08.16.18 | Uncategorized

9 Awesome Biking Trails in Wasilla

Wasilla Bike Trails

Biking in Wasilla is a wonderful way to get some exercise and help your body move, but it’s also a great activity for exploring the local Wasilla area! On a bike, you can take it so much more of the area in a fraction of the time than you would on foot. It’s a great weekend activity for people of all ages, too.

But you may be wondering where exactly you can go to find awesome biking trails in Wasilla. There are plenty in the area, you just have to know where to look and how to get there. Here’s a little round-up of some of the best in the area, with everything you need to know about each so you can find the right trail for you. Grab your gear, maybe pack a picnic lunch in a backpack, read on, and get riding! Figure out what would work best for your level of biking expertise and your natural interests based on the information below to find the perfect trail.

Mooseberry Mesa

Location: Gateway, AK

Getting there from Wasilla: Slightly south-west from the center of town, just 20 minutes away

Difficulty level: Intermediate

Length: 2 miles

Description:

Mooseberry Mesa is a super short, but super fun, singletrack system. The first half mile takes you along a ridge to an intersection with the main loop, or another half mile trail. The main loop has a few hills and a couple of switchbacks, but overall is pretty easy riding, and it’s a great option for families. The second half mile trail off of the main loop is a bit more challenging with a steeper incline. You can also ride along several miles of ski trails in the off season within this park, and make a whole day out of this little trail without heading far out of Wasilla.

Kepler-Bradley Lakes State Park

Location: Matanuska Lakes State Recreation Area, Palmer, AK

Getting there from Wasilla: 10 minutes south-west of Wasilla

Difficulty level: Beginner

Length: 25 miles

Description:

The Kepler-Bradley Lakes State Park biking trail is a series of singletrack trails following ridges and terrain around several small lakes, making for some beautiful views and easy riding. Some of the tracks are farm roads around local fields, maintained by a nearby college. A backdrop of beautiful Alaskan mountains all along the track make this a wonderful biking location, just minutes outside of Wasilla. However, since there are so many tracks and roads to keep track of, a map is highly advised so that you don’t get lost!

Matanuska Greenbelt

Location: Matanuska Lakes State Recreation Area, Palmer, AK

Getting there from Wasilla: Two-thirds of the way from Wasilla to Palmer

Difficulty level: Intermediate

Length: 33 miles

Description:

These trailheads (seven in total) run through boreal forest, farmland, and moraines leftover from the last Ice Age! Included in these trailheads is the popular 7 mile canoe trail in Wasilla, located along a beautiful river. You’ll also find plenty of other trails of varying difficulties, so there’s something for everyone in this system.

This mid-level trail system is a great option for people who really want to be in awe of the natural landscape just outside of Wasilla. These trailheads are some of the only non-motorized, non-mountain, accessible pathways in the area, so they’re very popular for all kinds of activities (running, family walks, mountain bikers, horses, etc.) and you should expect to have company along your ride. Unfortunately, you’ll also have to watch out for horse poop along the trails, along with rocks and such! Also, you should keep a hiking map or biking map with you in this area as well since the trails are long and making your way back may take longer than you’d expect. There are markers throughout the trails, but it’s better if you have a comprehensive sense of where you are in relation to the rest of the area.

Gold Mint Glacier

Location: Hatcher Pass

Getting there from Wasilla: Mile 14 on the Palmer-Fishhook Road, north or Wasilla

Difficulty level: Intermediate

Length: 15 miles

Description:

Hatcher Pass hosts several beautiful biking trails. The Hatcher Pass Management Area itself houses 300,000 acres of mountainous terrain in the Talkeetna Mountain Range, including more than 30 summits and glaciers. It’s also only 20 minutes away from Wasilla!

Gold Mint glacier is an old trail originally used as an access path to gold mines near the base of the glacier. The first half mile has been remastered and improved for hiking and riding conditions, but then it is back to its natural surface, which gets a but more challenging and makes for a steeper ride as well. The views, however, get more and more beautiful as you keep going since this trail takes you through a magnificent, deep valley in between glaciers.

Reed Lake

Location: Hatcher Pass

Getting there from Wasilla: Archangel Road, north of Wasilla

Difficulty level: Easy to Intermediate

Length: 9 miles

Description:

This trail, also located in the beautiful Hatcher Pass, follows along Reed Creek, taking you through glistening lakes, waterfalls, ponds, and more. The first 1.5 miles of the trail area relatively easy, as they follow an old abandoned road. After that it gets a bit more challenging with a dirt road pitted with deep holes, rocks, and boulders. It’s a far and challenging enough ride that many people opt to do this as an overnight backpacking/camping trip once they reach the lake itself at the top of the trail.

16-Mile Downhill Trail

Location: Hatcher Pass

Getting there from Wasilla: Mile 12 on Hatcher Pass Road

Difficulty level: Difficult

Length: 2.5 miles

Description:

This last Hatcher Pass trail is definitely a difficult one, but it’s a lot of fun for experienced bikers. It’s built alongside a 16-mile ski and snowboarding area, hence the name. It’s entirely downhill, so expect high speeds, and wear a full face helmet with pads. A full-suspension bike is recommended for this trail, but again, you’ll get some amazing Hatcher Pass views. Make sure you have sufficient biking experience before you take on this trail, and watch out for some uneven, rocky terrain on the way down.

16 Mile Hatcher Pass Mountain Bike Trail

Crevasse Moraine Trail System

Location: West Palmer, AK

Getting there from Wasilla: 21 minutes East on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway

Difficulty level: Moderate to Difficult

Length: 2-11 miles

Description:
This trail system has a combination of wide, flat stretches and steep hills. Most of it is rolling forest that has grown over moraines left by glaciers, and it was built on top of a landfill, so the trails do change over time. It’s popular with mountain bikers, cross-country skiers, and trail runners who are looking for a challenge. There is a “Swamp Loop” trail near the beginning that is fairly easy for people who don’t want to trek into the uneven, steep area designed for mountain bikes. This system actually houses our first trail, Mooseberry Mesa, too!.

George Parks Highway Multi-Use Path

Location: Pathway alongside highway

Getting there from Wasilla: Pull over and get on!

Difficulty level: Easy

Length: 2-30 miles, depending on how long you want to stay on the path

Description:

George Parks Highway Multi-Use Pathway is a paved stretch of trail about 30 miles long that follows along the George Parks highway that connects many local Alaska communities. It has incredible views of surrounding mountains, including Denali – North America’s highest peak. It also takes you through birch and spruce forests, and passes by open plains and glacier shaped rivers alike. You get a truly comprehensive sense of Alaska’s natural landscape by following this trail. It’s locally referred to as the Parks Highway.

Government Peak Recreation Area Mountain Bike Trails

Location: Palmer, AK

Getting there from Wasilla: Take Palmer-Fishhook to Edgerton Park about 1.2 miles then make a Right on Mountain Trails Drive.

Difficulty level: Intermediate to Difficult

Length: 6 miles

Description:
The GPRA offers some of the best mountain biking in the area. There are two loops – upper and lower – that offer great challenges in either direction, and a lot of fun. Bikers can hit large table-top jumps, or ride the berms as well. There are amazing views of the valley here as you’re riding along, too. You can even go fat biking in the winter here, since they groom the single track if the snow conditions allow.

Last Thoughts

There are plenty of Wasilla trails to enjoy in the local area. With a huge range of varying lengths, difficulty levels, natural surroundings, trail types, and more, there’s something for everyone in here. Biking in Wasilla is an incredibly fun activity for any level of expertise, and it’s a great way to take in the natural landscapes of the area. It’s also a great opportunity to bond with friends and family.

Always make sure you’re wearing the proper safety gear (helmet, pads, etc.) when going out on a biking trip, especially the more treacherous trails. While the natural Alaska landscape is beautiful, it can also be pretty dangerous. But most importantly, take in the views, get some great exercise, and enjoy the ride!

Author: Dr. Brent Wells

Dr. Brent Wells has been a trusted chiropractor since moving his family from Oregon to Alaska back in 1998 and founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab – B.S. from Univ. of Nevada, Doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College, volunteer for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation, and member of the American Chiropractic Association. As a chiropractor his focus is on family, including his 3 children and wife of 20+ years, his clinics, and ongoing education.

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