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  1. #1
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    Rabbit Lake trail closed

    A co-worker who hikes and bikes on this trail frequently just asked me why new signs of been put up to indicated that mountain bikes are not allowed. Does anyone know what's going on?

    My understanding has been that bikes were neither specifically allowed or forbidden on the trail. Call me a cynic, but I have to suspect that the anti-bike crowd has again raised hell with Chugach State Park to prompt this change.

    If anyone knows the story, please share it.
    Enjoying the meaningful pursuit of meaningless fun.

  2. #2
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    From discussions, and research, last fall when the winter trail passes were given out I learned that only trails that are specifically named in regulation (which is probably the wrong term but you get the idea) are open. Rabbit Lake is not named so has never truly been open. Too bad becuase it sure is a nice ride. Likewise crustbiking is illegal in the park but I hope they keep looking the other way each spring.
    It boggles my mind how bad some people hate bikes.
    Latitude 61

  3. #3
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    Fine?

    I'm curious what the punishment is for riding to Rabbit Lake. Is it a fine? Wrist slap?

    We have a house up there and I rode that trail for years. Never had a problem...

    Not sure if our renters ride it or not but I can find out.

    Pat

  4. #4
    Bikes are good
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    Sorry dudes

    Hate to make us all look bad, but I'll still ride it. I left from my house on Mudoon the other night and rode up to that trailhead for the first time this year and saw the signs. At that point, I wasn't turning back without having reached the lake. It too boggles my mind that they would close a trail like that to biking. I bet it is open to horses and Llamas. I'll pay the fine, I don't mind supporting the parks.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  5. #5
    Wood chips are stupid
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    but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfbkr50 View Post
    Hate to make us all look bad, but I'll still ride it. I left from my house on Mudoon the other night and rode up to that trailhead for the first time this year and saw the signs. At that point, I wasn't turning back without having reached the lake. It too boggles my mind that they would close a trail like that to biking. I bet it is open to horses and Llamas. I'll pay the fine, I don't mind supporting the parks.
    Hate to make us all look bad,but I think I will anyway.

    akdeluxe
    "Trust me,you don't want a big baby."

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  6. #6
    Bikes are good
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    Yep

    Kinda like I hate the way I feel in the morning if I drink too much the night before. Still do that too. Gosh darn.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  7. #7
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    Very sad - one of my favorite rides in Anchorage. I imagine people have been riding that trail as long as it has existed leading me to think that biking is a traditional use of that trail. Biking is definitely sustainable on that trail. I am assuming no one has received official word on why they closed it? Might it ber the speed of bikes coming back down that has soured hikers?

  8. #8
    Jesus is coming Look busy
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    Crazy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla View Post
    Very sad - one of my favorite rides in Anchorage. I imagine people have been riding that trail as long as it has existed leading me to think that biking is a traditional use of that trail. Biking is definitely sustainable on that trail. I am assuming no one has received official word on why they closed it? Might it ber the speed of bikes coming back down that has soured hikers?
    I couldn't agree more. Awesome ride!..WTF!!!! I'm grandfathered in! I'm riding it tomorrow, just because!..... mannn..... geez.......

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla View Post
    Very sad - one of my favorite rides in Anchorage. I imagine people have been riding that trail as long as it has existed leading me to think that biking is a traditional use of that trail. Biking is definitely sustainable on that trail. I am assuming no one has received official word on why they closed it? Might it ber the speed of bikes coming back down that has soured hikers?
    As I stated above it has always been closed. Someone probably complained about the bikes using it so they went ahead and put up the signs to reiterate the closure. For sure too bad because it is a great ride.
    After my first post I looked through the regs and could not find what the penalties for poaching were.
    Latitude 61

  10. #10
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    I used to to bike it all of the time with a State Park Ranger....

  11. #11
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    What if

    I was using my bike to access the hiking back there?

    Yeah. If the state is paying someone to ticket me for riding there, I will happily pay it. I'll also go during low use times to avoid pissing entitled hikers off. I rode back there last winter on the packed snow. It was awesome. Would that be closed still?
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  12. #12
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    Called the parks contact on the McHugh/Rabbit Lakes info web page and the person I spoke with said Rabbit Lakes has never been open to bikes but will be when the draft trail plan is adopted in like the year 2257. The ranger said the plan adoption process is sloooowww. In the mean time, in spite of the eventual opening of the trail to bikers and the fact that the park is aware that the bike community thinks the Rabbit Lakes trail is open to bikes, tickets are $200.

  13. #13
    Jesus is coming Look busy
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    Buying tickets

    Quote Originally Posted by polarflux View Post
    Called the parks contact on the McHugh/Rabbit Lakes info web page and the person I spoke with said Rabbit Lakes has never been open to bikes but will be when the draft trail plan is adopted in like the year 2257. The ranger said the plan adoption process is sloooowww. In the mean time, in spite of the eventual opening of the trail to bikers and the fact that the park is aware that the bike community thinks the Rabbit Lakes trail is open to bikes, tickets are $200.
    Thought of buying a ticket yest for my illegal ride. The signs are there now. I guess it makes O-fficial!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfbkr50 View Post
    I was using my bike to access the hiking back there?

    I rode back there last winter on the packed snow. It was awesome. Would that be closed still?
    Yes, All trails closed in the summer are closed in the winter, except what they open by the winter bike special permit and what is open to snowmachines. Here's what the reg says:

    11 AAC 20.050. Bicycles

    (a) Except as provided in (b) of this section, the use of bicycles in Chugach State Park is allowed only in campgrounds, picnic areas, and in the following areas:

    (1) Eklutna Lakeside Trail;

    (2) the gasline service road from Prospect Heights Trailhead to Indian Trailhead;

    (3) the Glen Alps Trail Head to Powerline Trail on the designated trail;

    (4) Bird Creek logging trails south of the Quartz Creek ford;

    (5) Peters Creek road from Malcom Drive to the state park motorized vehicle barrier;

    (6) Powerline Trail, including the access trail from the Prospect Heights Trailhead to the Powerline Trail;

    (7) Wolverine Bowl Trail from the Prospect Heights Trailhead to the overlook at the north end of the homestead roadbed;

    (8) Middle Fork Loop Trail from the intersection of the Near Point Trail to the south end of the homestead roadbed;

    (9) the 1D9 trail in the Eagle River Greenbelt;

    (10) a trail or area that is open to the use of snowmobiles under 11 AAC 20.040;

    (11) the South Fork Rim Trail, the Silver Fern Trail, the White Spruce Trail, and the Llama Trail of the Hillside Trail System;

    (12) the paved pathway along Turnagain Arm, from Indian Creek to the state park boundary at Girdwood.

    (b) The director may, by order, close a trail or area listed in (a) of this section to the use of bicycles to protect soils or vegetation; to reduce or eliminate user conflicts; or to further management of Chugach State Park. Closures under this section shall be posted at entrances to the affected trail or area.


    So that's it: No crust biking in the spring allowed either since that would be only on the areas typically opened to snowmachines but they close that before crust gets good.
    Latitude 61

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by polarflux View Post
    Called the parks contact on the McHugh/Rabbit Lakes info web page and the person I spoke with said Rabbit Lakes has never been open to bikes but will be when the draft trail plan is adopted in like the year 2257. The ranger said the plan adoption process is sloooowww. In the mean time, in spite of the eventual opening of the trail to bikers and the fact that the park is aware that the bike community thinks the Rabbit Lakes trail is open to bikes, tickets are $200.
    I've tried following along with the changes to the CSP management plan, attended several of the public meetings and tried keeping up with the endless rounds of comments and draft plans. Very frustrating that the bereaucratic process is soo painfully slow (many, many years) to get even the simplist common sense changes considered, much less enacted.

  16. #16
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    Obviously this is a problem... Like so many other CSP access problems, this one needs to be addressed directly by the community. Rabbit Lake has been used by bikers ever since jeeps could get back in there. Few people ever knew it was illegal, and I think few people would argue that biking should be banned on that trail. We, as the biking community, need to be vocal and direct to get those regs changed. Perhaps another cause that STA could support?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabackcountry View Post
    Obviously this is a problem... Like so many other CSP access problems, this one needs to be addressed directly by the community. Rabbit Lake has been used by bikers ever since jeeps could get back in there. Few people ever knew it was illegal, and I think few people would argue that biking should be banned on that trail. We, as the biking community, need to be vocal and direct to get those regs changed. Perhaps another cause that STA could support?
    If you read above, it is already on the list to be opened up to biking once the plan gets run through. It is just that it is taking a long time to get through the process.

  18. #18
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    Its just that absurdity that the parks would go out of there way to spend the money on and post signs forbidding an activity that is in the works to be permitted? When I spoke with the ranger he said that they were still planning on citing folks for riding bikes back there. I know the rangers are sworn to uphold the law, but isn't this a case where they could just look the other way? Installing the signage is only going to invite other trail users, especially those who treat the trail as their own back yard, to pester the rangers every time they see tire tracks until somebody gets a largely symbolic ticket. People are sheep and 99% of the other trail users will have no idea that biking is proposed in the draft trail plan. Bureaucratic failure.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabackcountry View Post
    Obviously this is a problem... Like so many other CSP access problems, this one needs to be addressed directly by the community. Rabbit Lake has been used by bikers ever since jeeps could get back in there. Few people ever knew it was illegal, and I think few people would argue that biking should be banned on that trail. We, as the biking community, need to be vocal and direct to get those regs changed. Perhaps another cause that STA could support?
    STA has been involved in the trails planning process which is in part why some of the trails off limits to bikes are on the list to be opened. The last master plan was adopted in the mid-'80s. I suspect that this plan will take some time to go through the system, such as it is.
    Meanwhile, back at the hive....

  20. #20
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    Just wanted to see if there was any new news on re opening the trail. Its was one of my favorite quick after work trails to get a fun short ride in. Shame its still closed...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by turborobo View Post
    Just wanted to see if there was any new news on re opening the trail. Its was one of my favorite quick after work trails to get a fun short ride in. Shame its still closed...
    Don't expect any trails to opened for a looong time. Chugach State Park Master Plan is stalled out and any new openings have to go through the Legislature in the form of a regulations change.
    Meanwhile, back at the hive....

  22. #22
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    Has anyone ever seen the po po up there? Ride free little birds.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by slabhand View Post
    Has anyone ever seen the po po up there? Ride free little birds.
    Here we go again.... Just because there may not be someone there to enforce the rules doesn't mean it is okay to break them. We (bikers) don't lose access to areas because of a high number of tickets being written for people breaking the rules, we lose access because other user groups who see us breaking the rules complain and stand against us. We can easily become our own worst enemy. They are working on allowing access here, the last thing we need to do is get other user groups upset with us again and get what little we have coming erased.

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