In 1998 the UAF Trails Club obtained a $26,000 Recreational Trails Grant. Part of the match was money Jim Whisenhant (owner of Beaver Sports) donated. With that money the following projects were completed.
Lights Potato Field The poles had been installed under a prior project. We got free help from GVEA to put up the lights and string the cable.
Lights T-field Road Since we were close to maxing out the transformer these lights were smaller.
Built up T-field Road The low section of the road was barely passable soaking many a running shoe. A thick layer of brush was piled in the roadway and covered with typar. Then many loads of gravel were hauled in and spread over the typar. UAF then followed up and added typar and gravel to the next worst section up to t-field.
Vehicle Barriers There had been a long struggle to keep vehicles off the trail system. In the summer vehicles would go mud bogging and in the winter every trail would see unauthorized snowmachine traffic. Numerous half railroad ties were harvested from the abandoned luge run at Birch Hill and placed to block vehicles. Center pass gates were installed in 6 locations - some to keep vehicles and others to keep vehicles from straying off T-field Road.
Chip Trails The goal was to build a dry foot running loop out of the 6 - Mile Trail. Typar was laid down and hundreds of yards of wood chips hauled in garden carts to build trails over the swampy sections. As each section was completed a new worst section would be identified and another chip effort started.
In about 1999 we removed an old fence and constructed a new one along the edge of the power line clearing, the area we now call the "Practice Area" and it is used for the start of the Skiathon.
Ski Hut Upgrade
In about 2013 we helped pay for a project to bring the ceiling lower in the ski hut and add insulation and better lights. We then tried to get permission to work on the walls as a volunteer project which prompted UAF to remodel the hut into the nice warming hut we have today.
Smith Lake Connector
For many years we worked to establish a connection between the parking along Sheep Creek Road and Smith Lake. Finally in 2016 we managed to get UAF to move forward with a project. The new trail was hydro axed after the ground had frozen and with snowfall went into use. The club paid the hydro ax bill.
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