Which trails are Snowbike OK in ANC?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. #1
    ABC Rec Div / STA Trails
    Reputation: crsouser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    287

    Which trails are Snowbike OK in ANC?

    Is there a list.. or could we build one here of a list of in town Anchorage trails that one can Snow Bike on without the Nordic Ski Association or one of the other winter specific trail users completely flip out over if you are riding on them.. any specifically you can 'get in trouble' on?

    The paved Campbell, Chester, and Coastal trails are a given ok.. but I wouldn't buy a snowbike just to ride them. So any feedback beyond "anything Multi-use" would be great.. especially if its only multi-use in the winter.. but not in the summer.. like can one bike Middle Fork Loop all the way around?

    Christopher

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    930
    best to check the ski maps here. unfortunately broken up by site, but anything listed as multiuse is just that. Those marked as ski only or skijor (sp?) are specific use. the foldable map is better, but if you don't ski might not be worth the investment, however many of the ski shops will let you take a gander (REI, AMH, Barneys, etc...).

  3. #3
    MTB aficionado
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,022
    As a general rule, just stay off the all ski trails that are NOT multi use. I ride them until the groomers start working the trails.

    I wouldn't worry about it too much as there's a conucopia of social trails that emerge in the winter that are far more fun than the groomers anyhow. With the explosion of fat bikes the riding in Anchorage is only getting better and better. I would argue that some of the best singletrack to be had is during the winter months.

    Just to name some of the best places to explore include Prospect Heights proper, STA trails, FNBP (all trails except for dog mushing trails), south Anchorage tidal flats, Goose Lake and surrounding areas, and any and all social trails you might be able to ride including the dog walking areas. Actually, not widely known, but the Conner's Bog dog walking area develops some of the best and most extensive social trail systems in the Anchorage bowl and it's a blast to ride at night with a good light. Highly recommended, but just watch out for the freshys.

    I don't know the status, but for the last two years a person needed a winter access permit for certain Chugach State Park trails... the Middle Fork being one of those. A simple call to Rangers office would answer your question.

    Regards,

    EndUser
    My advice and $3 will buy you nothing more than a tunafish sandwich

  4. #4
    Bikes are good
    Reputation: Elfbkr50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    855

    Middle fork fight

    I know this trail is closed in the summer to bikes, and for good reason. It is relatively soft and with a bunch of bike traffic would end up a big mess. (Although, the trail is pretty cool to ride.) I really wonder what the big deal for riding this trail in the dead of winter is. I don't do it too often anymore because I found out it mattered to some people that bikes leave a 3 mm tire imprint. Skiers got pissed because of the tire tracks, yet hikers walk all over the thing and make a bunch of potholes. So, closed just because it is? Endo is right, there are a ton more trails for bikes in the winter. This summer, during the crap rain, mud, and jungle-like trails on south central and in town I found myself dreaming about white singletrack.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    334
    As others have said, there are lots of trails open and great for winter biking. It's probably easier to list the restricted or closed to biking trails than the other way around. Trails to avoid in winter include:

    All lighted loops at Hillside plus Spencer (including double bubble and s-turns) and Richter/Ridge loops.

    All groomed trails at Kincaid except for the bike path entering the park from either end.

    Dog mushing trails

    I'm not the most familiar with the Chugach trails, so can't speak to those with any confidence.

    It's best to get ahold of a good trail map as others have stated. Many of the great winter biking trails cross restricted and closed to biking trails frequently. Although we have been working on better signage on the trails, it can still be a bit confusing at first when learning which is which. A simple rule of thumb is to look at the trail user tracks on any particular trail. If you see lots of ski tracks and no foot/bike tracks, it is likely closed to non-ski uses. With the explosion of winter biking around here, most trails open to bikes are getting a pretty heavy use and will almost always have visible tracks. This rule doesn't work 100% of the time, but can help to double check if you aren't sure otherwise.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    19
    Good comments above. I also strongly encourage ("plead" is more like it) that ALL snowbikers, whether they ski or not, buy NSAA (Nordic Ski Assn of Anch) Trail Pins and/or make a donation to ERNSC (Eagle River). Trail grooming is a Zero-Sum Game in Anchorage. The Municipality will only commit so many of our tax $$$ for grooming trails. NSAA and ERNSC have to use their locally raised $$$ pick up the slack or trails don't get groomed. One way or another, we ALL benefit from groomed trails, so let's support the groups that maintain them.

    Cheers!

  7. #7
    MTB aficionado
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,022

    I rode......

    I rode the Middle Fork Trail about 7 times last winter, but I had a winter access permit. When the conditions are were right, it was easily the best patch of singletrack in the bowl.... just a great ride. I got into it with two skiiers last year (on different days) even though I presented my permit. One actually accused the permit was a fake, but refused to call the number on the permit to verify. I also ran into two Rangers last year who were in complete support of winter biking access.

    There was a lot of discussion to allow winter biking access in the new master plan, but I've not kept up on the status of that. I'll try to find out something and re-post.

    Regards,

    EndUser
    My advice and $3 will buy you nothing more than a tunafish sandwich

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    652
    Whatever Jacques buy a pin or not and the lycra windfront pant crowd will be pissed that you're on any trails anyway. Every winter it seems like I do battle with those self righteous pricks. I'd be happier if they didn't groom any of the damn trails. Skiing on a road sucks anyway.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,252
    Jacques, I buy pins because I ski too but ChugachJed has a real point. There is a contingent of "serious" nordic skiers that are total *******s anytime they see a bike on the multiuse trails. I can't count the times I've been forced off the trail or at least over the classic tracks by an oncoming skate skier who is studiously avoiding any kind of aknowledgement of my presence. I'm pretty sure they don't do that to oncoming skiers. It just boggles the mind how rude some people can be. And in this case it really is quite a few people, most of whom are middle aged or older men. The skinny social trails are way more fun anyway and most everyone out there is happy to see fat tires. Steve Ryan

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    33
    But how do you know on which trails you need a winter permit and on which you don't ?

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,252
    nykolaz, I think the only trails that require a winter permit are trails in Chugach State Park that are not open to bikes in the summer. The permitted trails were way reduced in number at the end of last season. Does anyone know what the permit status will be this year? Otherwise its like anchskier said above.

  12. #12
    Ologist
    Reputation: Valhalla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    963
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacquesboutet
    Good comments above. I also strongly encourage ("plead" is more like it) that ALL snowbikers, whether they ski or not, buy NSAA (Nordic Ski Assn of Anch) Trail Pins and/or make a donation to ERNSC (Eagle River). Trail grooming is a Zero-Sum Game in Anchorage. The Municipality will only commit so many of our tax $$$ for grooming trails. NSAA and ERNSC have to use their locally raised $$$ pick up the slack or trails don't get groomed. One way or another, we ALL benefit from groomed trails, so let's support the groups that maintain them.

    Cheers!
    I guess I am missing the connection here. I don't ski the trails in ANCH but I should buy the pin to support trails I can't bike in the winter?

    This is somewhat serious and somewhat sarcastic. As a biker how do I directly I benefit from supporting the NSAA? I can't bike their trails so I guess there is an indirect trail advocacy connection - is this what you are referring to?

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    334
    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla
    I guess I am missing the connection here. I don't ski the trails in ANCH but I should buy the pin to support trails I can't bike in the winter?

    This is somewhat serious and somewhat sarcastic. As a biker how do I directly I benefit from supporting the NSAA? I can't bike their trails so I guess there is an indirect trail advocacy connection - is this what you are referring to?
    Just to clarify things, some of the trails the NSAA grooms are multi-use. Most are ski-only in the winter, but not all. Examples would be the Tour of Anchorage trail and the multi-use link from Hilltop to Service.

    I'm not necessarily advocating one way or another, just pointing that out.

  14. #14
    Ologist
    Reputation: Valhalla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    963
    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier
    Just to clarify things, some of the trails the NSAA grooms are multi-use. Most are ski-only in the winter, but not all. Examples would be the Tour of Anchorage trail and the multi-use link from Hilltop to Service.

    I'm not necessarily advocating one way or another, just pointing that out.
    Thanks!

    Does anyone know how NSAA views bike advocacy groups like STA? Is NSAA becoming more excepting of this new growing group of winter trail users?

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    334
    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla
    Thanks!

    Does anyone know how NSAA views bike advocacy groups like STA? Is NSAA becoming more excepting of this new growing group of winter trail users?
    I have no idea if there has been much talk, if any, recently regarding changing any trail use designations. I do know that there has been some coordination with improving signage on the trails as well as working to inform both user groups of which trails have which restrictions. It doesn't do any group any good when people don't know what trails are open for what. You get confrontations that are note necessary, esecially in instances such as when skiers are yelling at bikers thinking they are on ski-only trails when they are actually multi-use or when bikers are using ski-only trails thinking they are multi-use. It gives both groups a bad impression of the other.

    Janice may be able to shed some more light on whether there has been any discussions between the groups.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,252
    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier
    I have no idea if there has been much talk, if any, recently regarding changing any trail use designations. I do know that there has been some coordination with improving signage on the trails as well as working to inform both user groups of which trails have which restrictions. It doesn't do any group any good when people don't know what trails are open for what. You get confrontations that are note necessary, esecially in instances such as when skiers are yelling at bikers thinking they are on ski-only trails when they are actually multi-use or when bikers are using ski-only trails thinking they are multi-use. It gives both groups a bad impression of the other.

    Janice may be able to shed some more light on whether there has been any discussions between the groups.
    NSAA has been working with STA to coordinate the development of new trails, such as the single track at Kincaid and in Section 36. That coordination helps all of us when going before the Municipal planning authorities.
    As to opening existing ones, they wouldn't even open part of the Sisson loop to Skijourers. That is a very underutilized trail and it seems like skijouring on it would have been a low impact use for most skiers. It is not likely that they will open up existing ski only trails to bike use. They really don't have any reason to.
    Unfortunately I think most confrontations are caused by either skiers that know the multiuse trails are open to bikers but just don't want us there or by bikers who know they are on a closed trail but think they should be able to ride there.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gomadtroll's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    76
    The enclosed site has a link that has a table with all the MOA trails and use allocations.

    http://www.muni.org/Departments/park...ksntrails.aspx

    It would be nice to see the same info for the State Park.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    14

    Trail Guide PDFs

    I think this is what some are looking for:

    Trail maps, descriptions, allowable uses, etc.
    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/ch...achtrlmaps.htm

    The Hillside trail guide was especially useful to me.
    http://www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/maps...trailguide.pdf


    Owen

  19. #19
    MTB aficionado
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,022

    Not yet....

    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak
    Does anyone know what the permit status will be this year?
    The request for winter permits was submitted a week and a half ago. Parks are currently discussing it. As soon as know one way or another, I will post back.

    Regards,

    EndUser
    My advice and $3 will buy you nothing more than a tunafish sandwich

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,252
    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    The request for winter permits was submitted a week and a half ago. Parks are currently discussing it. As soon as know one way or another, I will post back.

    Regards,

    EndUser
    Is there someone at Parks we could lobby? Or do you think that would be counterproductive?

  21. #21
    MTB aficionado
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,022

    I'm not directly involved....

    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak
    Is there someone at Parks we could lobby? Or do you think that would be counterproductive?
    I'm not directly involved, but from my perspective the correct individuals are. They sucessfully lobbied to get the permits last year so my inclination is to let the established, low key process move forward.

    Regards,

    EndUser
    My advice and $3 will buy you nothing more than a tunafish sandwich

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,252
    As has been stated elswhere the CSP permits are now available. They allow 3.7 or larger tires on Middlefork Loop. All trails open to bikes in the summer are also open to bikes in the winter permit not required but the permit doesn't exactly read that way so there could be some confusion.
    On a related topic as we get more winter bikes out there, a good thing, there are more chances for uninformed people to ride in the wrong place. Case in point my son, who was skiing, almost hit a biker who had been riding backwards up S Turns on lower Spencer Loop. The biker appeared to have spun out and was stopped with his bike accross the trail in the middle of a blind corner.
    The question I have been mulling over is how best to educate bikers on which trails are open to bikes and beyond that which direction to ride if you are going to poach and beyond that basic trail etiquette about stopping on corners on hills....

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    334
    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak
    As has been stated elswhere the CSP permits are now available. They allow 3.7 or larger tires on Middlefork Loop. All trails open to bikes in the summer are also open to bikes in the winter permit not required but the permit doesn't exactly read that way so there could be some confusion.
    On a related topic as we get more winter bikes out there, a good thing, there are more chances for uninformed people to ride in the wrong place. Case in point my son, who was skiing, almost hit a biker who had been riding backwards up S Turns on lower Spencer Loop. The biker appeared to have spun out and was stopped with his bike accross the trail in the middle of a blind corner.
    The question I have been mulling over is how best to educate bikers on which trails are open to bikes and beyond that which direction to ride if you are going to poach and beyond that basic trail etiquette about stopping on corners on hills....
    Glad to here it was an "almost hit" and not worse. That would be a really bad place to run into another person, not to mention a bike. Probably a good thing that your son was a skilled skier and quick on his feet. It's interesting that you mention this because I was just out skiing on Spencer yesterday talking wtih a friend about how I have only seen one set of bike tire tracks on the ski-only trails this season despite being out on the trails almost every day we could ski. That one set was from a 2" mtb tire, so not one of the regular fat-bike crowd. I think word has gotten around pretty well for the most part, but as you said, there are more and more new winter riders out there. If I see people in places they aren't supposed to be, I try to direct them to the trail map signs that are at most trail intersections. The maps show the multi-use vs nordic ski only trails fairly well once you can figure out where you are at to start with. Beyond that, I think just keeping an eye out for each other and letting people know if/when you see someone where they shouldn't be is probably all you can do.

  24. #24
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,589
    I've only recently been riding the Anchorage trails this winter(for the first time since moving here), and I've been finding it pretty easy to figure out where I am and what trails I'm not supposed to be on. There are plenty of signs, and I had no issues staying off the ski only trails. I was looking for them though, as I'm aware of the issues. Maybe it would be better for those unaware if there were more "SKI ONLY" signs on either side of intersections with multiuse trails?

  25. #25
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,589
    Oh! One thing I have noticed missing from several of the maps at intersections is a "You are here" marker. Those help. A lot.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    334
    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    I've only recently been riding the Anchorage trails this winter(for the first time since moving here), and I've been finding it pretty easy to figure out where I am and what trails I'm not supposed to be on. There are plenty of signs, and I had no issues staying off the ski only trails. I was looking for them though, as I'm aware of the issues. Maybe it would be better for those unaware if there were more "SKI ONLY" signs on either side of intersections with multiuse trails?
    I'm glad to hear the new signs have been helping. I was in charge of installing those signs although I can't take credit for developing the plan in the first place. If you know of specific locations where additional signs would help, please let me know and I can try to make something happen. Unfortunately, in the process of installing the signs we have, I was limited by the location of existing posts, and then somewhat by the angle the post was set at (didn't want a sign pointing 45-degrees between two trails). I do still need to grab some brackets to mount signs on Randy's loop since the steel poles aren't all that condusive to the normal mounting methods.

    I agree with the "You are Here" markings on the maps. Some seem to be missing or just hard to find since all the maps are the same orientation and where you are may be at the extreme edge of the map. I think the markings were added after the maps were made and thus tend to fade or wear off faster than the rest of the sign. The other day, I had to ask a couple kids to quick stabbing the sign with their ski pole. All kinds of things to work around out there.

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.