MCNEIL CANYON AND EVELINE STATE RECREATION SITE TRAILS 2011 STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATED *

Meeting date: Feb. 8, 2011

Molly Brann, Dave Brann, Derek Stonorov, Pete Swanson, Doug Reed, Kevin Walker, Nicky Szarzi

MCNEIL CANYON TRAILS EXISTING CONDITIONS

Trailheads, parking, facilities, signs, plowing:

McNeil Canyon Trailhead is at mile 12 East End Road adjacent to the school parking lot. A Nordic Ski Area highway sign is observable to easterly traveling vehicles. The lower parking lot at the school is available for parking. A KNSC storage shed is at the trailhead with a sign and bulletin board. The parking lot is plowed by the School District.

McNeil Canyon School and is supportive of skiing and provides ski opportunities at recess and after school for students. They have a large collection of skis, boots and poles for student use. These were purchased with funds from the Community Site Council and the Snomads.

Trails, Description, ownership, equipment:

The KNSC has developed and maintains a winter trail system at McNeil Canyon. The system is approximately 8 km plus a 1 k sprint loop. The School has developed an additional 3 km loop on school grounds. The Eveline State Recreation Site trails can be accessed from the McNeil trailhead with a 3 km connecting trail. Including the 5 km of trails at Eveline there is a total of 20 km of winter trails in the area.

A Stadium, with a start/finish area, is on school grounds. The school is available as a warming building and staging area for races and events.

No preferred skiing direction is designated or type of skiing is noted. Skiers are allowed to ski with dogs. Snowshoers are asked to stay to the side of the trail.

Land ownership is a combination of Kenai Peninsula Borough and KPB School District lands. A formal MOA is signed with the Borough. The KNSC has an agreement with the school to groom and maintain the trails.

A 4-stroke snow machine, a 2-stroke snow machine, a power Ginzu Groomer, roller, drag and track setter are stored on KPBSD property.


MCNEIL CANYON TRAILS

NEEDS ASSESSMENT

Short Term Goals: McNeil:

1. Trailhead – access – plowing

a. Build a grooming machine storage building to store equipment in a secure location.

2. Facilities – Outhouses – Lighted trails

a. Establish a training program for parent volunteers and coaches.

b. Install KPB approved outhouse.

c. Provide a picnic table or bench at the scenic overlook.

d. Develop a lighted loop.

3. Signage – maps – kiosks

a. Name loops and install permanent trail signs.

b. GPS trail changes and update maps.

c. Install a kiosk to post information about parking, dog etiquette, and snowshoe etiquette.

4. MOA – Permanent Trail Easements

a. Revise MOA with KPB when changes in the trail are made.

5. Trails – Bridges

a. Upgrade trails to mow in summer and fall.

b. Remove hazard trees.

c. Add a .5 km hayfield loop for scenic options.

d. Build a bridge over the creek on the backside of the 5 km loop.

e. Identify land-owners, get MOAs to develop a trail to Bald Mountain.

f. Research the feasibility of a touring trail from McNeil to Lookout

6. Equipment

a. Maintain equipment as needed.

b. Contract with a piston bully operator for occasional grooming

Long Term Goals: McNeil

1. Trailhead – Access – Parking

2. Facilities – Outhouses – Lighted trails

3. Signage – Maps – Kiosks

4. MOA Permanent Trail Easements

5. Trails – Bridges

a. Develop a signed snowshoe trail.

6. Equipment

a. Purchase a piston bully.

b. Hire maintenance/operator person.


EVELINE STATE RECREATION SITE TRAILS

EXISTING CONDITIONS

Trailheads, parking, facilities, signs, plowing:

Eveline State Recreation Site winter trails can be accessed with the Connecting Trail from McNeil Canyon School or from the Alpine Meadows Drive trailhead approximately 1.5 miles east of McNeil Canyon School. Summer trails are accessed from Alpine Meadows Drive.

The Alpine Meadows Drive parking lot is adjacent to the road and has room for 10 – 12 vehicles. There is a bridge across the ditch for pedestrian access.

An outhouse is located near the parking lot and a picnic table is on the trail in a scenic location. Trail registers and information are located at both entrances. A large attractive sign identifies Eveline State Recreation Site. Other State Park signs identify the area and name trails and loops. A memorial to Eveline Schuster is located near the trailhead and parking area. The Borough plows the parking lot on Alpine Meadows Drive.

Winter Trails – Description, ownership, equipment:

The 80-acre Eveline State Recreation Site is owned by Alaska State Parks and is managed by the KNSC for non-motorized recreation. The highest point is about 1450 feet elevation. The high elevation makes this an area with early season skiing potential.

A written Memorandum of Understanding has been in effect since Feb. 1, 2001. Edmund Schuster donated 60 acres to create the State Recreation Site in memory of his wife Eveline in 1999. Later, he donated an additional 20 acres. The Eveline State Recreation Site was officially dedicated to the memory of Eveline Schuster in a special ceremony in June 2007.

The 3 km Connecting Trail from McNeil Canyon School is located on a section line and a permanent trail easement given by Mr. Schuster. The Eveline system has about 5 km of winter trails. The trail is groomed from the McNeil trailhead. Winter use includes snowshoeing and skiing with or without dogs.

Summer Trails – Description:

Part of the winter trail system is maintained for summer use. A 3 km loop is mowed for an easy walking or jogging trail. The area has magnificent wild flowers and scenic views of the glaciers across the Bay. A short accessible trail goes from the trailhead to a viewing platform and picnic table.


EVELINE STATE RECREATION SITE

NEEDS ASSESSMENT

Short Term Goals: Eveline:

1. Trailhead – access – plowing

2. Facilities – Outhouses – Lighted trails

a. Improve picnic area with platform for wheel chair access.

b. Upgrade to an accessible picnic table.

c. Establish benches at scenic spots.

3. Signage – maps – kiosks

a. Install permanent signs.

b. Install kiosk to post information.

c. GPS Eveline loops and connections.

d. Update map.

4. MOA – Permanent Trail Easements

5. Trails – Bridges

a. Upgrade crossing trails to allow grooming earlier in the season. Cut willow, brush and trees as necessary to widen and level the trail.

b. Upgrade the picnic table loop to accessible trail standards.

c. Mow trails in summer and fall.

d. Remove hazard trees.

e. Install boardwalks across muskegs.

f. Create interactive natural play equipment along trail.

g. Identify plants and birds and add interpretive information.

h. Make all loops suitable for 4-season trails.

i. Mark recreation area boundaries.

j. Develop a signed snowshoe trail.

6. Equipment (shared with McNeil)

Long Term Goals: Eveline:

1. Trailhead – Access – Parking

2. Facilities – Outhouses – Lighted trails

a. Add a yurt or ski hut for day use.

b. Upgrade outhouse.

3. Signage – Maps – Kiosks

4. MOA Permanent Trail Easements

5. Trails – Bridges

6. Equipment