Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Let the trails dry

Break-up takes such a long time. We're itching to take our mountain bikes out onto the dirt trails in town and the trailheads do look pretty dry. But, wait.

Once you get a few dozen yards from the trailhead you'll realize the trails are very soft where the snow has been slow to melt. Patience now will mean better conditions once things dry. Those ruts last a long time. So, until the trails in the municipal parks are dry enough to be open, put your slick tires on or grab the road bike. Like the sign says, check out the over 150 miles of paved trails. Many of the greenbelt trails are listed in Chapter 2 of the book.

I've heard from Dan who runs Lifetime Adventures at Eklutna that the Lakeside Trail is very good at least up to the old avalanche zone from a few years back. It is dusty, though. Typically trails open in the municipality on June 1. If they are dry sooner, they will be opened sooner. If you don't see any signs at the trailhead, just pull out your common sense and turn around if it's muddy.

You'll thank yourself later this season.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tank Trail, aka Bulldog Trail citations

I received this information from a couple of people. The Bulldog Trail is one of the earliest dirt/gravel trails to be clear of snow in the spring. It's easy to get a permit & check in. It's for your safety - the soldiers do train in the area.

Here's the content of the messages I received:
Fort Richardson MPs are issuing citations to unregistered users of the Tank Trail. A couple of weekends ago they set up a post and wrote tickets to recreational users one by one. These folks got off with a warning, but according to military police, the penalties are as follows:

1st offense: Ban for 1 year (this applies base-wide to all property on Ft. Rich including the base itself)
2nd offense: Ban for 5 years (base-wide)
3rd offense: Ban for life (base-wide)

How to Obtain a Permit
1. To use the Tank Trail or any other Ft. Rich property for recreational purposes you must obtain a USAG-AK Recreational Access Permit available at the main Ft. Richardson Gate. Permits are good for 2 years from the issue date and must be carried with you. For information call 384-0296 or 384-2916.
2. Check in by calling the USARTRAK automated system BEFORE entering the training lands and you will need your RAP number to access the system. The system provides daily training closures. The Phone Access System number is 384-3181.
3. Check out upon leaving the training lands for the day. Call the USARTRAK number and enter your RAP number for automated check-out. 384-3181.

For more information, go to the site.