Skilak Lake can be seen from Hideout Trail in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on July 5, 2020 in Alaska. (Photograph by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Skilak Lake can be seen from Hideout Trail in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on July 5, 2020 in Alaska. (Photograph by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Refuge wraps up work on new trail

A new trail connecting the Burney’s and Hideout routes is set to be finished toward the end of September.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is finishing up its big summer of trail work.

While crews made headway on work throughout the refuge, an effort to connect Burney’s and Hideout trails in the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area is set to be finished toward the end of September.

Burney’s trailhead is across from campsite #7 on the Skyview Loop at the Hidden Lake campground in the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area. Hideout’s trailhead is on the north side of Skilak Lake Road, approximately 1.25 miles east of the turnoff to the Hidden Lake campground, according to refuge maps.

“It’s a really significant project,” Park Ranger Leah Eskelin said Tuesday of the new 2.5-mile trail.

Work on the new trail will be put on a short pause since the crew members working on it were called to the Lower 48 on fire assignment. Eskelin said they leave Friday.

But, she said, some new trails take several seasons to get finished and so the refuge is excited to see this one come to fruition.

“It’s cut in but it’s not cleaned up or signed yet,” Eskelin said.

Once it’s ready, she said there will be an opening day for recreational use around National Public Lands Day.

Eskelin said she expects the public will get some use out of the trail before full winter sets in.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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