With new snow on the ground and Southcentral Alaska's population of bears mostly denned for the winter, naturalists and hikers are welcomed back to the Albert Loop Trail at Eagle River Nature Center, about 20 minutes north of the city in Chugach State Park.
The trail is shut down every year during the short autumn season and reopened in early winter, when park officials feels confident that human-bear encounters will be less likely.
Bear encounters are still possible along the popular loops, albeit less likely, according to the Alaska Division of Parks and Recreation.
The Albert Loop Trail is a three mile loop with an elevation gain of approximately 100 feet. It is considered an easy hike and features mixed forest. The trail is usually packed for wintertime foot traffic and skiing. Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail.
On Saturday, Eagle River Nature Center officials posted this update about the trail's status:
The riverside section from the snowmachine access to the Swooping Cottonwood is ice, covered by a light dusting of snow. There are many holes along the Albert Loop so watch your step. The State Park and Nature Center Trail Crews will be working on the Lower Albert repairing the bridges and filling the holes beginning on Tuesday November 13. The trail will remain open but be aware they will be using heavy equipment. Thank you for your patience as we get the Albert Loop in shape for the Winter.