This website is maintained by Friends of Bicentennial Park to provide information on Anchorage's Far North Bicentennial Park.
Trails in Bicentennial Park
Bicentennial Park and the Campbell Tract area in the center of the Park are crisscrossed with trails. A few of the trails are maintained to some degree and some are groomed for skiing in the winter. The main trails are on maps and have designations for their uses.
Motorized vehicles are not allowed. In the non-snow season, all of the trails are multiple use. In the winter, some trails in the Hillside Park section of the Park are designated for skiing only. Others are for skijoring, some for dog mushing and the rest are multiple use. The maps in this section are color coded showing their designations.
Here are links to .jpg maps showing designated trails in Bicentennial Park. These are big files. If you do not have high speed internet access, you will wish that you did! Very nice pocket size maps are also available from Anchorage Parks and Recreation for $3.
Click here for a 800k scan of Bicentennial Park trails map.
Click here for a 300k B&W scan of the Bicentennial Park trails map.
Click here for a scan of the trails in the BLM's Campbell Tract area in the Park.
Tour of Anchorage/Homestead Hill Trail from Service to Abbott Loop Road will be closed May through mid June for tree cutting and clearing as part of an ongoing fire prevention effort. Dead trees will be cut, stacked, burnt and chipped. As part of this, the big mudholes in the trail will be fixed. For more information contact Sue Rodman or John McCleary.
National Trails Day is June 2. There may be a community project to do work on the Homestead Trail in conjunction with the fire mitigation work.
TRAIL USE RULES
Besides lots of scheduled events, there are always loads of people using the park for any variety of reasons. That sometimes leads to conflicts on the trail.
For a look at the prevailing rules for trail use, click here.
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Presented here is an assortment of opinions regarding trail use in Bicentennial Park. The opinions may be from various sources. The goal is to show a variety of viewpoints.
The following appeared in the February 2002 edition
of TheNordic Skier.
By PJ Hill, Director of the Tour of Anchorage ski race
If you are out on the Tour of Anchorage Trail on almost any winter weekend you will find it rivals the coastal trail in popularity. The Tour Trail, from Service High School down to Tudor Road is a multiple use trail. When this trail was fully developed it was done so with the understanding that all types of users in the Far North Bicentennial Park would be able to use it. This includes skiers, walkers, ski-jours, bicyclists, dog walkers, and, last but not least, people on horses.
However, because it is a groomed trail, some skiers have a misconception about their priority on the trail. Lately there have been a number of skiers who have challenged people on horses, one going so far as to strike the person on a horse with a ski pole. Skiers have over 100 kilometers of dedicated ski trails, which are skiing only, so it is not like the Tour Trail is the only ski trail in town. This rude behavior is completely uncalled for and hinders the cooperation that has existed between the user groups over the years.
Although parts of this trail have existed for years, the continuous trail all the way through the park, including the bridges, was not built until the early 1990's. Other user groups have been using parts of the Tour Trail for years, including horses. Early maps show that the trail from Service down through the BLM lands was called "the horse trail" and the part of the trail that is down near Campbell Creek was called "the old rondy trail."
When the Coastal Trail was completed in 1987 the first Tour of Anchorage was envisioned as a course from the mountains to the sea. In the early years the Tour used the "horse trail" and the dog trails, and the trail was set only for the race. Skiers wanted more grooming and the continuous trail and bridges were developed, with the cooperation of the other users. The increased grooming has benefited everyone. Skiers need to realize that the Tour Trail has been set as a ski trail for only the last 10 years, and that other users were on those trails well before there was a Tour of Anchorage.
Many skiers probably think it would be nice to have the Tour Trail as a dedicated ski trail, but that is not an option. It is a multiple use trail. All other non-motorized users have as much right to be there as skiers do. Skiers need to learn that; neither the skiing community, nor the Nordic Ski Club are helped by people being uncivil, discourteous, and rude to other trail users. Rude behavior leads to a false perception that cross- country skiers are elitists when it comes to trail use. It makes it much more difficult to work with these other groups and coordinate actions.
Please be courteous when using the Tour Trail. When a skier is coming up on someone with a horse, please make sure they know you are there (a horse is a large animal that doesn't like to be surprised). Talk to the people on horseback, and if you are skiing with dogs, please restrain your dogs. It is a matter of civility, a matter of courtesy, a matter of safety, and a matter of right.
Folks should respect single-use trails, try to keep tempers
(Published in ADN Nov. 13, 2001)
The letters about horses on Hillside trails indicate trouble brewing among multiuse trail users. Skiers, runners, skijorers, bikers and horseback riders are enjoying the fresh air and the opportunities for exercise. These are positive activities, the enjoyment of which shouldn't be deteriorated by intolerance among user groups over the multiuse corridors.
I and my family enjoy cross-country skiing on groomed trails. We also enjoy skijoring with two huskies and winter cycling. We've purchased track-setting pins from the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage to help pay for the wear and tear of our combined 16 feet. We've also bought dog tags at $15 each to offset trail grooming expenses for the multiuse sections. I try not to feel too put out when the occasional skier berates us for skijoring or biking on the Tour of Anchorage Trail (multiuse). Similarly, I don't get too upset when a lost runner finds himself on the skiers-only trail. Horsemen, as well as other users, should learn which trails are accessible by which groups, and all users should respect one another's rights to enjoy them. Incidentally, horsemen could improve the situation by riding to one side of the trail. The poop matter is a topic for continued discussion.
-- Janice Tower
Until other users pitch in, trails should be reserved for
(Published in ADN Nov. 13, 2001)
My ski bottoms just froze with resentment after I read Ms. Hensel's request that some multiuse "ski" trails be exclusively set aside for equestrian riding and dog walking ("Trails are for everyone, but some should be set aside for horses only" Nov. 9).
I am a ski official and volunteer laborer who has spent countless hours improving the condition of our ski trails in Anchorage, so it rankles me to listen to people who spend no time improving these trails yet expect to ruin them during the ski season with the divots from holes punched through with the hooves and paws from their beasts of burden. Maybe my thinking would be different if the other multiusers (horse owners, dog walkers, joggers and bikers) contributed the sweat equity that skiers provide for the upkeep of these trails. But since they don't, I feel the righteous indignation to say that during the ski season these trails should be free of the pounds of piled excrement and obstructions left behind by horses and dogs.
So, until Ms. Hensel and the remaining members of the horse riding community are willing to sweat a little to claim their right to use these trails during winter, please keep your half-ton, four-legged excavators off the ski trails.
-- Van J. Mitchell
At the Municipality of Anchorage, contact John McCleary or call 343-4296.
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