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Ranger Led Hike on Horseshoe Lake Trail

Horseshoe Lakes Trail Improvements and Additions

Denali National Park and Preserve » Horseshoe Lakes Trail Improvements and Additions » Document List

A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) had been signed for this project (FONSI can be found by clicking on documents link to the left). The selected alternative will extend the Horseshoe Lake Trail around the lake and along the Nenana River. One bridge, one log puncheon, and two short sections of boardwalk will be constructed. The existing planks leading to the peninsula area will be removed and signs used to deter traffic from the peninsula to prevent further impacts to wildlife and the large active beaver lodge located adjacent to it. A trail to an overlook will be created along an existing social trail on the ridge south of the lake. Social trails will be revegetated and signed to encourage visitors to remain on the maintained trail.

The 1.5 mile-long Horseshoe Lake Trail is utilized by over 200 visitors per day in the peak season. It was constructed in 1940, the park's first established trail, and in 2013 was determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Horseshoe Lake is an oxbow lake, an abandoned channel of the Nenana River, and provides habitat for a variety of wildlife. The lake and surrounding area gives visitors opportunities to see moose, beaver, and many bird species. Anglers also hike in for the small fish in the lake. The trailhead is located at the railroad crossing (Mile 1) on the Denali Park Road.

Seventy years of high use has degraded the existing trail, and portions are eroding. 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.

Contact Information
For additional information about the project please contact Dan Ostrowski, Project Lead at 907-683-9557 or dan_ostrowski@nps.gov; or Paula Homan, Project Planning Lead, at 907-683-6223 or paula_homan@nps.gov.