Fairbanks Summer Trails Guide 2018

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SUMMER 2018 TRAILS GUIDE Also Available Online @


June 20, 2018—Sept 30, 2018

#1. Chena River Walk @ Griffin Park #2. Sandpiper Trail @ Tanana Lakes Recreation Area #3. Chena Lake Bike Path @ Chena Lake Recreation Area #4. Chena River Nature Trail @ Chena Lake Recreation Area #5. Outhouse Loop @ Birch Hill Recreation Area #6. Medevac Trail @ Birch Hill Recreation Area #7. White Bear Trail @ Birch Hill Recreation Area #8. 100 Mile Loop Trail @ Isberg Recreation Area #9. Cranberry Trail @ Goldstream Hills #10. Boreal Forest Trail @ Creamer’s Field Refuge #11. Circle — Fairbanks Historic Trail @ Fairbanks Creek Road #12. Compeau Trail @ Chena River State Recreation Area 2

How to

TAKE THE TRAILS CHALENGE: 1. FIND the signs that say “Fairbanks Trails Challenge”  Twelve signs are located somewhere along the trails on the list.  Keep an eye out for orange trail markers—the sign will be near! 2. Snap a PHOTO with the sign to prove you made it! 3. SHARE your “selfie.” This can be done multiple ways: 1. Post your selfie on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and type “#FNSBtrails” in your post. Posts must be “public” so that we can keep track of your progress. Ensure you have the proper settings for your audience or privacy: For Instagram, you have to make your whole account public. In Facebook, you can selectively change posts to have a public audience: https://www.facebook.com/help/233739099984085?helpref=faq_content

2. Post your picture on our FNSB Parks & Rec Facebook page with the “#FNSBTrails” hashtag 3. Email your photos to parks@fnsb.us.

4. Share your photos by September 30th! 5. Make it to AT LEAST TEN Winter Challenge Trails and you will Earn the elusive


TIP: If you want to verify that we have found your photos, send us an email with your first and last name and we’ll get back to you. This is especially helpful to notify people with creative usernames! 3

Trails Challenge Tips Hiking Basics Everyone was new to these trails at one time. Here are some tips to make your first couple trails as enjoyable as possible: 1. Start small and choose the right trail for your fitness level. Plan a hike that is suitable for everyone in your party and let the slower person set the pace. 2. Familiarize yourself with the trail. Review maps and talk to someone who has done the trail before. 3. Check the WEATHER. Weather can be unpredictable so remember to dress accordingly. 4. Tell someone where you will be. If you don’t make it back when you expect to, this person can alert your emergency contact. 5. Pace yourself. If you start out too fast you’ll tire out. Take your time and smell the roses! 6. Bring plenty of WATER. Drink often to stay hydrated and your pack will get lighter throughout the day! 7. Bring and use SUNSCREEN and a hat to prevent sunburn, even on cloudy or cold days. 8. Inspect your emergency and FIRST AID KITS before each hike. Replace consumed items as needed. 9. Keep BUGS away. Bring and use mosquito repellant. Many trails in the challenge are close to wetlands or in dense forest and can be very buggy in the summer. 10. Watch for WILDLIFE and be “BEAR AWARE.” Make noise. Travel in groups. Don’t run from a bear! Don’t approach wildlife. Become familiar with bear spray. Check out this site for great bear awareness resources: www.alaskabears.alaska.gov

Tails on Trails Your furry friends need exercise too! Here are some things to remember when bringing your pets on a trail walk:  You are responsible for your actions and the actions of your dog.  Always keep your dogs properly restrained with a leash or under very strict voice command (FNSB code Title 22.28.010).  Pick up any pet waste (FNSB Code Title 22.28.020).  Yield the right-of-way to other trail users trying to get around your pet.  Avoid disturbing wildlife and provoking dangerous encounters.  Remember to bring extra water for your dog when walking trails, especially in hot summer weather. Fido may still be wearing his winter coat! 4

Trail Etiquette Multiple-Use Trails YIELD signs like the one here describe what to do in specific encounters, but always stick to the GOLDEN RULE: PRACTICE COMMON SENSE AND COURTESY!  Typically you should yield to the passerby who has least stopping control.  Always yield to dog teams and horses and give the animals a wide berth.  Motorized trail users should slow speeds when encounters are possible.  Hikers can usually step aside more easily than other users.

Respect the Land, Landowners and Neighbors Local trails cross a variety of types of terrain, land ownership and regulation. When out on the trails, remember:  Plan ahead to know where you go and who owns the land.  Respect private and public property by staying in the public trail corridor.  Obey signage and land use rules such as allowable trail uses.  Use a leash: Chasing loose dogs is a common cause of unwanted trespass.  Prevent damage by avoiding wet trails during spring break-up and heavy rains.

Leave No Trace Principles Leave what you find, take only photos and memories. 1. Plan ahead and prepare. Know the type of terrain and possible weather conditions you might encounter. Minimize impacts by keeping groups small and avoiding high use times for the trail. 2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces. Walk through mud/puddles to avoid widening the trail. Walking single file and avoiding shortcuts will limit damage to the trail and surrounding ecosystems. 3. Dispose of waste properly. Pack it in, pack it out! This includes not only food wrappers, but also biodegradable waste such as banana peels, etc. Also practice “negative trace” by picking up trash left by others. 4. Leave what you find. Look, but don’t take. Consider leaving what you find so that the next trail user can enjoy it as you did. Avoid moving rocks, picking plants, and disturbing cultural or historical artifacts. 5. Minimize campfire impacts. Keep your campfire small— or go without. Use previously constructed fire rings or mounds. 6. Respect wildlife. Let the wild be wild. Keep your distance and do not attract or approach animals. Never feed them food intended for humans as this disrupts their natural foraging habits. Control pets in natural areas and always keep them restrained. 7. Be considerate of other visitors. Show respect for other trail users. Keep voices/noises from getting intrusively loud. Obey any posted trail rules including rights of way. For more information on Leave No Trace principles, please visit their website, www.LNT.org. 5

#1. Chena River Walk @ Griffin Park Difficulty: EASY

Get there: Parking for the Chena River Walk is near the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center on Dunkel Street. Distance: 0.3 mi. Tips: This is a non-motorized, paved pedestrian path Walking and biking are allowed on the path. Please leash all dogs and clean up all waste out of respect for other trail users. Path tends to be busy so please be aware of others when biking or jogging.


#2. Sandpiper Trail @ Tanana Lakes Recreation Area Difficulty: EASY

Get there: Drive to the end of South Cushman and turn on Northlake Lane to get to TLRA. Parking for the trail is at the Picnic Pavilion or the Swim Beach. Watch out for moose! Distance: 0.12 mi.

Summer Hours: 7am—11pm Daily

Tips: This is a non-motorized trail. This trail ends at the TLRA Swim beach. Please be aware that dogs are NOT allowed on the swim beach at any time. Please leash dogs and use grassy areas above the swim beach to exit the trail at that end.


#3. Chena Lake Bike Path @ Chena Lake Recreation Area Difficulty: EASY—MODERATE

Get there: From North Pole, take the Richardson Highway South, and exit Dawson Road following signs to Chena Lake Recreation Area. As Laurance Road turns left toward the park, the first parking opportunity is on the left. Additional bike path parking is farther down Laurance Road at the Lake Park, the East Lake Parking, and at the end of Laurance Road. Distance: The paved bike path extends the length of Laurance Road as it runs along the flood control dike, almost 5 miles. A spur path follows the Lake Park road to Chena Lake, and a 3 mile gravel loop is accessible from the East Lake parking lot. Look for the sign on the paved path between the Laurance Rd. Trailhead and the Lake Park road… Tips: This trail is non-motorized in the summer. The paved path is wide with great sight distance while the gravel path has a more narrow “trail” feel through the woods where it runs along the lake. Watch for moose!

#4. Chena River Nature Trail @ Chena Lake Recreation Area Difficulty: EASY—MODERATE

Get there: In North Pole, follow Laurance Road to enter Chena Lake Recreation Area. Near the end of the road, turn left onto the River Park Road. Parking is in 3/4 mile at the pavilion on the left. Distance: The River Park Trails offer loops of 5.5K (green markers), 4K (yellow markers) and 2.5K (black markers) distances. For the 4k Nature Trail, follow the yellow markers Tips: This is a non-motorized trail. Watch out– Moose really like the riverbank and sloughs by this trail and have been known to surprise hikers and skiers. Keep a look out and make noise to avoid startling a moose and keep dogs on a leash. The Nature Trail hosts interpretive signs for fun learning about the area.



#5. Outhouse Loop @ Birch Hill Recreation Area Difficulty: MODERATE

Get there: Parking for the Jim Whisenhant Ski Trails is at the Birch Hill Recreation Area and Ski Center, located at 101 Wilderness Drive. Distance: 1.60 mi Tips: Birch HIll trails are non-motorized. Hours: 8am to 10pm (gate closes at 10). White Bear, Classical Bear, Sunnyside and Sonot area trails are on US Army Ft. Wainwright lands. Register for your Recreational Access Permit to Army lands at https://usartrak.isportsman.net/.


Medevac Trail @ Birch Hill Recreation Area Difficulty: EASY-MODERATE

Distance: 0.60 mi Tips: Birch Hill trails are non-motorized. Hours: 8am to 10pm (gate closes at 10) White Bear, Classical Bear, Sunnyside and Sonot area trails are on US Army Ft. Wainwright lands. Register for your Recreational Access Permit to Army lands at https://usartrak.isportsman.net/. 10


#7. After Hours Trail @ Skyline Ridge Park Difficulty: MODERATE

Get there: From Farmer’s Loop Road, take Summit Drive to Cranberry Ridge, or Skyline Drive to the top of Crestline Drive then left to Cranberry Ridge. Follow Cranberry Ridge uphill to Noel Drive. Public access to the park is at the Skyline Ridge trailhead at the top corner of Noel Drive and M.I.A Street. Distance: 1.20 mi. Tips: This is a non-motorized trail. Parking at the trailhead is limited; Please park courteously. For a nice loop about 2.5 miles, travel down After-hours trail until you hit the Goldstream Connector. Take the Connector left and uphill to the intersection with Skyline Ridge Trail, and left again and up hill back to the Noel Drive Trailhead. 12

#8. 100 Mile Loop Trail @ Isberg Recreation Area Difficulty: EASY-MODERATE

Get there: Parking for Isberg Recreation Area is located off Oboe Court near the intersection of Isberg and Cripple Creek Roads. This trail is a portion of the Cripple Creek-Rosie Creek Trail and an existing segment of the proposed “100-Mile Loop Trail.” Distance: 1.00 mi. Tips: This is a multiple use trail. Isberg’s trails are mostly suited for winter, but the first mile of this trail is hardened. The trail tends to be fragile past 1 mile—rubber boots recommended! Use caution on this trail when operating motorized vehicles and avoid perpetually wet spots. In dry weather, you can make a more challenging 2.4 mile loop by connecting the powerlines.


#9. Cranberry Trail @ Goldstream Hills


Get there: From Goldstream Road, turn on Pandora Drive. Follow the road uphill, taking Red Berry Rd, Pine Wood Rd, and Green Leaf Rd. The first cul-de-sac on the left off Green Leaf is September Court where you will find a small trailhead. Parking at the trailhead is limited and adjacent to residential property, so please park courteously. Distance: 2.6 mi. Tips: This is a non-motorized trail. Cranberry Trail crisscrosses several other trails that aren’t depicted on the map, and can be confusing to navigate. Pay close attention and follow the small “Cranberry Trail” signs carefully to complete the loop. Please be respectful of neighboring private property and keep dogs on a leash while on the trail. 14


#10. Boreal Forest Trail @ Creamer’s Field Refuge Difficulty: EASY-MODERATE

Get there: Creamer’s Refuge is at 1300 College Rd. and is managed by Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). Distance: 1 mi. Tips: This is a non-motorized trail. Bicycles are not allowed on the Boreal Forest Trail. The ADF&G manages Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge as prime habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife making it a wonderful destination for quiet wildlife viewing, research and nature education. It is especially important to leash all dogs and clean up all waste to protect the sensitive environment. Much of the trail goes on boardwalks over seasonal wetlands. Watch for slippery conditions on boardwalks. Paper trail maps can be found at the main trailhead kiosk near the picnic area or in the Farmhouse entryway which is always open. Please donate $1 for trail maps to defray printing costs or return them after your walk. Donations can be made in the donation box at the main trailhead or in the Farmhouse entryway. More information about Creamer‘s can be found at ADF&G’s site www.adfg.alaska.gov and at their partner’s website www.friendsofcreamersfield.org.



#11. Circle-Fairbanks Historic Trail @ Fairbanks Cr Rd Difficulty: DIFFICULT

Get there: From Steese Hwy MP 20.5 at Cleary Summit, drive east on Fairbanks & Fish Creek Road. In ¾ mile, see the sign for the trailhead, keep left on Fairbanks Creek Road and continue northeast for 2.6 miles. Trailhead on the left side of the road. Do not block this or other trails when parking. Distance: The full trail extends about 58 miles from near Cleary Summit to Twelvemile Summit at MP 86 Steese Highway. Look for the orange trail markers within 3 miles of the summer trailhead. The sign is slightly off-trail to the right at a nice overlook. Tips: This is a multi-use trail. The Circle-Fairbanks Trail is managed cooperatively by the Alaska Divisions of Land and Water Management and Parks & Outdoor Recreation for multiple uses including mining, trapping, and recreational travel. Large portions of this trail are owned by the University of Alaska, and multiple mining claims border the path. Recreationists using the trail should respect the private property of mining claimants and the University of Alaska. This trail is located in bear country, and both grizzly and black bears may be encountered. It is advised to bring bear spray when traveling this trail, and to keep dogs under control. If traveling this trail alone, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. Weather can change very rapidly at higher elevations, and there is very little natural cover on the full trail. It is advised to come prepared for adverse weather. Don’t forget to bring water! History: During the early 20th century Gold Rush days, this trail was the original dryland route from the Circle City on the Yukon River to Fairbanks on the Chena River. This trail was the “summer route” that stayed high along the ridgelines and thus offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. 18


#12. Compeau Trail @ Chena River State Recreation Difficulty: DIFFICULT



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