Connecting Eagle River to the Coast
Chugach Mountain Bike Riders is working with Chugiak-Eagle River Parks and Rec to develop a cost-effective design to bring hikers-bikers-dog walkers-skijorers and other non-motorized users around the west side of Beach Lake to the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet.
We are tasked with protecting the existing dog mushing opportunities, while offering an ADA-accessible trail that will be supported by our fiscally conservative community.
The original proposal can be seen at https://cmbralaska.org/2022/11/09/beach-lake-trail-connecting-eagle-river-to-the-coast/
Alternative F: Two Crossing Solution.
Keep all the mushing trail corridors, but move the inner mushing trail away from the lake edge, then add a multiuse trail 25′ back from the lake. Build a new mushing connection 250′ away from the portage trail between the lake and inlet. Install fencing and gates (or chicanes) to stop casual crossing of the mushing trails.
This Alternative does not give the preferred 100′ separation between uses, and is not a grade separated crossing, but should satisfy all other goals within the grant funding available.
Alternative G: Summer-Only ADA Coastal Access
Upgrade existing social hiking trails to ADA standards
Beach Lake Lodge at the south end of Beach Lake provides barrier-free recreation to ADA standards. The current ADA multiuse trail ends after 1/4 mile where the proposed winter gate is shown on the map.
The mushing trails are open to multiuse in the summer, and while hikers can access the inlet and this trail system through a spider-web of skinny social trails (or bushwhacking through the forest), the inlet is not accessible from the ADA parking lot.
This is a minimal build alternative that does not alter any mushing trail routes, but upgrades existing social hiking trails to ADA standards.