Lookout Mountain Recreation Area STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 UPDATE

 

EXISTING CONDITIONS – Lookout

Trailheads, Parking, Facilities, Signs, Plowing:

Hayfields- Users park and access the Lookout Hayfields on Olson Mountain Road.  Parking is parallel to the road beginning at Harbinson Road, on the Hayfields side.  A concerted effort is made to minimize parking on Olson Mt Rd.  There is parking for 20-30 vehicles or less vehicles with a few buses. Parking lot is blown out or plowed by Lisa/ Pete Beck. Signage includes a blue State ‘Trailhead’ sign is at the intersection of Skyline and Olson Mt. Rd, a hand-painted sandwich board indication ‘Slow, Skiers’ for one entrance to the parking lot, two signs, recently painted by Marie Alexson, indicating ‘Lookout Mountain Recreation Area’ at the main access to the trails from the parking lot.  A fire pit and small table near some trees, close to the parking lot provide some warming and ability to provide refreshment. An outhouse is located approximately between the Hayfields and the new trails (on the South side of Harbinson road).

 

Lower Trails-  Access to the new stadium and trails is currently the same as for the Hayfields.  Some more convenient access for events additional access has been provided from Lisa/ Pete Beck’s property on Harbinson road.    A firepit and flat area serve to provide some warming and refreshment during events. 

 

Olsen Mt. Rd access-  much needed improvements to Olsen Mt. Road are being addressed by DOT.  KNSC needs to provide vocal support in favor of funding the very necessary road upgrade.  **** we do need to remember that this could be a problem this year and that we need to support it long-term. 

 

Trails, Description, Ownership, Equipment:

Hayfields- The ‘upper trails’ at the Lookout Mountain Recreation Area, the Hayfields provide a 2- 2.5 K loop that is relatively flat, a short flat loop with an extender trail to the west.  South end of the Hayfield loop connects into the perimeter trail and the lower stadium and tunnel.  The tunnel provides for foot traffic into the stadium for events and skier traffic the rest of the time. There is some fencing up over the tunnel. Doug Schweisow’s trailer has provided for some storage and is parked near Olson Mt. Rd.

 

 

Lower Trails-  the newest addition to the KNSC trail system was designed by Bill Spencer and implemented by KNSC in 2007/2008 with the support of Seabright Survey, and ATI Grant Funds.  A stadium large enough for mass starts and with spectator access combined with technical, ‘homologated’ loops provide the ‘groundwork’ for a world class race venue. 7.5 km of trails make over 160 acres of park very accessible. 

 

 

OwnershipThe ‘Hayfields’ are designated as recreational lands, owned and managed by the State of Alaska, University of Alaska Anchorage.  Kachemak Nordic Ski Club has an agreement to manage the Hayfields as ski trails.  Kachemak Nordic Ski Club has a 10 year, renewable lease with the Kenai Peninsula Borough for the lower stadium and trails.  The value of ski trails that we have the power to develop and maintain should not be underestimated.  The fact that these trails exist where there is the most dependable snow in the state makes this an opportunity we would be remiss not to make the most of. 

 

Equipment  there are an average of 2 snow machines at Lookout, depending on equipment availability, repair etc.  A wing, roller, track-setter, black drag and fuel barrel are all located at the private residence of Pete Beck/Lisa Wood. 

 

 

Events

 

Ski for Women                                             

Ski for Women Clinics 2009

Kachemak Marathon 

Junior Nordic 

High School/Middle School Race Venue

       (2-4 meets/year) 

Citizens race

Grooming Clinic 2008

PSIA Skier Development clinics 2008

Besh Cup 2010

                                                                                 

                           

Junior Nordic- 40-60 kid participate annually in KNSC’s Junior Nordic program.  Established in 1999, the high school and middle school teams have been benefitting from more experienced skiers ever since.  Some eight year olds are in their fifth year skiing!  It is so fun to see their ownership in the sport!   

Homer Women’s Nordic-  KNSC’s newest and possibly most successful program, Homer Women’s Nordic has been making men jealous since 2007.  Coach Megan Corazaa leads an inspiring team of aspiring women skiers, making a presence on a state-wide level.

HHS Mariner Ski Team–  more successful than ever, the mariners are afforded excellent training at Lookout Mountain Recreation Area.  Consistent snow, excellent, challenging trails, these skiers know they will have the training they need to tackle any course. 

HMS Ski Team-  a wide range of experience levels are all accommodated and managed easily at LMRA. 

 

At Lookout Mountain, world-class terrain, user friendly beginner trails and consistent conditions, serve the events and programs of the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club beautifully.  Over 10 on-snow events hosted by KNSC happened at Lookout in 2008/2009! Completing this venue will allow us to meet our mission and vision and provide for the needs of the Nordic skiing community for years to come, enabling the development of other club resources in diverse directions. 

 

NEEDS ASSESSMENT – Lookout Mountain Recreation Area

Short Term Goals – Lookout:

  • 1. Trailhead – parking – access – plowing

a. Additional parking is needed to complete the basic venue.  One grant was applied for unsuccessfully.   Approximate cost? *attach this grant

b.  Plowing contract: currently 1-2 K/year

 

  • 2. Facilities – Outhouses
    • a. Need timing shelter- **cat house available from the city $ 2K to transport- set-up at Lookout.
    • b. Warming shelter- **pole barn $15, 500 pole barn or portable shelter
    • c. Outhouses/Restrooms -winter rental as a short term solution. There may be highway funding available. Check with Paul Seaton.
    • d. Electricity- 2-4 K
    • e. Log Cabin- consider moving and restoration
    • f. Equipment storage- portable shelter/pole barn would double as equipment shelter except during events.

 

  • 3. Signage – maps – kiosks
    • a. Before Marathon/Festivi-Ski- Jenny has signs ready to go
    • b. Before next season- Kiosks- Jenny Edwards (sign committee) has a design for kiosk. Find out and budget for 1 (one) or 2 (two) kiosks to be built.
    • c. Selling advertising on map- Advertising on map, around border, could be sold to pay for bulk printing of the map. We will complete the map design first and use it to sell advertising for next season.
    • d. Commemorative map (without advertising) available during the Marathon/Dedication. New map will include Hayfields.

 

  • 4. Trails-
    • a. Some easy connector trails could be built to increase combination options
    • b. Some catwork will be needed to remove hummocks. Could happen in conjunction with parking. Eric Shafford definitely has commitment to the project. An outstanding balance to Eric Shafford is requested paid immediately. Fundraising will still cover this over-budget item.

 

  • 5. Programs/Events/Education
    • a. Develop Junior Nordic to program status. Provide more support for coaches, including membership to PSIA. Define job description for JN organizer.
    • b. Snow machine education. Develop groomers. Educate recreational snowmachiners to respect trails. 
    •  ‘Certify’ the Lookout Mountain trails as homologated to international race standards.  Only 4 places in the U.S. are certified, including Soldier Hollow.  This is a process of application and review that we are just beginning. 

 

  • 6. Systems Development- A priority should be to create systems for simplifying regular tasks
    • a. plowing/ grooming
    • b. equipment maintenance
    • c. event/venue preparation
    • d. ski hotline
    • e. event promotion
    • f. fundraising

 

Immediate needs:

  • 1. Pay Eric Shafford
  • 2. Order grass seed
  • 3. Plan for accepting and moving ‘cat-house’ for a timing shelter.

 

Short-term goals Summary:  

       1. Parking-  see grant application.  

2. Electricity-  seek out money saving options including using Beck’s    transformer.

       3. Warming/waxing shelter- pole barn or portable shelter.

       4. Timing shack- cathouse available now

 

Besh Cup 2010 is, as originally anticipated, a reasonable goal to have Lookout functioning as a race venue with minimal but adequate amenities. 

 

Providing a functional event and program venue is necessary for completing our mission, as outlined in our items of incorporation and strategic plan. Having already created a world-class trail system, attained long-term stewardship of the land, and logged a year of successful events, only a few steps remain at securing this investment in the future of KNSC, Homer and the entire Nordic community.  Let’s make this happen together!