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  1. #1
    FatBike Fiend
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    New singletrack near Palmer

    The 1.1 mile Bearberry Bluff Trail is now open. This is a new singletrack connecting Matanuska Lakes State Recreation Area with the Crevasse Moraine Trails. It's a nice flowy trail, pretty easy but has some bermed turns and a chicane (S turn) section and a respectable climb near the northwest end. It was built this summer by the Mat-Su Borough trail crew with help from Alaska State Parks, Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers, and a crew from the Student Conservation Association. Final finish work will continue through the fall so watch for trail crews.

    Access it from the south end from the northeast end of Long Lake off Long Lake Loop or from the north off the Long Lake Connector about a half mile south of the Picnic Table SIngletrack junction.

  2. #2
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    Excellent addition to the trail system and a most enjoyable ride! It does mess up my usual circuit - now I have to figure out how to connect everything.

  3. #3
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    Does anyone ride these trails in the winter? I would assume it would be fun.

  4. #4
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    I ride them all of the time on my Fatback and they are the first trails to dry out in the area come spring due to the wind as well.

  5. #5
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Awesome! Thanks, Mark!

  6. #6
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    oh how i miss the valley. can't wait to get back.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, guys. Sorry to mess up your route, Valhalla. Part of the selling point of this trail was that it avoids some potential access issues by bypassing U of A property. We're already looking at Phase II if we can scare up some funding for next year. It's some really great terrain for trails out there. Ill try to post a map and pics soon.

    Try out the trail, let us what know what you think.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    Thanks, guys. Sorry to mess up your route, Valhalla. Part of the selling point of this trail was that it avoids some potential access issues by bypassing U of A property. We're already looking at Phase II if we can scare up some funding for next year. It's some really great terrain for trails out there. Ill try to post a map and pics soon..
    I meant that tongue and cheek. Any new non-motorized trail in the Borough, particularly singletrack, is a welcome addition and a tremendous asset. The trail is well thought out and provides a needed connector. Trying to incorporate all of the great trails in a single ride is a wonderful puzzle and I look forward to Phase II.

  9. #9
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    Hey guys, fellow valley mountain biker here. I'm so excited to see part of this forum dedicated to us Alaska people!! Are there ever any groups who go out and hit these trails for those of us who dont know the area really well?

  10. #10
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    I bike Mat Lakes and Crevasse-Moraine a couple of times a week after work and would be happy to show you around.

    Backcountry Bike and Ski does (or did) a shop/group ride every week 746-5018.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla View Post
    I bike Mat Lakes and Crevasse-Moraine a couple of times a week after work and would be happy to show you around.

    Backcountry Bike and Ski does (or did) a shop/group ride every week 746-5018.


    I'd love to check out Mat Lakes... lets do it!

  12. #12
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    Bearberry Bluff trail map

    Here's the interactive version of the Mat Greenbelt map with the new Bearberry Bluff trail in SE corner. Click on lines and icons for names and some other info. Matanuska Greenbelt Trails Map

    Mark has a more detailed map with the chicane, etc, marked, but I'll let him post that.

    We'll probably do the next printed / .pdf map update this winter after we get the new MSB imagery. We'll add all these new trails then also.

    There are signs on lath along Long Lake Connector, but not along Old Cat Trail (at least there weren't a couple days ago). The regular posts with metal signs will probably get installed in the fall. Have to build the trail first before it can be signed.

    If you're looking for other information about the greenbelt, it's at Matanuska Greenbelt

    Have fun!

  13. #13
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    My wife and I went out to the Crevasse Moraine TH last weekend, man has it changed I have not been out there in 10+ years.
    Are some of these trails one way only? It seemed to me that pretty much all are open to biking.
    The trails are really nice, the new signs make it nice to know where things are. Once the Pugs is back in action I will have to go exploring again. Thanks to all who work on those trails

  14. #14
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    Mat Greenbelt two directional trails

    All the trails are open to biking and are 2-way in the summer.

    The ski trails within CMT at one time were mapped (MSB map) and signed as one way, but according to the skiers, some of them were mapped and signed in the wrong direction. So they use them as they were designed (not as mapped and signed). And some people prefer to face faster traffic. And some people are clueless ("just out walkin' my dog"). In reality, the signage was so poor, many people just didn't know.

    IOW, for safety, I'd expect traffic at any speed from either direction.

    Going forward, MSB is having a CMT trails or management plan (USKH consultant) this fall seeking public input. Ski trail directions may get addressed in there - or not.

    Also, the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation has started work on a borough-wide *master* trails plan with public input starting in late Sept or early Oct. (Agnew::Beck/USKH are consultants).

    Stay tuned for when to provide input. Check the Matanuska Greenbelt website or MSB or Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation sites or newspaper for details


    Wildfire has been the driving force for most of the new single-track trails (MSB, State Parks, SCA, VMBaH) as well as helping with post installation for the signs. There's probably been 100 people contribute in one way or another to the signs and trails over the last few years. They appreciate the compliments.

  15. #15
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    Bearberry Bluff Map

    Here's a map of the new trail and a couple pictures. Get out there and ride it, we need to get it compacted by foot and bike traffic before winter. The southern half is pretty hard-packed from all the trail crew traffic walking in/out but the northern half is still a bit on the soft side. Enjoy!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New singletrack near Palmer-bearberry-bluff-map-small.jpg  

    New singletrack near Palmer-speciman-tree-bearberry-bluff.jpg  

    New singletrack near Palmer-beaarberry-bluff-sweep-turn.jpg  

    New singletrack near Palmer-bearberry-bluff1.jpg  


  16. #16
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    @Wildfire: Out of curiosity, what are the wooden stairs all about?

  17. #17
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    Trail Crossing

    Quote Originally Posted by Breaking Down View Post
    @Wildfire: Out of curiosity, what are the wooden stairs all about?
    There's a trail crossing there. Once we benched the new trail into the hillside there was quite a tall back slope there so we put those steps in to keep people from sluffing dirt onto the new trail. Turns out that most of the traffic on the old trail was horses so we had to add a reroute for them because they didn't like the stairs. They were also a test, we later put the same steps up the West Butte Trail (300 of them).

  18. #18
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    Trail Update and Review

    So I have now ridden the new trail a bunch in multiple directions and it is an excellent trail (not that I doubted it). A little wind damage from some down trees that I hope to get to this week if they haven't been cleared already. The trail makes a great connector just to the right beyond the Lakeview single track (part of Long Lake Loop), avoids some ski trails and meanders bringing you to about the Picnic Table single track where you can head down to Mooseberry or drop into Picnic Table. It is a little shorter than the ski route and there are less climbs but it gets off the ski trails and into some nice, twisty single track. It would be cool to incorporate this into the 24 race somehow....

  19. #19
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    FINALLY got out to ride it today. Awesome! Pictures don't do it justice. Thanks to everyone involved. Wish I could have been able to volunteer, looked like a lot of scrapping in some of those areas.

    Lots of nice little humps to pull some manuals inbetween the sections of banked turns


    *if anyone was interested in clearing the windfall the largest tree I saw was about 8-10" There was only 3? trees over the trail. Only one was a serious impediment where users were forced off the trail. All of the damage was alongside Little lake esp. above where the switchback is located on the map.
    Last edited by akpirate; 09-11-2012 at 11:54 PM.

  20. #20
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    I'll try to get out there today w/ chainsaw to do battle with the down trees unless the trail fairies have already taken care of the problem. It looks like there's been a fair amount of bike traffic already which has been great for rolling down and compacting the new dirt.

    Glad everyone likes the trail, I think there were over 50 people (both paid and volunteer) who had a hand with this project in some way or another. While the trail crew always appreciates compliments (especially tall, frosty compliments) at this stage it's probably a better idea to let your elected representatives and the Borough hierarchy who control the purse strings know that you like the trail so we can continue to build more in the future.

  21. #21
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    I did battle with the arboreal menace today with a bow saw but it seems I brought a knife to a gun fight. I did get the big aspen out that was totally blocking the trail but there is still a birch tree across that requires larger artillery. I'll be back.ut

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