Kincaid/Point Campbell Park
One of Anchorage’s most developed parks, Kincaid Park remains a prime area for exercise and outdoor recreation year round. Whether you are just in the mood for a picnic, or you are looking for an easy hiking trail with hopes of seeing wildlife, or you would like to take on the Tony Knowles Coastal Bicycle Trail from the South End, Kincaid plays host for any number of adventures. And in the winter there are so many cross country skiing trails (some lighted) that we have not yet been able to try them all. From relatively flat terrain to rolling hills, the park features groomed trails for every ability. The park is open from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. every day. There is no charge to use any of the facilities, trails, etc. Find a free copy of the trail map for Kincaid in the chalet pictured above. You can also purchase the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage's map here for all the Anchorage cross country ski areas.
To find Kincaid Park, head south from downtown Anchorage on L Street and continue to follow this road as it turns into Minnesota. Take the Raspberry Road exit. Follow Raspberry west and just keep going. Just after you pass the Federal Communications Commission building there will be a fork in the road with a big wooden sign on the hill above announcing that you can enter the park in either direction.
Turn right at the fork onto the dirt road and follow the road until it ends in a parking lot. Here you can find Little Campbell Lake. The only “development” this small pristine body of water has seen has been the little dock that is perfect for launching a canoe or kayak, or for sitting on to admire the beauty of the surrounding forest. One can also find access to the wonderful hiking/mountain bike trails that meet the lake and wind through Kincaid Park. Claimjumper and I have enjoyed hiking the trail to the south of the lake several times. We found two geocaches when hiking this trail. The first one, Relay for Life, is only a short distance from the parking lot. The second one, Nothin' Fancy, we located by taking one of the moose trails through the woods, but found an easier path back to the parking lot once we collected our loot and logged our find.
Head strait at the fork and continue on the paved road and you will gain even greater access to the Park. There are parking places every now and then on the right hand side of the road. There is also a short dirt road on the right that leads to the archery range in the middle of the park. If you are an archer, give the developed course a try. Look for the small green sign reading “Northwest Archery Target Range” that marks this road. Drive up to the gate, and then walk along the road. Walk past the competition field and look for black, white and red “Archery” signs on the left side of the road. Follow these signs down a trail. Bear to the right and you will come to a map board showing the distance target fields, as well as the route through the course. All along the course there are burlap bags filled with straw. The archer’s challenge is to see how quickly they can move through the course, finding and hitting each of these targets. There are “Do Not Enter” signs along the trails to the archery. These are warnings to hikers that this is not a safe area. All archers are welcome, but it is a good idea to wear red or orange while in the range.
Traveling all the way to the end of the paved road, you will come to the Kincaid/Point Campbell Chalet. This facility features indoor bathrooms, water, tables to eat and a park information desk where maps of the park trails can be purchased. On top of the Chalet there is a huge deck, which plays host to barbecues in the summer and spectacular views of Mount Susitna year round. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail can be found to the left of the Chalet. The grounds surrounding the chalet are ideal for picnics. From here wonderful hiking/mountain biking/cross country ski trails lead off in about every direction. Along these trails we have spotted moose and porcupines and even an owl. Geocaches can be found along various trails in all directions. I recommend the Eagle View cache off the Mize Loop trial. It is not far from Pia-Margrethe's Overlook. During the summer this overlook becomes an immaculate garden of dozens of gorgeous flowers and benches facing the amazing views across Cook Inlet.
At the parking lot on the right side of the road just before the road curves to the left and comes to the Chalet, there is a smaller parking lot with a huge map board. This map is excellent for showing the trails that lead away from the parking lot. If you are coming to cross country ski we recommend heading out from this parking lot, choosing the trail that best accommodates your interests (lots of ups and downs or relatively flat). This map can be purchased inside the Chalet. Some of the trails from this parking lot are lighted. So if you are skiing in the afternoon, we recommend using the lighted trails as the sun sets early and quickly in the winter.
One of the reasons that I enjoy Kincaid Park so much is that it is not a park built on a flat stretch of land. The terrain features really funky contours making it challenging and fun. Also, there are no other roads or highways nearby, so you feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere on these trails. Except for the occasional airplane, there is no sound but your own breathing. Kincaid Park remains a wonderful place to connect with the natural surroundings and take fantastic pictures!
Last Visited: May 2008