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  1. #1
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    Trails around Anchorage and or Horseshoe Lake

    I'm going to be up in Anchorage (from California) for a couple of weeks the end of June and beginning of July. It's the Mrs' home state. Been there a few times but never brought the bike. I was looking for some advice on good trails within roughly 30 minutes.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    You're in luck. There are a number of good options right in Anchorage. You won't find much outside of Anchorage within your 30-min range, but if you don't mind stretching that just a bit (to 45 minutes or so), you can add the trail system out at Matanuska Lake (campground just on your left off the Glenn Highway after the Parks Highway/Glenn Highway interchange). In Anchorage, the two main areas are Hillside and Kincaid. Some great, fairly new singletrack out at Kincaid as well as lots of wide, smooth ski trails. Definitely fun for at least a couple rides. Hillside has a bit more variety, from flatter ski trails to lots of climbing to tight, rooty singletrack. There are a number of good access points, the biggest of which is probably the Hilltop Ski Area parking lot. That starts you off in a pretty central location in relation to the available trails, so you can go just about any direction (up/down/across) from there depending on what you want to do.

    There are some good trail maps available here (Singletrack Advocates). Hope that helps.

  3. #3
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    Hey thanks - 30 minutes was just a rough number. These do look promising though. Do you need day use permits for these? If so, are those simply available at the parking lot?

  4. #4
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    The only spot you will need any kind of "day use" permit would be out at Matanuska Lake because it is a State Park trailhead which requires a parking pass or $5 day use fee that you can pay onsite (fee box next to the entrance).

  5. #5
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    There's a ton of connected trails on those maps. Is there a local favorite?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palapapapa View Post
    There's a ton of connected trails on those maps. Is there a local favorite?
    It really depends on the type of riding you prefer. What you see on those maps is a mix of wide (think 15-20 foot) ski trails, smaller, fairly smooth singletrack trails, and tighter rooty singletrack. The nice thing, is you can cruise around and do some of everything depending on how you feel and what fits your desire that particular day/hour/minute. The Kincaid and Hillside areas are both big trail systems used year/round for a variety of non-motorized activities. Over the past 4 years or so, there has been a boom in the form of constructing mountain bike focused singletrack trails both on Hillside and at Kincaid. They have been a huge benefit to the riding up here, adding some really cool alternatives to what we had before.

    There are also a lot of small singletrack trails that cut in and around the marked trails that don't show up on those maps.

    If you let us know what type of riding you prefer, some on here could probably point you to a good route to start with and then you can adjust as you go once you see what is available.

  7. #7
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    I've been here for 6 months and hiked both areas. I'd suggest doing Hillside, I think it has some longer ride options without running around in circles as much, although there are plenty of short trails at Hillside so you can do that as well. Hillside seems to connect into some bigger and longer rides, if you wish. There are a lot of singletrack connectors that aren't on the map, yet it's difficult to get too lost with the mountains on one side.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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