Enjoy spring weather with no contact outdoor activities

Spring has finally arrived in Alaska. The snow is melting and temperatures are reaching the 30s and 40s. Even with the current COVID-19, Anchorage community members can still enjoy this time of year.

Flattop is a very popular hiking spot that offers many opportunities for walking and hiking. Photo by Gabby Vance

A hunker down order was issued by Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz on March 20 and will be in effect until April 14. Everyone in the municipality of Anchorage is instructed to stay home as much as possible except to work in critical jobs, receive health care and to get fresh air without contacting others..

Several ways of getting out of the house for fresh air with no contact include:

Bike Riding

Going on a leisurely bike ride in a more isolated part of your neighborhood or on one of the many biking trails in Anchorage can be a great way to get some light exercise and enjoy the spring weather. There is no need for any person-to=person contact during this activity. All you need is a bike, some music if you choose and the beautiful Alaskan scenery.

A few trails around town include:

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail — This is an 11-mile paved trail that offers parking in nearby parks. The trail starts at Second Avenue in downtown and ends in Kincaid Park.

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Bird to Gird Pathway — This paved biking path is 13 miles long and features many opportunities to see wildlife. The trail starts near the intersection of the Seward and Alyeska highways and runs along the Turnagain Arm.

Campbell Creek Greenbelt — The trail runs for 7.5 miles and is mostly asphalt and dirt. There are viewing platforms and city parks along the way from Tudor Road to Dimond Boulevard.

Running or Walking

A run or walk can be a nice, simple activity to take part in while still practicing social distancing. Any of the previously mentioned trails also make good walking or running trails while providing scenery. The addition of music or a furry friend can make this excursion even more fun. Even just a walk around the neighborhood is a good opportunity to get some fresh air.

Hiking

If you’re feeling more adventurous or want a more vigorous outdoor workout, a hike could be a good option. Hiking will put you in the middle of Alaskan wildlife and give you some great views and photo opportunities.

Thunderbird Falls (25321 Old Glenn Highway Chugiak, AK) — This 1-mile trek is a fairly easy hike that goes through a birch forest and ends at a 200-foot waterfall.

Flattop Mountain (3101 Glen Alps Road Anchorage, AK) — Flattop offers many opportunities for hikers to choose between climbing the 1,350 vertical foot trail to the summit, walking from the parking lot to the overlook, hiking 5 miles to Williwaw Lake or climbing 5.5 miles to Wolverine Peak.

Eagle River Nature Center (32750 Eagle River Road Eagle River, AK) — The nature center is located within Chugach State Park and includes multiple hiking trails. Roadkills, Dew Mound and Albert Loop are all accessible from the center.

When partaking in any outdoor activities, be sure to stay safe and healthy. Remember to wash your hands before and after any outdoor venture and bring hand sanitizer with you if you can. Take snacks and water along to limit having to stop at any shops along the way.

For more updates about the hunker down order and COVID-19 in Anchorage, visit muni.org.