Fairbanks Summer Trails Challenge 2020 Trail Guide

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PARKS & RECREATION Main Office: 1920 Lathrop Street, Fairbanks, AK Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM —5:00 PM Website: http://parks.fnsb.us Phone: (907) 459-1070 Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Rec FNSB_Parks_and_Rec FNSB Parks and Recreation

TRAILS CHALLENGE QUESTIONS: Contact the Trails Coordinator at bwright@fnsb.us or 907-459-7401. Check the Trails Office webpage for MAPS and TRAILS INFORMATION! Follow the FNSB Parks & Recreation Facebook Page for updates. See you on this summer’s trails!


HOW TO TAKE THE TRAILS CHALLENGE: click here to register for free at parks.fnsb.us 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.” Here are three ways to share: 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 - LINK TO FACEBOOK POST SETTINGS HELP PAGE

2. Post a the photo on the Summer Trails Challenge Facebook Event Page. Add the “#FNSBTrails” hashtag. 3. Email your photos to parks@fnsb.us.

Share your photos by September 30, 2020! PAGE 3

TRAILS CHALLENGE TIPS: 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. 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. KNOW where you GO. 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. Leave a PLAN. Tell someone where you are going. 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 water. Drink often to stay hydrated and your pack will get lighter throughout the day! 7. Protect from the SUN. Use sunscreen and clothing to protect your skin, even on cloudy or cold days. 8. Bring FIRST AID. Inspect and replace missing items from your first aid kit before each hike. 9. BUG OFF. Avoid mosquitoes by using insect repellent or appropriate clothing. 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.

TRAILS CHALLENGE AWARDS: Make it to at least 10 Fairbanks Trails Challenge signs and you will: · Earn the elusive “Trailblazer Award!” · Be placed in a drawing for awesome prizes from this year’s prize sponsors!

“Junior Trailblazer” awards for kids under 10 years old— Find at least FIVE signs!


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 plenty of space. · 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. · Practice Leave-No-Trace: for more info visit www.LNT.org · Many good winter trails cross frozen bogs and cannot sustain summer use. 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 (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! PAGE 5


· Individual PDF maps of many Borough trail systems are now available for download on our web page: parks.fnsb.us. · Find maps under General Info > Trails Office · These maps are designed for use on your GPS-enabled mobile device and can be displayed on any PDF reader. When viewed in an installed mobile application, each map will show your location on screen in real time. Cool! · These maps can also be printed or viewed without using a special app.


· Georeferenced map applications allow you to navigate using your mobile device’s GPS even without cellular reception! There are a variety of geo-referenced PDF apps available for Apple and Android devices. Consult your preferred mobile app’s instructions for complete information. · We use an application called AVENZA MAPS, though other apps also work. · Upload maps to the AVENZA app from Dropbox or your device storage.

MAP AND APP TIPS: · Download the map onto your device BEFORE leaving cell reception! (Data rates may apply.) · Enable Location Services so the mobile map application can show your location on the map. · In areas with no cellular reception, phone battery life significantly decreases. Cold weather can also drain batteries! Using airplane mode will improve battery life and will not interfere with GPS tracking. · File sizes for georeferenced maps may be very large. AVENZA recommends users connect to a WiFi network when downloading. · Like all GPS technology, your device’s accuracy will be compromised by cloudy weather, cliff walls, canyons, tall buildings, or other obstructions. · GPS is no substitute for preparedness! Research your destination. Plan, pack and dress accordingly!


1. chena river bike path @ Growden park complex

Difficulty: EASY

Get there: The Chena River Walk and Bike Path runs between the Steese highway to the east and Pioneer Park to the west. Parking for the bike path around the Growden Park area can be found at the Dog Park, at the Carlson Center, next to Pioneer Park at Moore Street, or park at any of the ballfields and make your way to the river. Tips: This is a paved, non-motorized path. Check out the secluded section along Second Street between the Fairbanks Dog Park (located next to Hap-Ryder Theatre and the Curling Club) and Pioneer Park. The complex of parks, playgrounds and ballfields around Second and Wilbur is collectively known as the Growden Park area. Make a day of it and roam around Pioneer Park, enjoy some playtime at the playgrounds at Kiwanis or Growden parks, or take a stroll before a baseball game.


2. Eagle Trail @ tanana Lakes recreation area

Difficulty: EASY

Get there: At the end of South Cushman, turn right onto Northlake Lane to get to TLRA. Trailhead parking is by the non-motorized boat launch for Cushman Lake. Distance: 0.66 mi. Tips: This is a non-motorized trail. Look for the sign slightly off the main Eagle Trail, down a short spur trail that gives you a view of the marsh. For a nice full loop almost 2.5 miles long, at the end of Eagle Trail continue north along the east side of the lake, then follow Flicker Trail and Sandpiper Trail to connect back to the lake’s west side and walk south from the Swim Beach back to the parking area.

3. tanana river overlook @ tanana lakes recreation area

Difficulty: EASY

Get there: At the end of South Cushman, turn right onto Northlake Lane to get to TLRA. Trailhead parking is by the motorized boat launch for Tanana Lake. Distance: 0.50 mi. Tips: This is a non-motorized trail. Like much of the park, it makes use of a feature of the Tanana River Levee system known as a "groin." Hike up a short incline atop the groin for views of the Tanana River. Walk to the end of the levee feature where you'll find a park bench and picnic spot at the mouth of the Tanana Lake where it empties into the Tanana River. PAGE 8

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4. 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. 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. Look for the sign on the paved path between the Laurance Rd. Trailhead and the Lake Park road… Watch for moose!

5. island trail @ chena lake recreation area

Difficulty: EASY-moderate

Get there: Head to Chena Lake Recreation Area as described above. Park at the Lake Park and rent a paddle boat or launch your own non-motorized boat. Distance: Very short. Tips: Don your life jacket and paddle to the biggest island on the lake. There you'll find a nice camp area and a cool hidden trail. It's an excellent spot for a secluded picnic and there's even an outhouse on the island along the trail. If you find someone has already claimed the campsite, please respect their space. Consider looking for this trail before the late evening hours so as not to disturb campers.



6. 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. 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/. Distance: 1-2 miles Tips: Head toward the top of the stadium hill and find the Outhouse Loop off the Relay Start Loop. For a longer walk and some cool views, the popular Sunnyside trail is accessed off of the Outhouse Loop. Maybe check out the shortcut trail to Sunnyside...

7. tower loop @ birch hill recreation area

Difficulty: moderate

Distance: 1-3 miles. Tips: Portions of the Tower Loop are closed to summer use to prevent trail damage on perpetually wet sections. Avoid the "South Tower Trail" and instead access the Tower Loop from the main trail, from Tower Direct, or from the cutoff trail at the end of the Relay Loop. Be careful taking shortcuts as you may get turned around on this winding trail system! Despite being so close to town, Birch Hill's trails are notorious for mosquitoes. Bring plenty of repellent or wear the proper clothing!



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 CreekRosie 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 is very wet and fragile beyond the first mile and motorized traffic is discouraged. Please run around at the end of the hardened trail if driving an ATV. If walking beyond the first mile, bring rubber boots! In dry weather, you can walk a more challenging 2.4 mile loop by connecting the powerlines. The Parks Dept continues to seek out grant funding to eventually harden a loop so it is suitable for all trail uses. Watch out for SUMMER CONSTRUCTION ON THE EAST-WEST POWERLINE TRAIL. Avoid this trail section when equipment is operating.


9. 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: Expect to cover 1-3 miles at Skyline Ridge Park depending how many signs you try and find in a day. Tips: All the trails at Skyline Ridge Park are non-motorized.  Parking at the trailhead is limited; Please park courteously. For a nice loop a little under 3 miles, travel down Afterhours trail until you hit the Goldstream Connector. Take the Connector left and uphill to the intersection with Skyline Ridge Trail, and look around there for the Secret Trail Entrance. Follow the trail a short ways down the hill and take another left. Head up hill back to the Noel Drive Trailhead. Come prepared with insect repellent and possibly a bug net. The north side of the ridge can be especially buggy!

10. goldstream connector @ skyline ridge park 11. secret trail @ skyline ridge park

Difficulty: moderate Difficulty: moderate



12. skarland 12 mile loop @ musk ox subdivision

Difficulty: moderate

Get there: This trail traverses neighborhoods north of the UAF Campus trails and Pearl Creek School. The nearest parking options are at the UAF Large Animal Research Station (LARS) of Yankovitch Road, or at the Ballaine Lake trailhead off University Avenue, or at Pearl Creek School off Auburn Drive. From LARS, stay on the north side of Yankovitch and head to the trail on the left that takes you along the farm fence. Follow the trail through the woods and across several neighborhood roads, paying attention to the trail markers. From Pearl Creek, walk from the parking area to the end for the playground where you'll find a small picnic area and restroom. Follow the trail uphill and head up the powerline above DePauw Drive. Look for trail sign to the left. Distance: Expect to go 2-4 miles, or make a much longer loop if you desire. You can take a couple shortcuts along the Ballaine Road gravel path and Herreid Road for a loop around 2 miles. History & Tips: Look for the Trails Challenge sign on the northern section between Wolverine Lane and Ballaine Road. This is a non-motorized trail originally built for skiing by the the UAF ski team. You may be familiar with the six-mile loop within the UAF North Campus trails. Two extensions, the 9-mile loop and the 12 mile loop, were added north of the current campus by the ski team in the 1950's and 1960's. Since then, residential development has surrounded the trail, but a public trail easement still exists through these private neighborhoods. It is important to respect the private properties, stay on the main trail (avoid unmarked social trails), and keep dogs leashed so they don't wander into people's backyards. The trail is informally groomed in the winter for classical skiing. PAGE 18

13. viereck nature trail @ uaf north campus trails

Difficulty: EASY-moderate


14. lingonberry loop @ koponen homestead trails

Difficulty: moderate

Get there: From Chena Pump Road, turn onto Roland Road. There are two places to park. Turn onto Haman Street, follow it around a right-hand bend, and look for a wide turnaround and trail entrance on the left. You will enter via the Niko's Way trail. Alternatively, from Roland Road, turn right onto East Chena Hills Drive for a few hundred feet then turn right onto Katya Court. Park courteously and take care not to block private driveways. Distance: Expect to cover 2 or more miles to get this trail sign. Tips: These trails are strictly non-motorized are laid out entirely across private property. Please do your utmost to respect the landowners and neighbors as thanks for the access they've granted. Public access to the mapped and signed trails only are currently protected by public trail easements. You must stay on the trail and keep you dogs on a leash. You may find many unmarked social trails. Unmarked trails are not publicly accessible. Take your time and explore this well-built trail system!


15. equinox out-and-back trail @ ester dome

Difficulty: moderate - difficult

Get there: The closest vehicle access to the Out-and-Back section is at the top of Ester Dome Road. Get to Ester Dome Road from Sheep Creek Road. While you can access it from Henderson Road, it's generally not a great idea as the upper portion of Henderson is one lane and unmaintained. At the Top of Ester Dome are two clusters of communication towers. Turn toward the eastern cluster to the left. Park at or before the towers, not past. Parking is limited. Do not block access to any of the facilities. Follow the trail eastward. Distance: 26.2 mile trail. From the top of Ester Dome, plan to cover 2-4 miles of the Outand-Back to find the sign. Tips: This is a multi-use trail. It's a particularly punishing section of the Equinox Marathon course, encompassing miles 14-16. Imagine running more than 13 miles, to the top of Ester Dome, then hitting this rough and hilly trail section. The "turn-around" sign is found a ways down a steep hill. Enjoy the views from the top of the dome and some rock outcroppings. Unfortunately this is a popular place for unauthorized bonfires and litter, so be very careful at the start with kids and dogs- loose glass and nails plague these viewpoints.


16. angel creek hillside trail @ chena river state recreation area

Difficulty: difficult

Get there: Mile 50.5 Chena Hot Springs Road. This area is park of the Chena River State Recreation Area managed by Alaska State Parks. Find more information about trails and opportunities in this park unit: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/northern/chenariversra.htm Distance: Expect at least a 6 mile round-trip for the Trails Challenge sign. Tips:Â Reserve the Upper Angel Creek cabin for a stay. This is a great ATV Trail with nice views due to the steep hillside. Trail work is expected to restrict access to this trail in July.


17. ANGEL ROCKS TRAIL @ chena river state recreation area

Difficulty: moderate - difficult


18. pinell mountain trail @ steese conservation area

Difficulty: difficult

Get there: Located 100 miles (161 km) northeast of Fairbanks. The Pinnell Mountain Trail is easily reached via the Steese Highway, a maintained gravel highway leading northeast from Fairbanks to the Yukon River. Trailheads are located at Eagle Summit, 107 Mile on the Steese Highway, and at Twelvemile Summit at 85.5 Mile. Most people hike from Eagle Summit to Twelvemile Summit. This area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management's Eastern Interior Field Office. Find more info and downloadable maps at their website: https://www.blm.gov/visit/pinnell-mountain-trail Distance: The full trail is 27 miles. For a day hike to the sign, look along the first 2 miles from trailhead at Twelvemile Summit. Tips: This is a non-motorized area. The hiking trail traverses a series of alpine ridge tops entirely above timberline. The Pinnell Mountain Trail is marked with rock cairns as it crosses open tundra with views north to the Yukon River and south to the Alaska Range. Wooden posts along the trail show the mileage from the start at Eagle Summit to the trail's end at Twelve-mile Summit. Most of the trail has at least an 8 percent grade and in some areas it’s more than 25 percent. There are two shelter cabins on the trail at Miles 10.1 and 17.8. Drinking water can be hard to find along the trail later in the summer when snow fields and small ponds dry up. The trail was built in 1970 and celebrates 50 years this summer.


19. quartz creek trail @ white mountains national recreation area

Difficulty: difficult

Get there: Travel almost 56.5 miles up the Steese Highway to U.S. Creek - Nome Creek Road. Take a left onto this road for a scenic drive over the alpine tundra ridges and into the Nome Creek Valley. After a few miles and after crossing Nome Creek, turn right toward the Mt. Prindle cmapground. A mile or so down this road you'll find a Quartz Creek trailhead pullout on the left with a nice kiosk (there is a pullout before this, but no kiosk). The area is managed by the US Bureau of Land Management, Alaska, Eastern Interior Field Office. For maps and info check out their website: https://www.blm.gov/visit/white-mountains Distance: 16 mile long trail. Look for the sign in the first 3 miles after a very steep and long hill climb. Tips: The trail itself is open to ATV use, though there are restrictions off trail. This 16 miles developed trail climbs into alpine tundra and passes through white spruce forest valleys. The trail traverses a series of ridge lines with sweeping valley views to end at Quartz Creek. The Quartz Creek trail includes steep grades, rough terrain and several stream crossings. Pay special attention to posted regulations and restrictions on OHV/ATV use. Watch for lingering snow drifts blocking the trail- it may require turning around. This is a remote area. Come prepared for all conditions.


20. mike kelly trail @ Tanana valley state forest

Difficulty: very difficult

Get there: You can access the Mike Kelly Trail and this Trails Challenge sign from two locations: the Two River Woodcutting Road off Two Rivers Road at mile 18.5 Chena Hot Springs Road, or from the Compeau Trailhead at mile 29.9 Chena Hot Springs Road. Distance: The trail ends after about 13 miles. Look for the sign between after around 9 miles, and west of the junction with Compeau Trail. Expect a round trip of more than 17 miles. Tips: This is a LONG TREK. It's at least a 17 mile round-trip and really makes for a great ATV adventure. There aren't developed campsites along the trail but there is a brand new, reservation-only public-use cabin about two miles up the Compeau Trail. Be prepared for a very long day, or multiple days without support.