Switzer Creek path focus of Trail Day

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2001

The trail wending by Switzer Creek, into the woods and out again, is ready for some repairs.

Switzer Creek Loop Trail is a favorite for neighborhood birders, berry pickers and children going to and from Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School. But now fallen trees and branches block the way and parts of the trail are sinking into mud.

The two-mile trail will be spruced up June 2 as part of National Trails Day, an annual celebration of trails. Trail Mix and the Southeast Alaska Guidance Association are planning the volunteer workday and everyone is welcome to help spread gravel, remove windfalls and clean up trash along the trail and streams from 8:30 a.m. to noon. A community picnic will follow at Auke Rec from 1 to 3 p.m.

Switzer Creek Loop Trail fits the National Trails Day theme of "Saving The Trails: In Your Community." With three trailheads, at the corner of Sunset Street and Alaska Avenue, at the end of Lund Street, and at the end of Mountain Avenue, the Switzer Creek trail is a link through the community. The connecting Richard Marriott Trail provides a half-mile long route to Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School.

"It's the perfect trail for the theme," said Betsy Seguin, a Trail Mix member. "It's a neighborhood trail that needed some work."

The Switzer Creek trail also provides access to a salmon spawning stream. Areas of old growth and previously logged forest provide an easy comparison between the two, Seguin said.

The American Hiking Society coordinates National Trails Day to draw attention to pathways as an important part of the community infrastructure, providing immediate escape into the natural world and alternative routes for people wanting to go someplace without a car.

Nationwide, about 155 million people walk for pleasure, 93 million bicycle and 50 million hike on trails, according to the President's Commission on Americans Outdoors. Another 10 million people ride horses on trails, 5 million backpack and 11 million ski on trails.

In addition to the event in Juneau, thousands of similar events will be held across the country and enjoyed by over 1 million Americans.

For details on the Juneau National Trails Day activities call Trail Mix at 790-6406. The American Hiking Society can be found at www.AmericanHiking.org.



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