Having tested the conditions around Nancy Lakes (just off the Parks Highway North of Wasilla) the previous weekend, I decided to go for a longer skate ski on the snow-machine trails around the Nancy Lakes State Park area on Sunday, March 27th, 2011.
The total trip, outlined below, was just over 30 miles. Skiing on the snow machine trails works great and there are not that many snow machiners this time of the year.
I skied the Nancy Lakes Parkway from the winter access at mp 2.2 to the end of the road at mp 6.6, then followed the summer trail to Red Shirt Lake. From there I skied across Red Shirt Lake, Cow lake, West and East Butterfly Lakes, Bucklet Lake #1, Candlestick Lake, Echo Ponds Nos 1, 2 & 3, Lynx Lake, Little Frazer Lake, Charr Lake, Owl Lake, James Lake, Chicken Lake, Big & Little Noluck Lakes, and Tanaina Lake, before finishing back along the Nancy Lakes Parkway to the trailhead.
Skiing the lakes area can definitely be recommended. Especially this time of the year when most of the snow machiners have gone home. It is almost like crust skiing. And there are almost endless trails in the area.
Looking South across Red Shirt Lake. Superb skiing.
Connector trail to Big Lake trail system South of Cow Lake. Most of the trails are very wide and great for skating. Some of the Nancy Lakes portages are single track which makes for a nice change. Perhaps some day we could do the Oosik Classic ski race here!