SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the morning of Thursday, Feb. 2

The Sitka office of the Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike event.

The hike will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2. Seniors should meet to hike Whale Park. Rides are available for those who need them. Participants should be prepared to wear masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and practice distancing while on the hike.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once or twice a month, and now plans to alternate them on Mondays with Adventure Club events. There is a $10 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. Please use this link for the scholarship form, https://forms.gle/SYCKpaVjCoKXpzqz5. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Mary Sheehan at 1-888-487-1029 or email her at msheehan@sailinc.org.

• SAIL events calendar for February 2023

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SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the morning of Thursday, Jan. 19

The Sitka office of the Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike event.

The hike will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19. Seniors should meet to hike Kaasda Héen (Indian River Trail). Rides are available for those who need them. Participants should be prepared to wear masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and practice distancing while on the hike.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once or twice a month, and now plans to alternate them on Mondays with Adventure Club events. There is a $10 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. Please use this link for the scholarship form, https://forms.gle/SYCKpaVjCoKXpzqz5. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Mary Sheehan at 1-888-487-1029 or email her at msheehan@sailinc.org.

• SAIL events calendar for January 2023

Sitka Spruce Tips/Alaska Way Of Life 4-H Club to host two evening winter hikes in January

The Sitka Spruce Tips/Alaska Way Of Life 4-H Club will host two evening winter hikes from 3:30-5 p.m. on Wednesdays, Jan. 18 and Jan. 25, at locations TBA.

We will be exploring some beloved Sitka trails and learning more about the area’s ecology together. This series is open to youth ages 7-18.

The Sitka Spruce Tips/Alaska Way of Life 4-H program is co-sponsored by the Sitka Conservation Society and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. For more information and to register, contact Anna Schumacher at 907-747-7509 or anna@sitkawild.org.

Heart Matters, a healthy heart, habit-building program from SEARHC, begins Feb. 1

February is American Heart Month, which promotes taking daily steps to decrease the risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. To empower Southeast Alaskans and provide them resources and incentives to prioritize their health, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) has launched the 28-day program, Heart Matters, starting Feb. 1.   

Taking time to care for your heart can be challenging, but SEARHC health educators, physical therapists, nutritionists and behavioral health clinicians will be sharing health tips and tricks to turn short-term goals into long-term habits.

Once signed up, participants select a personal health goal such as increasing physical fitness, improving nutrition, stress management, or anything that helps the heart and enhances overall well-being. As participants work toward establishing a new healthy habit in 2023, SEARHC staff will provide support with tools, weekly lunch and learns, plus incentives. Weekly prizes will be given out as well as larger grand prizes at the end of the month. The longer participants stay involved in the program increases their chances to win.

Showing the heart the love it deserves each day can have an immense impact on overall health. Small acts of self-care, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, getting quality sleep and cooking healthy meals, help the heart. Research shows that self-care can help keep blood pressure in a healthy range and reduce risk of heart disease and stroke. Daily activities that can make a difference include:

  • Getting a daily dose of physical activity, such as a brisk, 30-minute walk.
  • Quitting smoking
  • Cooking meals that are low in sodium and unhealthy fats.
  • Taking your medications as prescribed and keeping your medical appointments.
  • Sleeping 7-8 hours each night.
  • Managing stress through activities like meditation, yoga, a warm bath, or quiet time with a good book or funny movie.

To sign up for Heart Matters and take steps toward improving your heart health, go to www.searhc.org/heartmatters. Early bird registration will begin Jan. 11 until Jan. 18, with additional prize entries for signing up beforehand.

For more information, contact SEARHC Health Educator Kelsey Evans at kevans@searhc.org or 907-755-4995.

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the morning of Thursday, Jan. 12

The Sitka office of the Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike event.

The hike will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12. Seniors should meet at the Sitka High School entrance to hike the Sitka Cross Trail. Rides are available for those who need them. Participants should be prepared to wear masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and practice distancing while on the hike.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once or twice a month, and now plans to alternate them on Mondays with Adventure Club events. There is a $10 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. Please use this link for the scholarship form, https://forms.gle/SYCKpaVjCoKXpzqz5. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Mary Sheehan at 1-888-487-1029 or email her at msheehan@sailinc.org.

• SAIL events calendar for January 2023

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the morning of Thursday, Jan. 5

The Sitka office of the Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike event.

The hike will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5. Seniors should meet at Sitka National Historical Park to hike the Totem Trails. Rides are available for those who need them. Participants should be prepared to wear masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and practice distancing while on the hike.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once or twice a month, and now plans to alternate them on Mondays with Adventure Club events. There is a $10 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. Please use this link for the scholarship form, https://forms.gle/SYCKpaVjCoKXpzqz5. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Mary Sheehan at 1-888-487-1029 or email her at msheehan@sailinc.org.

• SAIL events calendar for January 2023

Sitka Trail Works seeks feedback on trail proposals

On behalf of Sitka Trail Works and the Sitka Trail Plan Committee, we are releasing a draft list of conceptual plans for improvements to our trail system and we want to hear what you think.

This spring, more than 800 Sitkans responded to a call for public comment and shared their general ideas for the future of our trail system. We learned that Sitkans want more challenging day hikes, easy loop trails, multi-day backpacking trails, and neighborhood connectors.

We spent the summer investigating specific projects that could meet the desires we heard from the community, from renovations of beloved existing trails to development of new routes. This initial list open for comment includes conceptual plans for nine reconstructions, six new day hikes, four backpacking trail ideas, and nine short in-town trail connections.

COMMENT ON TRAIL IDEAS

Reconstructions

  1. Gavan Hill
  2. Verstovia
  3. Upper Cross
  4. Cross Trail Yaw Drive to Indian River
  5. Medvejie Lake
  6. Old Harbor Mountain Road
  7. Baranof Warm Springs
  8. Port Alexander Historic Trail
  9. Lake Suloia

Potential new day hikes

  1. S’oow Tu.aan (No Name) Viewpoint
  2. Starrigavan Ridge
  3. Eagle Dip Lake
  4. South Fork Starrigavan to Harbor Mountain
  5. Bear Lake
  6. Harbor Mountain Viewpoint

Options for backpacking trails

  1. North Fork Indian River
  2. Lucky Chance Historic Trail
  3. South Sitka Sound Coastal Trail
  4. Kruzof Backpacking Loop

Connectors and pedestrian enhancements

  1. Price-Hillside Neighborhood Connector
  2. Mills Street Land Trust Connector
  3. Japonski Island Pathway
  4. Flume Trail
  5. 5K loop near Sitka High School
  6. North Lake Connector and Swan Lake Dock
  7. South Lake Boardwalk
  8. Russian Cemetery connections
  9. Halibut Point Road walking / biking improvements

COMMENT ON TRAIL IDEAS

Sitka Trail Works is requesting feedback via the survey link above to determine which of these projects will produce the greatest community benefit. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a weekly drawing to win gift cards for local retailers.

This list of conceptual plans represents a larger array of options than will ultimately be prioritized in the final Sitka Trail Plan. The Sitka Trail Plan will strike a balance of setting an ambitious vision for the future of our trail system, while also realistically working within the constraints of our shared resources. Public input at this stage will determine which of these ideas to prioritize for collective action. Trail projects can take years to advance through design, permitting, and construction, so it would not be feasible to attempt all the draft concepts, even with a 20-year planning horizon.

In addition, the survey will ask respondents to rank ideas for new cabins. Expanding on recent U.S. Forest Service outreach on this topic, Sitka Trail Works has compiled a list of potential locations across federal, state, and city lands.

The final Trail Plan will also include a substantial section dedicated to the regular maintenance of existing trails, because maintaining what we have is the most important priority. In the spring survey, Sitkans on average stated they want an even split of investment between maintenance of existing trails and development of new facilities.

After compiling public feedback, the Sitka Trail Plan Committee will shorten the list to only include the top priorities, which will then be included in a Draft Trail Plan. Only after a thorough vetting and approval by all public land managers will the new plan be formalized.

The goals of this planning process are to:

  • Make it easier and more inviting to be active and healthy outside;
  • Be good stewards of our spectacular cultural and natural landscape;
  • Help build a stronger, more durable local economy;
  • Provide diverse, equitable access to the outdoors;
  • Work within our means and by working together, increase our means.

For more information, please contact:

Ben Hughey
Executive Director
Sitka Trail Works, Inc
907-747-7244
ben@sitkatrailworks.org

Ring in the new year with the ‘Bark in the Park’ walk Jan. 1 at Sitka National Historical Park

Sitka National Historical Park is hosting a free Bark in the Park event to jump start a healthy 2023. This event takes place from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1.

Bring your furry friend for a first day hiking adventure in the park. Is your dog “BARK Ranger” material? Talk to a ranger to see how they can earn an official park ID tag for their collar.

No dog? No problem. We are partnering with the Friends of Sitka Animal Shelter, who will bring some of the shelter dogs to the park so they can find walking buddies. Get a healthy start to the New Year.

For more information, contact the Sitka National Historical Park visitor center at 907-747-0110.

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the morning of Thursday, Dec. 29

The Sitka office of the Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike event.

The hike will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29. Seniors should meet at the Kaasda Héen/Indian River Entrance to hike the Sitka Cross Trail. Rides are available for those who need them. Participants should be prepared to wear masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and practice distancing while on the hike.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once or twice a month, and now plans to alternate them on Mondays with Adventure Club events. There is a $10 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. Please use this link for the scholarship form, https://forms.gle/SYCKpaVjCoKXpzqz5. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Mary Sheehan at 1-888-487-1029 or email her at msheehan@sailinc.org.

• SAIL events calendar for December 2022

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the morning of Thursday, Dec. 15

The Sitka office of the Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike event.

The hike will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15. Seniors should meet at Sitka National Historical Park to hike the Totem Trails. Rides are available for those who need them. Participants should be prepared to wear masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and practice distancing while on the hike.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once or twice a month, and now plans to alternate them on Mondays with Adventure Club events. There is a $10 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. Please use this link for the scholarship form, https://forms.gle/SYCKpaVjCoKXpzqz5. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Mary Sheehan at 1-888-487-1029 or email her at msheehan@sailinc.org.

• SAIL events calendar for December 2022