The National Park Service (NPS) intends to evaluate the impacts of making improvements and additions to the Horseshoe Lake Trail. The current trail to the picturesque Horseshoe Lake is approximately 1.5 miles long, and is very popular with park visitors. The lake provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, and visitors walking on the trail have opportunities to see moose, beaver, and several bird species. The footpath was constructed in 1940 as the park’s first established trail. The trailhead is located at the railroad crossing on the Denali Park road (Mile 1).
Sections of the trail are in poor condition. There are steep sections that are difficult for many visitors, and portions are eroding due to inadequate drainage. A network of social trails has developed around the lake and throughout the area, creating additional erosion and damage to sensitive wildlife habitat, including beaver dams and lodges.
Proposed changes may include:
- rehabilitation of social trails
- reconstruction of the existing Horseshoe Lake Trail to improve trail surface and drainage
- construction of a new loop trail to the Nenana River and around
Extending the trail to the Nenana River and around Horseshoe Lake would provide increased hiking opportunities for visitors and consolidate use, allowing the web of social trails to be rehabilitated. Maps showing proposed routes are available at the website below.
The NPS invites the public to submit written comments by Monday, March 19, 2012. Comments may be submitted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dena, faxed to 907-683-9612, or mailed to:
Denali National Park and Preserve
ATTN: Horseshoe Lake Trail
P.O. Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755