Anchorage’s Singletrack Advocates are planning to build more mountain bike trails this summer – a six mile extension of the popular trails they have already built at Kincaid Park. The Municipality of Anchorage Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously approved the project at its meeting on May 9th. Construction will start in July and they hope to be done by this fall. This ambitious goal is the way this can-do group rolls.
The Singletrack Advocates formed in the fall of 2004. Together with Anchorage’s Parks and Rec Department and Alaska Trails, they brought representatives from the International Mountain Bike Association to Alaska to teach sustainable trail building. That summer, the Brown Bear Trail in Far North Bicentennial Park was built by volunteers. Since then, an additional 17 miles of Singletrack trails have been funded, designed, constructed and maintained by the group.
With Alaska Trails as its fiscal sponsor, STA has raised over $500,000 in private contributions, grants, and thousands of hours of volunteer time. STA recently became a full-fledged 501(c)3 non profit. It is an exciting step for a dynamic group and it will definitely lead to more mountain biking fun for Anchorage.
Volunteers have been the key to STA’s success. Engaging volunteers not only saves money, it gives those volunteers a sense of stewardship on the trails they build and use. A volunteer who builds a trail one year will return the next year to help maintain what they have built. Alaska Trails has been pleased that its tool trailer has been able to play a role in these great trails.
“The Kincaid Singletrack Trails relied heavily on volunteers who needed tools to accomplish their work. Much of the hand finishing was provided by volunteers. Volunteers dedicated 1,241 hours to this 9 mile trail. Their work would not have been possible without the use of the Alaska Trails Tool Trailer. There were work sessions in which we had over 50 volunteers!” stated Janice Tower, STA President.
The new trails in Kincaid will be as much fun as the ones already on the ground. The proposed route runs east to west by the World Cup Nordic Start area and then down to the Sisson loop to connect with the Coastal Trail. There are very few Nordic trail crossings in the proposed project area and this extension would improve the entire network within Kincaid Park as a perimeter loop.
From youngsters in the Mighty Bikes program to the thousands of runners in the Tuesday Night race series, from Arctic Bicycle Club racers all the way to those just trying mountain biking for the first time – these trails are an asset to the community and a great way for people to recreate. Kincaid Park will be enhanced with these trails and the Singletrack Advocates are the right group to build them. Keep looking for more great things from Singletrack Advocates and see you on the trails.