Ski Hill Multi-Use Trail Opening

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge announces the grand opening of its newest recreation trail, Ski Hill Multi-Use Trail, on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at an event to be held from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm. Unique in its construction and purpose, this trail will be open to more than foot traffic, welcoming bicyclists and dog walkers alongside traditional trail walkers and snowshoers.

"Ski Hill Road has long been a favorite among local residents for walking, jogging and biking. We hope that this new trail, which parallels the road as it winds through the boreal forest, provides an even more enjoyable and safer experience for everyone." said Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Manager Andy Loranger.
The public is invited to explore this new trail during opening day through self-guided activities available at the staffed trailhead tents. A youth bike ride hosted by Tsalteshi Trails Association will depart from the Refuge Visitor Center parking lot for a bike rally on the new trail at 2:00 p.m. This is a family ride, 2 miles roundtrip, and children must be accompanied by an adult. Remember to bring a helmet along with your bike! No registration is required for this ride.

Dogs are also welcome on the multi-use trail. To celebrate them, rangers will be ready to certify new B.A.R.K. Rangers and their handlers after their trail walks. Please bring your dog on a leash. For details on how your dog can become a B.A.R.K. Ranger and earn their dog tag, check in at the Ranger tent at any of the three trailheads. Dog walkers are encouraged to enjoy the trail on walks all day. Special B.A.R.K. Ranger Trail Steward walks start at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the Visitor Center trailhead. These self-led walks begin with a ranger-led orientation and are open with no registration needed for dogs and their handlers interested in learning more about the refuge’s new Trail Steward program. Trail Stewards will help refuge staff with trail reports, photos, maintenance projects and seasonal trail cleanups throughout the year and is perfect for our regular Ski Hill Road dog walkers and those who love to hit other refuge trails that are open to dogs with a canine companion.

Trail walkers of all ages can enjoy self-led wayfinding activities all day. A scavenger hunt will introduce map reading and nature exploration. A temporary geocache will be hosted through the weekend on the Ski Hill Multi-use Trail. Pick up directions on these and other outdoor family adventures at the trailhead ranger tents.

The Ski Hill Multi-Use Trail is a result of a successful grant application through the Federal Lands Access Program, co-sponsored by the refuge and Alaska Department of Transportation with support from local non-profit organizations. The Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) is administered by the Federal Highway Administration to improve transportation facilities that provide access to, are adjacent to, or are located within Federal lands.

"This has been a great partnership with the Federal Highway Administration and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities,” said Refuge Manager Andy Loranger, “and we are thankful for all the support received from the Kenai Peninsula Borough, City of Soldotna, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Tsalteshi Trails Association, Friends of Kenai Refuge, and the public."

For more event information or questions: visit the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page for event details or call 907-260-2820 to speak with Visitor Center staff.