Two excellent hikes are accessible off the Old Glenn Highway east of Palmer. Heading north from downtown, go right on Arctic Avenue, which becomes the Old Glenn Highway. Just beyond the bridge across the Matanuska River, go left onto Clark-Wolverine Road, then continue about a mile until the next junction. Take a right on Huntley Road, go about a mile, bear right at the fork, and then drive 0.25 miles to the trailhead for Lazy Mountain. It’s a two-mile hike to the summit of this 3,270-foot mountain with views of the Matanuska Valley.
A better view and a shorter hike are to the top of Bodenberg Butte (881 feet). Keep going south on the Old Glenn Highway, pass the first right onto the Loop Road, and take the second right. A parking lot ($3) is 0.25 miles up the road, and a 40-minute huff rewards you with a 360-degree view of the farm-filled valley, Chugach, the Talkeetnas, Knik Glacier, and some of the uncleared forest, which graphically illustrates what the colonists confronted in “clearing the land.”
Swimming is available at Palmer High School’s indoor pool (1170 W. Arctic Ave., 907/745-5091). The Palmer Golf Course (907/745-4653, www.cityofpalmer.org) is an 18-hole course on Lepak Avenue along the Matanuska River.
The Mat-Su Miners (907/745-6401, www.matsuminers.org) play semiprofessional baseball on the Alaska State Fairgrounds throughout the summer. They’re part of the Alaska Baseball League.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition