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Contact: Sharon Stiteler, 907-683-9583
The National Park Service (NPS) proposes constructing approximately 17 miles of trail in the frontcountry of Denali National Park. The area proposed for trail development is the non-wilderness area of the park between the George Parks Highway and the Nenana River on the very eastern margin of Denali National Park. The proposal includes:
- 8 miles of multiuse trail roughly parallel to the George Parks Highway
- 9 miles of hiking-only trail primarily following the Nenana River
- Two of the 17 miles to be designed for universal accessibility
- A pedestrian and bicycle bridge crossing Riley Creek to connect the trail system to the existing Riley Creek Day Use area at the Park Road entrance
An environmental assessment (EA) describing and analyzing this proposal as well as several alternatives can be found online at https://www.nps.gov/dena/getinvolved/plan-nenana-river-trails.htm
Members of the public are invited to provide comments on the Nenana River Trails EA March 1–30, 2023. Written comments can be submitted online on the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) site during the public comment period. Although PEPC is the preferred method for comment submission, comments may also be mailed to the park by March 30. The mailing address for comments is:
Denali National Park
PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755
Two informational meetings about the EA will be held with the same information presented at both meetings:
- Thursday, March 9, in person, 6-7:30 pm at the Murie Science and Learning Center in Denali National Park
- Friday, March 10, virtual, 6-7:30 pm via Microsoft Teams (Options for joining the virtual meeting)
Trail development in this frontcountry, non-wilderness area of the park was originally proposed in the late 1990s, and has been discussed several times in recent years during broad-scope trails and transportation planning efforts. Although the area of the park between the George Parks Highway and the Nenana River is easily accessible and close to other infrastructure, large portions retain a primarily natural setting. The purpose of providing developed recreational opportunities here is to encourage many visitors to interact with the landscape of the park in a way that does not depend on access to the Park Road and does not impact wilderness. In addition to expanding what is available to park visitors, these developed recreational opportunities are also intended to enhance multimodal connections to the park and increase universally accessible recreational opportunities in Denali.
The NPS anticipates a final decision in spring 2023, with possible project implementation beginning as early as summer 2023.
For more information about the Nenana River Trails EA, please visit the Nenana River Trails webpage. Questions can be directed to Jennifer Johnston, Outdoor Recreation Planner.
Last updated: March 1, 2023