Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Taku Lake Beaver and Campbell Creek Bike Trail Improvements

Riding home on the Campbell Creek bike trail from last night's book club meeting near Campbell Lake, I saw a big brown lump swimming through the water of Taku Lake carrying a good sized piece of wood in its mouth.

It was clear that he had been busy for a while.  There were quite a few of these chewed off tree stumps. 

A couple of big cottonwoods showed the early chewing of a beaver, but someone had put wire around the trunk before it got too far.

The beaver disappeared under the water where the chewed tree goes into the water.

The Campbell Creek trail ends (for me, begins for others) in the southwest near Victor and Dimond.  It's a great diagonal commuting trail for anyone going from that area - Dimond High is near that end too - to the Alaska Native Medical Center on Tudor past Elmore or spots in-between.  From Dimond to ANMC it's through the woods with occasional views of houses or businesses and there are only three spots where the trail abruptly ends to cross a street - Dowling, Seward Highway, and Lake Otis. 

They've already begun work at Dowling.  According to a Department of Transportation document   they will "replace Campbell Creek Bridge, install a new traffic signal at C Street, re-align the Campbell Creek Trail to go under the new bridge. . .

The picture is of the trail yesterday, from north of Dowling.  A new trail goes up to the left.  I think it will go to the new trail along Dowling, and the old trail will go under the new bridge and no longer cross the street.  The orange fencing on the right of the picture is where they are re-aligning the creek.

The infamous 'gap' under the New Seward Highway where you had to carefully maneuver you bike under four bridges of rocky trail (I see that some of the pictures have vanished from that post, I'll try to recover them soon) and sometimes high water, is now being changed into official bike trail.  They are going to raise each of the four bridges (north and south parts of the highway and the frontage roads).  Here's a shot from the east side of the Seward Highway from last week.    The project engineer told me that the September 2014 completion date will be for landscaping, but the trail should be complete by September 2013.

They've blocked it with a big chain link fence.

The only place you'll have to cross a street is at Lake Otis.  Either a few side streets to get to the tunnel or if you go directly, Lake Otis itself. 

The Seward Highway is less than 1/4 mile west of this map.

For now, the best option (going southwest) seems to be to go to Tudor and back up Old Seward Highway to the Peanut Farm or Arctic Roadrunner to pick up the trail again. 


  1. When you talked about the beaver reminds me one time that I was riding and saw a very strange animal, so I folded my folding bike and went to take a picture of him. Never figured out what animal it was so cute! Since then I never go out without my camera!

  2. Too late to save those trees from the beavers... with that much bark gone, they will die sooner or later, either from insect infestation in the wound or from reduced nutrients.

    And the beavers are strong enough to move the wire away and keep chewing. The only way to stop them is to trap them and move them.

  3. Time to trot out the best, and my favourite, quote from Gov. Walter J, Hickel, the great man himself. And given this photo spread -- proof he was right: "You can't let nature run wild!"

    Dam(n) beavers. You'd think they live here or something'.


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