Can a moose help improve the health of Anchorage residents, our existing urban trails system, and the future of the built environment? Yes! In Anchorage, we believe it can. When we walk or bike to “everyday destinations” like work, stores, parks, or schools, we save a car trip, improve our health and support clean air. Our initiative empowers diverse citizens to speak up for walkable, bikeable transportation strategies to increase connectivity and attract investment in Anchorage.
The moose, one of Anchorage’s most iconic forms of wildlife, is commonly seen on the trail system. We hope this beloved creature will encourage more children, families, and adults from all walks of life to want to complete what we are calling The Moose Loop—whether it’s done in a day, over the course of a summer, or over a lifetime in Anchorage. In Anchorage, parks and trails are not just places to recreate, they are also places to connect with one another and strengthen our community.
Our four main multi-use trails—the Lanie Fleischer Chester Creek Trail, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, the Campbell Creek Trail, and the Ship Creek Trail—can be connected to each other to form a 32-mile bike loop, an almost-complete urban greenway that is, when viewed on a map, in the shape of a moose! You see the ears. You see the dewlap. You see the humped back. The paved trails connect to mountain bike trails that connect to Chugach State Park, an alpine tundra park with mountains ranging from 2,000 ft to 8,000 ft in elevation. That’s something very few states have to offer.
Anchorage has one of the best urban trail systems in the United States, with hundreds of miles of paved and multi-use trails connecting our city. 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. We do this by coordinating comments for short and long-term transportation plans, particularly at the Lake Otis crossing, to improve safety for all users.
View The Moose Loop Map.
Michelle Theriault Boots, from Anchorage Daily News, wrote a great piece about her Moose Loop adventure, read more as you plan your own journey.