Chester Creek Trail
The Lanie Fleischer Chester Creek Trail cuts a tree-lined path across Anchorage, connecting Westchester Lagoon and the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail to the west with the University of Alaska Anchorage campus to the east.
The name “Chester Creek” is an anglicized version the Dena’ina Athabascan name “Chanshtnu,” meaning “Grass Creek.” Long before Anchorage ever existed, Knik Arm Dena'ina camped along Chester Creek to fish for salmon in the spring and summer, and many had cabins and houses along lower Chester Creek until the land was taken, surveyed, and sold in the years before Anchorage became a city.
Today, the Chester Creek Trail is a popular city walking path, bike route, and winter ski trail, weaving through greenbelts and Anchorage neighborhoods and connecting various pocket parks, skating rinks, and other recreational facilities. It stretches 4 miles from end to end, and the flat, paved surface makes for easy walking or cycling. Parallel singletrack trails offer an accessible adrenaline rush for urban mountain bikers.
Perfect for family adventures, the Chester Creek Trail passes multiple playgrounds and picnic areas, including the popular Valley of the Moon Park and Tikishla Park. During the summer months, the trail is a popular part of foot races and fun runs. In the winter, sections of the trail become part of the urban course for mushers and dog teams participating in the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race — stake out a spot along the trail to watch the sleds glide by, a beloved Anchorage tradition.