Get Out: What to know for hiking in Kincaid Park
If you want to get out and enjoy Alaska's outdoors, hiking is a good way to go.
For hikers close to Anchorage, Kincaid Park offers more than 30 miles of trail and a lot of options for all types of hikers.
The park covers a 1,400-acre forest that sits atop an old glacial moraine and offers one of America's top trail systems, as well as Anchorage's largest moose population.
The group Alaska Outdoors offers the following overview of Kincaid and its trails:
Trails in the park are mostly wide and flat-surfaced, including a series of small and large loops. Further, those trails are connected by small single-track and animal trails.
The trail are classified into three types: Beginners (mostly flat and small up-down slopes), intermediate (combination of flat and some moderate up-down slopes), and advanced (combination of steep up-down trails). That means you can choose a combination of trails, based on your physical fitness and available time.
The park was originally developed as a prime cross-country ski park in winter, and bike and hiking trail in summer. As users diversified, the park has added several features including soccer fields, flying-disc golf courses, and further widening the trails for Olympic-level cross-country ski racing events.
In summer, all trails are multi-use for walkers, runners, bikers. As many parts of the park are constructed on wetland, some trails are muddy, wet and may be closed in early spring. In winter, almost all of trails are restricted to skiers, with bike trails along Raspberry Road and the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail the only multi-use routes available.
There are a few things you need to know before you head out onto the hiking trails at Kincaid Park.
- It's very muddy in parts of the trails so bring waterproof shoes.
- Bring a wind jacket for winds coming off of the coast.
- Bring a buddy, there is always safety in numbers if this is your first time
- Bring a map, be prepared to take alternate trails due to water areas and wildlife
Kincaid Park has four main parking areas at Little Campbell Lake, Raspberry Road, the stadium/chalet inside the park and the Jodhpur trailhead. While the first three entrances are located on Raspberry, the Jodphur entrance is located on Jodhpur Road.
Little Campbell Lake: To reach the parking lot, take the first road on right immediately after the main park entrance. This is a nice place for picnics by the water. Lake trails go through woods and circle around the lake and reaches to the Raspberry parking lot. The trails tend to be hilly with big dipping slope named "Big Niagara"!!
Raspberry: This is the first parking lot on Raspberry road before a bridge. This parking lot is the only parking lot accessible after the park is closed.
Stadium/Chalet: All easy trails are starts from this area. Stop by Chalet for a map.
Jodhpur: Jodhpur parking lot is located on Jodphur street. To reach the Jodhpur entrance, take Minnesota, off at Dimond Boulevard. Take Dimond Boulevard west (toward ocean/airport). When the road vend to right, the road becomes Jodhpur Road. From this point, look for an entrance road on left (Western/ocean side). The parking lot is located first right, further down is a parking lot for Motocross.
There is a lot of history that goes into this trail system and park. Kincaid Park is named after Ralph Kincaid (1907-1953) homesteaded in Sand Lake, now the International Airport. He founded Granite Products, Inc., which later became known as Kincaid & King Construction. His construction company contributed equipment and services for the construction of several playing fields and playgrounds throughout Anchorage.
"Kincaid Park" was originally a 27-acre tract of land located near the northeast side of Jewel Lake. In the mid-1960s, the Municipality of Anchorage acquired land near the airport and Kincaid Park was relocated to this site.
The park was once used by the Army as a Nike Hercules surface-to-air missile site to protect Anchorage during the 1950s. The land was transferred to Anchorage in 1980 and has been developed as a park.
Kincaid Park trails are designed and constructed by volunteers of the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage, so that many trails crown names of prominent members and their family, such as Arlen Mize (Arlen's Way, Arlen's Overlook) , Dick Mize (Mize Loop, Mize's Folley), John Elliott (Elliott's Climb), Andrew Lekisch (Andrew Lekisch Trail System), Alex Sission (Allex Sisson Loop), Margaux Menaker (Margaux's Loop), Pia Margrethe-Denkewalter (Pia-Margretehe's overloook), and Kimberly Berg (Kimberly Berg Biathlon Range).
If you do want to get out and enjoy some of the trails but nervous to go out on your own, the Alaska Outdoors group hikes every Monday and Thursday 6:30 to 8 p.m. to help others learn the different hikes and come together as a community.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.