New Initiative Promotes The Moose Loop: A Destination Trail to Connect Anchorage
With many Alaskans planning to stay close to home this holiday weekend, the Anchorage Park Foundation (APF) is encouraging Anchorage families to get outside for a local family adventure. APF launched “The Moose Loop Initiative” a campaign designed to improve public health and increase active transportation advocacy, inspired by Alaska’s most iconic animal.
“We had an ah-ha moment when we realized that four existing trails and city streets form 32-miles of a nearly-complete urban greenway loop that is in the shape of a moose,” said APF Executive Director Beth Nordlund. “You see the ears. You see the dewlap. You see the humped back. And these very same greenways have hundreds of moose, diverse flora and fauna and wild salmon that are expected to arrive this weekend at Ship Creek. It’s amazing that all these adventures are possible right here in our own backyard!”
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail (10 miles), starts downtown along Cook Inlet, heading west and south, with “Moose Ears” at mile 5 and its nose at mile 10. The hump of the Moose heads east from downtown along the Ship Creek Trail (2.5 miles). The Lanie Fleischer Chester Creek Trail (4 miles), is the spine, starting at Westchester Lagoon and connecting to the University/ Medical District (UMED). The Campbell Creek Trail (7.5 miles) is the body, linking the UMED to the South Anchorage shopping district. These trails connect to each other through city streets and provide access to Anchorage’s three largest parks: Russian Jack, Far North Bicentennial and Kincaid. A fifth trail, the Fish Creek trail, provides connectivity through the middle of the city, with plans to eventually connect to the loop.
By marketing the Moose Loop as a destination trail for locals and visitors, we believe we can improve public health and bring dollars to local businesses. Our advocacy is focused on connecting the gaps in the trail system from all neighborhoods, improving wayfinding, connecting to our cultural heritage through interpretive signage, and completing one last major infrastructure investment – a bike and pedestrian crossing at Lake Otis on the Campbell Creek Trail.
The Moose Loop is a draw for children, families, and adults from all walks of life– whether it’s done in a day, over the weekend, or over a lifetime in Anchorage.
“We encourage people to wear red, white and blue in honor of Memorial Day,” said Diana Rhoades, Director of Community Engagement and trails coordinator for the Anchorage Park Foundation. “A bike ride lifts the spirits and is a healthy way to get outdoors.”
As with all outdoor activities please be safe, adhere to social distancing, be prepared, and have fun.