Anchorage, Alaska Parks

Anchorage, Alaska Parks
A 2009 survey by the Trust for Public Land says Anchorage, Alaska, has the largest area of public parkland per capita of any city in the United States. Forty percent of the city's land is devoted to 223 parks, which encompass an area of nearly 11,000 acres. Anchorage offers "250 miles of trails and greenbelts that link neighborhoods with surrounding natural open spaces and wildlife habitat," according to Anchorage's municipal website. The city's public parks offer a multitude of recreational opportunities and places where visitors can connect with nature right inside the city limits.

Delaney Park

Known to locals simply as the Park Strip, Delaney Park is a 14-block park right in downtown Anchorage. The park offers volleyball, soccer and softball fields; hockey and ice skating rinks; and tennis courts. Delaney Park also holds festivals and events throughout the year. For visitors who want to enjoy a less strenuous activity, the park also is a great place for a midday picnic.

Kincaid Park

Just south of Anchorage International Airport, Kincaid Park lies at the end of the 13-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, which starts downtown. Whether you're on foot, a bike or cross-country skis, the park is an easy place to find solitude in the woods. Kincaid offers a 37-mile trail system--including 10 miles of lighted trails--that winds through 1,400 acres of forestland. The park also features biathlon and archery ranges, a disc golf course, soccer fields and great views of the Alaska Range on clear days. Events are held at Kincaid Park throughout the year, including Tuesday night mountain bike races in the summer, and international Nordic skiing and competitions in winter.

Goose Lake Park

Goose Lake Park originally belonged to the U.S. Army. Goose Lake is the one of few city parks with a beach. With access to the Chester Creek Trail system, the park features ball fields, hiking and ski trails, playground equipment and a picnic area. In addition, park visitors can enjoy swimming and ice skating on the lake, depending on the season.

Russian Jack Springs Park

Named after a Russian immigrant who arrived in Anchorage in 1915, Russian Jack Springs Park offers a variety of recreational options for visitors. The park has lighted ski and running trails, both paved and unpaved, as well as soccer fields and tennis courts. Russian Jack Springs also has a 9-hole golf course and disc golf course. Outdoor enthusiasts can bring their dogs with them--the park has a large area for dogs to run around with their owners and enjoy the great outdoors.

Far North Bicentennial Park

Far North Bicentennial Park is Anchorage's largest park. The 4,000-acre park is the place to explore true Alaskan wilderness within the city limits. An extensive and well-developed system of multi-use trails winds through miles of hilly forestland, with some trails leading right up to the Chugach Mountains. Take care when wandering alone in the forest, though, especially in the summertime--the park is home to brown and black bears, as well as moose and other wildlife. In the wintertime, you might find yourself sharing the trails with dog sled teams.

Article Written By Daniel H. Bailey

A professional outdoor photographer, trained recording engineer and freelance writer, Dan Bailey has written numerous articles and blog posts about the craft and business of photography and other media since 1996. His publications include Digital Photo Pro magazine and the Alaska Dispatch "Bush Pilot" blog. Bailey holds a Bachelor of Arts in music production and engineering from the Berklee College of Music.

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