Chugach Corner: Eyak River Trail update and staying safe this holiday

The Cordova Ranger District trail crew have constructed new improvements to area trails. Photo courtesy of Amanda Williams

The Cordova Ranger District trail crew have spent the past few weeks rigorously constructing 600 feet of new step-and-run boardwalk along Eyak River Trail, netted with recycled seine nets from the local fishing fleet for improved traction in our temperate rainforest environment. The trail crew have also completed construction of a large Wrangell staircase leading up to the first muskeg and have installed three new split log bridges over distinctly muddy sections of trail. The last remaining segments of original trail will be replaced as time allows. Visitors recreating on this 4.4-mile round trip hike through mature Sitka spruce forest and rolling muskeg meadows can keep feet dry while traversing this popular trail accessing Eyak River. The trail crew can now be seen along the Heney Ridge Trail, as they have begun reconstruction work that will be occurring for the duration of the season.

The Fourth of July weekend is upon us. It’s time to have some fun and recreate on the Cordova Ranger District, Chugach National Forest. While enjoying your outdoor adventures, please keep the following tips in mind to help everyone have a safe and joyous holiday.

Bear aware

The Chugach National Forest is bear country. Even if you don’t see them, they’re still around. Help avoid a human-bear interaction by being bear aware. Make noise when hiking and be alert in thick brush and along streams and rivers. Store food and other products with strong odors away from your tent and in bear-resistant containers. If you do encounter a bear, do not run. Back away slowly and calmly. Carry and know how to use bear spray. More information about staying bear aware is available at cdv.tiny.us/bearaware.

Fireworks

The use and possession of fireworks are prohibited on Chugach National Forest lands. This includes smaller consumer fireworks such as sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets and smoke balls. Violations are subject to a penalty and fine.

Campfires

Do your part to prevent wildfires. Keep control of campfires: never leave a campfire unattended; make sure coals are cool to the touch before leaving; dispose of cigarettes in ashtrays; and obey posted fire restrictions. Always practice campfire safety and keep wildfire prevention in mind, regardless of weather conditions. Visit cdv.tiny.us/forestfire for fire danger status and tips on preventing forest fires.

Pack it in, pack it out

Be responsible. Pick up and dispose of trash in appropriate trash receptacles. If the trash can or dumpster is overflowing, don’t add to the problem, take your trash with you. Trash and debris left behind can be harmful and even fatal to wildlife. It represents a human health hazard and degrades the Chugach National Forest.

Chugach National Forest wishes everyone a safe, fun holiday weekend. Stay in touch with us on Facebook @ChugachNF and Twitter @ChugachForestAK.