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"two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." -- Robert Frost

Friday, January 25, 2013

In and around Anchorage—Earthquake Park, Point Woronzof, and Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

Moose abound in Anchorage;
Photo provided by Visit Anchorage

Earthquake Park is located not far from Anchorage International Airport. The park provides an expansive walking and bicycling trail. On a day with great visibility, you can catch a wide panorama that includes Sleeping Lady, aka Mount Susitna, that lies across the Cook Inlet from Anchorage. 

You can also see the Alaska Range and even Denali, known outside of Alaska as Mount McKinley. 

The Park, on West Northern Lights Boulevard near Aircraft Drive, is fee-free and open daily. The trail system is dotted with interpretative signs to help you understand how the landscape was formed. It connects with the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Visitors should be advised that the park is frequently visited by wildlife, with moose sightings particularly common.

Anchorage skyline; photo provided by Visit Anchorage
The area where Earthquake Park now stands was once covered in homes. In 1964, when a 9.2 earthquake struck on Good Friday, more than 70 of the homes toppled into the Cook Inlet. The earthquake, North America’s largest recorded one, left $68 million in damages in its wake.

The airport strives to keep to moose off runways with high fences. When moose encounter the no-way-in fences, they tend to congregate. As a result, the area of the Trail adjacent to Point Woronzof can be wonderful for moose viewing from inside a vehicle. Keep a civil distance between you and moose.

Bicyclists photo provided by
Visit Anchorage
If you like to walk, jog or bicycle, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail offers a great opportunity to see Anchorage from the coastal perspective. The Trail follows the edge of the Knik Arm of the Cook Inlet and provides a number of logical places to start and stop explorations from Elderberry Park in the downtown area, to Westchester Lagoon or all the way to Earthquake Park. 

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