Richard Mize

My Favorite Park: Kincaid Park

Richard Mize practicing for a biathlon competition in 1959.

In 1958 I was stationed at Fort Richardson with the U.S. Army Biathlon Unit.  I enjoyed my introduction to Anchorage so much that I applied for a teaching position after I was discharged and began my teaching career at East High School in 1961.  While coaching cross country running and skiing, I discovered there were very few suitable trails available for our High School and Junior High athletes to use for practice and competition.  Through the cooperation of the Parks and Recreation Department, School District, and the Nordic Ski Club, I have had the pleasure of assisting in the design and construction of the running and ski trails at Russian Jack Springs, Hillside, and Kincaid for the past 42 years.  As a current board member of the Kincaid Project Group, I am still involved in assisting with improvements at Kincaid.

Although Russian Jack and Hillside have a special place in my heart, Kincaid Park is not only my favorite park in Anchorage, it is my favorite park in the United States as well as the rest of the world.  The trails are exceptional and the views are breathtaking.  Where else in the world can you enjoy views of Mt.McKinley, Mr. Susitna, Alaska Range, Cook Inlet, Chugach Mountains, and a paved multiuse trail that begins at Kincaid and takes you through the heart of the Chugach State Park?

Kincaid offers something for everyone in Anchorage.  You can enjoy the chalet for all occasions, the beautiful flowers, memorial trails and overlooks, walking, bird watching, running, orienteering, mountain biking, kite flying, frisbee golf, soccer, snowshoeing, biathlon, and cross country skiing.  The trails are perfect for the beginner of all ages to the Olympic athlete.  The Kincaid trails are known worldwide and were the first in the United States to be approved by the International Ski Federation for National, International, and World Cup competition.

I particularly enjoy skiing and mountain biking with the family and seeing all the people with smiles on their faces excited about participating in their favorite activity.  It is extremely gratifying to have assisted in the development of Kincaid, my favorite park.