Sitka Trail Works releases weekend guided hike schedule for the 2018 spring and summer

Sitka Trail Works will kick off its 2018 summer series of weekend hikes on Saturday, May 5, with a moderate to strenuous bike ride of up to 10 miles along the Cross Trail. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Indian River Trailhead (near the corner of Indian River Road and Yaw Drive) to join the ride.

That will be followed on Sunday, May 13, by a short hike on the Ben Grussendorf Forest and Muskeg Estuary Trail. Meet at 1:30 p.m. at the gravel boat launch at Starrigavan State Park to join the hike. Note, the calendar posted below has been updated to change the date of the Fort Rousseau kayak trip.

The series of weekend hikes are led by various members of Sitka Trail Works, and there also are occasional geocaching events, bike rides and kayak trips on the schedule. Most of the hikes near town are free (donations are accepted), but some of the hikes require a boat trip and those have fees. The schedule runs through the end of August.

On National Trails Day (Saturday, June 2), Sitka Trail Works and other groups will do repair work to trails TBA. Tools will be available, but you should bring gloves, pruners and toppers, if you have them.

In other news, Sitka Trail Works recently received funding for Phase 6 of the Cross Trail, and construction is expected to start in FY 2019. But in order to claim the $1.8 million to finish the last 2.6 miles of the Cross Trail, Sitka Trail Works needs to raise $20,000 in matching funds. In addition, Sitka Trail Works plans a major maintenance project on the Indian River Trail during the 2018 summer, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and Juneau Trail Mix.

Don’t forget to check the Sitka Trail Works website for current trail condition reports and hike updates (several hikes have changed dates since originally announced.

• Spring 2018 Sitka Trail Works newsletter

• Sitka Trail Works 2018 hike schedule (updated June 4)

Advertisements

Sitka Trail Works completes repairs to Mosquito Cove Trail after October rain event

A deep sink hole developed along the Mosquito Cove Trail during a three-inch rainfall event in October. As you may know, Sitka Trail Works has been completing maintenance projects on the popular Mosquito Cove Trail since Alaska State Parks cut funding for a local position and office. The repair projects help keep the trails safe and in shape so they can be used for many years.

Phase II trail upgrades had just been completed by U.S. Forest Service Trail Crew in September, before the storm. The Phase II repairs were made with a $51,369 grant from the Alaska Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which allowed work to be done on the back side of the trail. The Phase II repairs featured 45 helicopter bags of rock and six loads of lumber being lifted to improve drainage and prevent washouts.

In the more recent project, Sitka Trail Works employees Jerad and Trent Bayne recently made repairs to the sink hole and also removed a fallen tree.

Sitka to host First Day Hike on Monday, Jan. 1, at the Mosquito Cove Trail trailhead parking lot

Sitka will have a First Day Hike, meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 1, at the Mosquito Cove Trail trailhead parking lot.

First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks, in partnership with Alaska State Parks, to encourage people to get outdoors. Kids and adults all across America will be participating in First Day Hikes, getting their hearts pumping and enjoying the beauty of a state park.

Last year nearly 28,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking more than 66,000 miles throughout the country. First Day Hikes are led by knowledgeable volunteers.

“What a great way to start the year,” event organizer Jeff Budd said.

We will hike the 1 1/2-mile Mosquito Cove loop, and if hikers are interested, hike the 1 1/2-mile Muskeg loop as well. If it is very windy or very, very rainy the hike will be canceled. Walking/hiking poles and YakTrax or similar ice cleats are recommended if the trails are icy.

For more information, call Jeff Budd at 747-4821.

Sitka Trail Works releases weekend guided hike schedule for the 2017 summer

Sitka Trail Works will kick off its 2017 summer series of weekend hikes on Saturday, May 13, with a easy to moderate three-mile hike on the Starrigavan Loop. Meet at the Old Sitka Boat Launch Parking Lot at 9 a.m. That will be followed on Saturday, May 20, by a lesson on geocaching taught by volunteers. After a short tutorial at 8:30 a.m. at the Sitka High School entrance to the Cross Trail, participants will go discover some local geocaches (bring a smartphone or GPS device, if you have one).

The series of weekend hikes are led by various members of Sitka Trail Works, and there also are occasional bike rides and kayak trips on the schedule. Most of the hikes near town are free (donations are accepted), but some of the hikes require a boat trip and those have fees. The schedule runs through the end of August.

(Click image to enlarge)

In other news, Sitka Trail Works recently received funding for Phase 6 of the Cross Trail, and construction is expected to start in FY 2019, after the next reauthorization of the federal transportation bill in 2018. Sitka Trail Works also received funding for Phase II of the Mosquito Cove Trail Repairs Project, which repairs trail damage done by August 2015 and January 2017 storms.

On National Trails Day (Saturday, June 3), Sitka Trail Works and other groups will do repair work to trails TBA. Tools will be available, but you should bring gloves, pruners and toppers, if you have them.

Don’t forget to check the Sitka Trail Works website for current trail condition reports.

Sitka to host First Day Hike on Sunday, Jan. 1, at the Starrigavan trailhead parking lot

 

Mosquito Cove Trail photo by Matt Goff of SitkaTrails.org

Mosquito Cove Trail photo by Matt Goff of SitkaTrails.org

first-day-hikes1Sitka will have a First Day Hike, meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1, at the Starrigavan trailhead parking lot.

First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks, in partnership with Alaska State Parks, to encourage people to get outdoors. Kids and adults all across America will be participating in First Day Hikes, getting their hearts pumping and enjoying the beauty of a state park.

Last year nearly 28,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking more than 66,000 miles throughout the country. First Day Hikes are led by knowledgeable volunteers.

We will hike the 1 1/2-mile Mosquito Cove loop, and if hikers are interested, hike the 1 1/2-mile Muskeg loop as well. If it is very windy or very, very rainy the hike will be canceled. Walking/hiking poles and YakTrax or similar ice cleats are recommended if the trails are icy.

For more information, call Jeff Budd at 747-4821.

Mosquito Cove Trail to be closed for trail maintenance on July 21

Mosquito Cove Trail photo by Matt Goff of SitkaTrails.org

Mosquito Cove Trail (photo by Matt Goff of SitkaTrails.org)

SitkaTrailWorksLogoThe Old Sitka State Historical Interpretive site parking lot and the Mosquito Cove Trail will be closed Thursday, July 21, so that Sitka Trail Works can helicopter transport gravel for a trail maintenance project.

Additional trail maintenance work is scheduled later this summer and is being funded by a Recreational Trail grant. Sitka Trail Works apologizes for any inconvenience.

For questions, please call Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244.

State parks closure prompts National Trails Day maintenance by Sitka Trail Works

Mosquito Cove Trail photo by Matt Goff of SitkaTrails.org

Mosquito Cove Trail photo by Matt Goff of SitkaTrails.org

SitkaTrailWorksLogoDo you ever visit Halibut Point Recreation Area, Mosquito Cove Trail, the Forest and Muskeg Trail, Old Sitka, Castle Hill or Fort Rousseau? These are Sitka’s Alaska State Parks and their future is threatened.

Proposed budget cuts this year zero out all support for the Sitka parks in the Alaska State Parks system, and local state park ranger Nick True will be moved out of Sitka. In addition, the plan is to close the local Alaska State Parks office, and eliminate the part-time staff and campground hosts who help maintain these sites.

Sitka will still have state parks, but there will be no garbage pick-up, bear control, reservations for picnic sites, trail maintenance, or brush control.

ntd_2013_copyright2_rgb-1024x1019As part of the American Hiking Society’s 23rd annual National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6, Sitka Trail Works will host a trail maintenance event at the Mosquito Cove Trail. This volunteer work party will be led by the Sitka Trail Works board of directors.

All volunteers are encouraged to meet at the Mosquito Cove Trailhead at 9:15 a.m. (the trailhead is located seven miles from downtown Sitka on Halibut Point Road and is three-quarters of a mile beyond the ferry terminal, past Starrigavan Campground). The Mosquito Cove Trail is part of the Old Sitka State Historical Park.

“National Trails Day encourages Americans to connect with local outdoor clubs, businesses, community groups, and parks and recreation departments, as well as federal land managing agencies, to experience, appreciate, and share the natural places we cherish,” Sitka Trail Works said.