When I moved into my house last summer, I was super excited about the fact that we now live only one block away from one of the main paved bike trails that goes through Anchorage. I’m able to bike from my driveway down to the Westchester Lagoon, which is one of my favorite parks in Anchorage, without having to cross a single road. As I explored more trails around the city I realized that with a bit of work I was able to make a 30 mile loop around Anchorage and that 90% of it would be on the trail network. I’d always wanted to try it but was too worried about the mileage and the hilliness of the route. But last weekend I decided I was ready, and I headed out on my bike to try it out!
It’s fall right now in Anchorage, and the trail was gorgeous. I started out on the Campbell Creek trail heading north towards the mountains.
Then I crossed over some roads on the bike trail bridges and turned onto the Chester Creek Trail by University Lake. These trails are in the woods and I was definitely in love with the abundance of yellow trees.
When I reached my usual turn around point, Westchester Lagoon, I took a quick snack break to admire the view.
As I continued on to the Coastal Trail, the views got better and better. I could see distant mountains including Denali and Mt. Redoubt. The coastal trail is always crowded but I don’t mind pulling over every once in a while!
As I approached Point Woronzof, which sits at the edge of Anchorage, the terrain got pretty hilly. At the top of a tough hill I stopped for a photo break and watched a few planes fly low overhead as they came in for a landing at the airport.
The next portion of the coastal trail was in the trees, but it was flat so I didn’t mind too much. But in order to get out of the trees I had to climb up a huge hill which ended in Kincaid Park. I was proud of myself for making it to the top of the hill in one piece, but it probably took me about 10 minutes to do it! I definitely took a long break at the top by the soccer fields.
I was getting tired at this point, but I knew that the only way to get home was to keep pedaling! From here, I stayed on the bike path, turned right onto Sand Lake Road, and then turned left onto Dimond Boulevard. Riding along the roads wasn’t exactly fun, but it was the only way to get back to the Campbell Creek Trail. The turn onto the trail is across from Fred Meyer and is marked with a sign/trail map. From here it was an easy ride for a few more miles back to my house.
This ride clocked in at 30 miles and took me over 3 hours to do, making it my longest bike ride ever! I was exhausted but so happy about finally making a full loop of the city on my bike. If you’re interested in seeing the different scenic areas of Anchorage I highly recommend this route. I also recommend doing the entire Coastal Trail (which starts downtown and ends at Kincaid Park at the top of that giant hill). It was fun getting to see my city from the seat of a bike, and I’m looking forward to doing this again soon!
Have you ever biked around your city/town? What’s the longest bike ride you’ve ever done?