Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is one of Anchorage’s highlights, a wonderful 11-mile asphalt track that wends its way along the shore from downtown past the airport to Kincaid Park at Point Campbell, where the Knik and Turnagain Arms meet. From downtown, the trail is accessible from the west ends of 2nd, 5th, and 9th Avenues, with additional access at Westchester Lagoon, Earthquake Park, Point Woronzof, and Kincaid.
Stroll the trail a ways, at least through the tunnel, beyond which you leave downtown behind and emerge into a new world: the grand sweep of the Arm, tidal flats, railroad tracks, and a residential neighborhood. On warm summer evenings this trail is more like a freeway, with people on every kind of wheels imaginable: bike riders, inline skaters, skateboarders, and babies in carriages. In winter they trade the wheels for skis.
The Coastal Trail gets especially crowded around duck-filled Westchester Lagoon, a mile south of downtown, which is also the city’s favorite wintertime ice skating rink.
A second paved path intersects the Coastal Trail at Westchester Lagoon, the Chester Creek Trail, which creates another greenbelt across Anchorage. This one heads east along the creek, continuing for five miles to the University of Alaska at Anchorage campus.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition