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Bike, walk, or ski the moose, parks foundation promoting Anchorage-wide loop

Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 8:49 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - In 2020, Anchorage’s trail system saw a pretty big bump in traffic.

“The traffic department measures that trail use is up, overall, 15%,” said Beth Nordlund, executive director of the Anchorage Parks Foundation. “That’s a 26% increase in pedestrian use, and an 8% increase in cyclist use.”

Data from the department comes with the rider that the exact reasons for that increase is still up for interpretation, but with a global pandemic forcing people to find new ways to get exercise and relieve some mental stress, Nordlund said she has a theory.

“We’re working from home, so I doubt it’s commuter numbers that are up,” she said. “I think we’re getting out to just get outside, get some exercise.”

And with so many more people out enjoying Anchorage’s trail system, the foundation is trying to promote a 32-mile, city-wide loop, in the shape of a familiar sight along those very same trails.

“It’s the shape of a moose, and Anchorage loves its moose!” Nordlund said.

The loop connects popular spots like the Coastal, Campbell Creek, and Ship Creek trails, with a few connecting routes to take commuters around the perimeter of Anchorage. The concept isn’t new, but Nordlund said there’s a new push to get people out on it. You can even get a free moose loop sticker if you tell the foundation you finished the loop.

“When you use our system of trails, when you bike the moose, when you ski the moose, when you walk on the moose, you are saving a car trip, you are working on your own health, and you are promoting clean air,” she said.

She added that three of the trails within that loop, are on the parks and recreation bond for 2021.

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