By Carey Restino
While an abundance of trails can be found a boat ride across Kachemak Bay, many areas of the southern Kenai Peninsula are relatively trail-free, but an effort is underway to change that.
The Southern Kenai Peninsula State Parks Citizen Advisory Board has reinvigorated an effort recently to identify areas in Ninilchik and Anchor Point, as well as other areas that need trails.
Right now, the effort is in the conceptual phase, said Roger McCampbell, chief ranger for the South Kenai district and a liaison for the Kachemak Bay State Parks Citizens Advisory Board, but energized to move forward.
Currently the group wants input from area residents. Once some trail locations are identified, the group plans to pursue grant funding.
“The idea is that trails link the community to the parks and the community to the community,” McCampbell said. “The group wants to know what kind of interest and support is out there.”
McCampbell said one area that has been discussed in the past as needing more-defined trails is along the Anchor River, where hundreds of visitors flock during the summer to camp, fish and recreate. Trails leading from the school to the river and along the river to the beach parking lot are among the ideas considered, he said. McCampbell said that trail system was planned many years ago, but funding and logistics stood in the way. There are several chunks of private property along the road that parallels the river, he said, and trying to find a way to continue the path by those properties is difficult.
But there is no question the need is there, McCampbell said.
“Right now on a busy weekend it can be kind of tricky walking the road,” he said.
Another area where potential trail needs are being discussed is in Ninilchik, where some in the community have expressed the desire for trails for walking and biking.
Ultimately, the citizen group would like to see trails going all the way from Soldotna to Homer, McCampbell said, but that’s a long-range plan. For now, starting to develop the network with that ultimate goal on the horizon is a good way to proceed, he said.
Those interested in commenting on areas where trails are needed and what uses those trails are needed for can contact the group by email at email@example.com.