A Productive 2023 and More to Come in 2024
The big project for 2023 – rebuilding the second half of the South Fork of Eagle River Trail – was completed in a single summer despite Mother Nature throwing a lot of wind, rain, and snow at the trail crew. The three-mile section of trail now either bypasses previously muddy areas by heading to nearby high ground or crosses the muck on hefty wood planks. Kudos to the Alaska Trails crew for pushing this through to completion!
South Fork of Eagle River Trail Before and After
And, of course, thanks to our project funders: Rasmuson Foundation, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Subaru of America Inc., Athletic Brewing Company, Chugiak-Eagle River Foundation, and many other generous individual and corporate donors. The resulting work will be appreciated by Alaskans and our visitors for years to come.
Smaller projects also took place in 2023. We funded brushing work along the Gasline between the Prospect Heights trailhead and the Upper O’Malley trailhead, wrapped up the last bit of the Rabbit Lake Trail brushing, and sponsored six volunteer work events in the park.
Falls Creek Volunteer Event and Hillside Volunteers Matson
What’s on the horizon?
In 2024, we intend to tackle another perennially muddy section of the park trail. This time the focus is on the Hidden Lake Trail, primarily a section uphill from the German Bridge that has standing water, mud, and a growing number of trail braids. We are grateful to the Carr Foundation, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, and Best Storage South (Art and Anna Davidson) who have already contributed towards this project.
Additionally, we’ll continue to sponsor volunteer events, including a South Fork Rim Trail event on National Trails Day on June 1 and brushing the South Fork Eagle River trail from the trailhead to the bridge.
Thanks to a $12,000 grant from ConocoPhillips Alaska, we’ll invest in the engineering and design work to prepare for larger projects in 2025 and beyond. With 265 miles of trail in Chugach State Park and very little State of Alaska funding for maintenance or improvements, we have many possible projects. Your contributions, and those of our community business and non-profit partners, will help this work happen.
The Chugach Park Fund focused its 2022 trail improvement efforts in Chugach State Park on one major drainage project on the Rabbit Lake Trail and brushing projects — cutting back the multi-year growth of alders and other vegetation that made many trails dangerously narrow and challenging to navigate. In addition, the Fund put effort into addressing drainage issues on several other trails.
Brushing work, both by paid trail crews and volunteers, on the Rabbit Lake Trail and several Anchorage Hillside Trails began in the Fall of 2021. It continued throughout 2022 in those areas and on Penguin Creek and Eklutna Lakeside Trail.
In 2020 and 2021, the Chugach Park Fund spearheaded a complete re-route of the Little O’Malley Peak Trail, a project that provides a sustainable, family-friendly trail to the alpine ridge, the Ballfield, and beyond.