquake Park (with a very interesting exhibit) and the airport runway. Mileage markers are somewhat confusing since mile 0 is not at the downtown terminus, but at Westchester Lagoon about 2.5 miles from the Alaska Railroad Depot, then runs along the water to the airport then through dense forest for another 9 miles or so for a total of 11 miles.
After arriving at noon on the cruise train from Seward we first went to Flattop Mountain on the shuttle bus from Downtown Bicycle Rental on 4th Ave. See my review of the Flattop Mountain Trail for details. Make sure you make a reservation, call again on the day of your reservation, and also get back on time on the return trip so they do not leave without you. The owner, who operates the shuttle, is quite a character and his included tour of Anchorage is informative and sprinkled with a good portion of humor and opinion. Everyone was extremely helpful and polite. the even let us use a backpack for free. They give you a discount if you rent bicycles on the same day, so I also rode the Coastal Trail on a rental bike and thoroughly enjoyed it. They take great care to fit you with the appropriate bike and gave us detailed instructions regarding all the trails with free detailed maps.
Was working in Anchorage and Fairbanks on travel assignments. Rode this beautiful windy uphill trail from Bird to Alyeska Resort. Ok I know you want to know about the trail, but I want to describe the bear. I saw many a moose while working in Anchorage, not so in Fairbanks, but the bear on the trail will stay in my memory till I die or get dementia. One of my travel nurse buddies paid $800 to take a bush flight to see the bears and here we were a stones throw from one for the price of a bike rental. (We were on assignment in Fairbanks and few to Anchorage for a cosmopolitan weekend) The bear got wind of our sent looked up tilted his head and headed to the woods. We rode on to Alyeska threw down some liquid courage and rode back FAST DOWNHILL WITH 50 MILE AN HOUR TAIL WINDS. It could not have been more exciting!! (They even closed the airport for several hours due to the high winds.) It amazes me how fast one can ride down hill, with tail winds, under the influence, and screaming most of the way-to warn the bears of course. If in Anchorage (and an avid biker) this trail is splendid and should not be missed.
Ran here in 2007 from Kincaid Park north.That was a great experience.In August,2016 while on vacation;I ran from Earthquake Park towards Anchorage one day and Earthquake Park towards the Airport the next day.This trail affords you views of snow capped Mountains,Cook Inlet,and miles of heavy forest lined with Birch,Aspen and other trees.Running towards the Airport is more hilly.I've run in hundreds of places in the USA due to work travel.This trail is one of the most scenic.Considering Anchorage's winters of ice/snow,the asphalt trail is in excellent condition.If you are in Anchorage,run this trail.You will be happy you did.
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