This quote describes the popular Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, which
connects to several of Anchorage's city parks and other paved multi-use
The city has more than 135 miles of paved trails, making it both a
summer (walking, running, cycling, skateboarding) and winter (x-country
skiing and fat-tire cycling) paradise for active people like us. There
are an additional 300+ miles of unpaved and wilderness trails in the
area for hiking, cycling, horseback riding,
snowshoeing, and even dog mushing.
View of Point Woronzof from the
Coastal Trail; the tide is fairly high in this photo.
When we were here in 2012 we rode our bikes on the 11-mile long Coastal Trail
several times. We loved the seacoast and lake views, the marshes, the
lush rainforest full of leaves and flowers, and all the wildlife, from
birds to moose and bears.
I swear we saw more moose and bears up close that summer along the
Coastal Trail and at JBER than we did in three weeks at Denali National
Park! As you can imagine, our hopes for spotting Big.Wild.Life.
(Anchorage's motto) were high when we got here this time.
During this eighteen-day stay we rode on the Coastal Trail only two
times and saw just one moose -- and all I could get was this butt-shot
when she slowly walked off the bike path and into the woods:
How disappointing, compared to our previous time up here. Oh, well.
Maybe we'll see more moose and some bears along the trail when we come
back in a few weeks. The only other wildlife we saw along the trail were
birds (including a plump ptarmigan right next to the path), squirrels,
The photos in this entry are from two different rides.
The first time we parked near scenic Westchester Lagoon and rode
south to Kincaid Park and back, for a total of 16.2 miles. We knew there
was a small bridge over a creek that was out, just north of the lagoon. A
detour on city streets is required to get around the construction area:
We just avoided the detour and the five miles of Coastal Trail north
of it that day.
The first part of the bike path below Westchester Lagoon is rather flat.
The tide in Cook Inlet was mostly out that day so we saw a lot of mud flats:
A couple takes a break on a
little side trail.
Signs warn people to stay off the mud flats. Some people and pets
have lost their lives when they got mired in the mud and couldn't be
rescued before the next tide came in.
The trail soon climbs to Earthquake Park and Woronzof Point, then is
mostly flat until the long climb to Kincaid Park.
walking on the beach look like specks high up on Woronzof Point.
pulloffs afford views of the mountains across Cook Inlet.
Good place to see moose and bears
Jim rides ahead of me as we near the long hill up
to Kincaid Park.
View of Anchorage skyline and Chugach Mountains as
we head back to the truck.
There were a fair number of other people cycling, walking, and running
on the path that weekday.
The Coastal Trail passes along the edge of Anchorage's busy airport. We
were surprised by the number of large airplanes coming and going from
the airport during the middle of the day, more than we've noticed on
Incoming!!! This is a Nippon cargo plane.
Aircraft fly pretty
low over the Coastal Trail as they take off and land. We could also see
them well when we stopped for a few minutes in Kincaid Park to munch on
our Clif bars.
The second time we used the trail, on a Sunday, we rode 19.5 miles out
and back from a parking lot on the Chester Creek Trail about a mile east
of Westchester Lagoon. This is one of several trails in Anchorage that
connects to the Coastal Trail.
I took several photos of Westchester Lagoon and the nearby wetlands.
There is a pretty city park at this location, too:
Wetland near the lagoon; bike path goes over the
long wooden bridging in the distance.
As expected, there were a lot of people using the Coastal Trail that
morning but most trail users were polite and aware of their surroundings.
I was disappointed not to see any moose or bears. However, the cow
parsnips, lupines, and wild roses are at or near their peak and
fireweed is just beginning to bloom.
Despite the lack of rain in the Anchorage Bowl, everything is very green.
Next entry: photos from Rendezvous-Little Teton
Mountain ridge hike
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2015 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil