Chugach Corner: Take a hike on National Trails Day

The entrance to Chugach National Forest’s Haystack Trail. Photo courtesy of Amanda Williams

National Trails Day, June 5, is fast approaching! We are celebrating and getting outside during a coordinated hike and cleanup effort along the Haystack Trail. We invite you to join us and get some exercise!

National Trails Day, started in 1993, is a day of service and support for local trails. The Cordova Ranger District, Chugach National Forest has a plethora of US Forest Service trails at your disposal, a chance to revel in the beauty that surrounds you. Spending time in nature has been shown to not only be good for your physical health, it also boosts your mental health and overall wellbeing. Stay tuned for more details on our planned NTD excursion.

“Cordova and surrounding landscape offer a huge diversity of hiking experiences,” said David Zastrow, US Forest Service Public Services Officer, Cordova Ranger District. “Cordovans are fortunate to have trails that provide access along delta sloughs, mature Spruce and Hemlock forests and breathtaking alpine ridges. Many of our trails have these different terrain types within a few hiking miles. NTD gives us an opportunity to recognize the importance of our local trails; to get out and enjoy them or even give back through a variety of service efforts.”

What’s happening on the district

The Pipeline McKinley loop (Pipeline Lakes Trail) is open up to the Lucky Strike Mine.

Saddlebag Road is open, the trail is clear for the first 1.5 miles until you reach the open river valley. There is still some snow holding on at varying feet in depth, which begins within roughly 0.5 miles after departing the forest cover. The Haystack Trail is open and beautiful this time of year. Keep an eye out for a new series of exciting challenges with the Agents of Discovery, which returns to the Haystack Trail in June.

Recently constructed Sand Trail parking lot, at mile 9 of the Copper River Highway, was temporarily closed for improvements. Construction began on Friday, May 14 and continued through the weekend. Work will include removal of boulder barriers and ground compaction in preparation for final asphalting in early June. The upgraded Sand Trail parking area will have increased access and turning radius for ease of use.

Contact Chugach National Forest – Cordova Ranger District with questions at 907-424-7661.