This small lake on the outskirts of Soldotna packs a big punch when it comes to activities.
“A.R.C.” stands for “Alaska Road Commission,” and this park—easily accessible from the Sterling Highway—is named for the workers stationed here who built the road to Homer. Developed as a park in the early 1980s, A.R.C. has been given new life over the past 10 years and is ready for its star turn. Here’s what to do there.
Enjoy the lake! Thanks to the placid waters, it’s a great spot for canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, even paddleboard yoga. Parking is close to the shore, so you won’t have to haul your canoe very far. You can also go fishing for stocked Arctic grayling. Or bring a picnic and enjoy it at one of the picnic tables along the shore.
The colder months are just as lively as the warmer ones. There’s a skating loop on the lake’s perimeter, as well as several skating areas on the lake – ideal for a game of pick-up hockey. Just be prepared: As you make your way onto the ice, you may have to wait for the local caribou to cross!
The City offers free public skates Saturday afternoons, ice conditions dependent, December through February. If you don’t have your own skates, the local sports center brings several pairs to the lake to borrow for free. You’ll see fire pits on the ice, and some other warming fires around the perimeter. Once or twice a year, they even offer a movie on ice, thanks to a big screen set up so you can watch while skating!
It’s also a great spot to try your hand at ice fishing, or go cross-country skiing.