One of Soldotna’s gems is Centennial Park, which is home to Centennial Campground in some gorgeous Alaskan wilderness. It’s such a beautiful area that in 2016, the Parks & Rec department decided to make it even easier to access, by connecting some trails into a 1.5-mile loop.
The Centennial Campground Loop Trail is a great place for a walk right in town at any time of year. It’s well-trafficked, well-marked, wide, and easy for most people to use. The trail is busiest in summer—especially the part near the campground where anglers access the Kenai River—and a little quieter during the other seasons.
In winter, a community member volunteers to clear snow off the walking path, making it easy for hikers or dog walkers to enjoy. You’ll also find a few figure 8 loops in the campground itself that are groomed for skiing and fat biking
There are two main access points. The first is at the Visitor Center. Park there, walk down the boardwalk, and then connect to the trail (this adds ¼ mile). Or you can park at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.
Don’t miss the Homestead Museum along the trail; check out the old homestead cabins and boats. If it’s closed, you can still read the plaques, or listen to the motion-sensored speakers (in operation during the warmer months) that talk about the significance of each building.
The Centennial Trail is also part of a “10,000 steps” health program. One loop around the Centennial Trail is 5,280 steps; walk it twice and you’ll hit your goal! You’ll find signage along the way telling you how far you’ve gone. It’s encouraged the community to get moving, and it will motivate you, too!