Kenai Peninsula Cross Country Skiing

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Cross Country Skiing

Distance: 3 miles

This 10-mile cir­cuit of dif­fer­ent loop trails is well-main­tained and makes for fun hik­ing and ski­ing. Look for access from the park­ing lot at the Kenai Nation­al Wildlife Refuge Vis­i­tor Cen­ter, where there are bath­rooms and out­door port-a-pot­ties. If you come here to ski, warm up inside the cen­ter, next to the soap­stone mason­ry heater.

In sum­mer, the trails are open to all kinds of foot-pow­ered recre­ation — walk­ing, run­ning, hik­ing, bik­ing, pho­to­shoots, wildlife watch­ing and berry-pick­ing. There’s even an 18-hole disc golf course. K‑9 feet are wel­come, too. In win­ter, locals hit the trails for cross-coun­try ski­ing and fat-tire bik­ing. There are more than 25 kilo­me­ters of groomed ski trails, per­fect for clas­sic and skate cross-coun­try skiing.

An annu­al New Year’s Eve tra­di­tion, the Lumi­nary Ski is a free com­mu­ni­ty event on the Divide Ski Trails (at Mile 12 of the Seward High­way). The trails are lit by can­dle­light, and you can walk, snow­shoe, or ski, depend­ing on your pref­er­ence. Hot cocoa, cider, and a camp­fire are provided.

Bear Lake is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for cross coun­try ski­ing (both skate and clas­sic), ski­jor­ing, skat­ing, and snow­ma­chin­ing. Groomed entire­ly by vol­un­teers, the trail fol­lows along the perime­ter of the lake and amounts to rough­ly 5 miles.

Known to locals as the Divide Ski Area, this trail was built by ded­i­cat­ed com­mu­ni­ty vol­un­teers from the Seward Nordic Ski Club.

The Raven’s Way Loop is accessed from the Ster­ling High­way. You will see the Trail­head and large park­ing lot. The trail mean­ders through open spruce and muskeg ter­rain and there it is a great chance to see lots of eagles and ravens.

Most of the loops in the camp­ground are groomed for cross coun­try ski­ing. Start­ing with the main road into the camp­ground and cross the bridge to see beau­ti­ful win­ter views up and down the riv­er. To access the trails, park before the first road clo­sure gate just off of the Seward Highway. 

This is a triathalon event (not race) that takes place in Seward every spring. It begins with a 3km sec­tion at Mile 12 ski area. For this sec­tion par­tic­i­pants can either snow­shoe, use clas­sic skis or skate skis. Next is a 15 km bicy­cle ride to Seward from Mile 12, end­ing with a 6 km run to a spec­i­fied loca­tion on the Water­front Trail for a picnic. 

Difficulty: Moderate

The trail fol­lows the south end of Coop­er Lake and ends at Upper Russ­ian Lakes Cab­in, 13 miles from the win­ter trail­head. There is lit­tle ele­va­tion gain or loss on this forest­ed trail.

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