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Cross-country trails are shaping up

Posted: December 13, 2012 - 5:02pm  |  Updated: December 14, 2012 - 9:08am

The Tsalteshi Trails are groomed and ready for skate and classic skiing, said Bill Holt, trail maintenance manager.

“Some of the trails are excellent,” he said, “and all of them are OK.”

He said the Wolverine trail is in the best condition.

Holt said he groomed all the trails and laid classic tracks on about half of them. Some sections of the trails are lumpy or flat from frost heaves, he said.

Holt suggests skiers apply a cold weather wax as temperatures are expected to drop over the weekend.

Other cross-country ski trails in Nikiski, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and the City of Kenai are shaping up, too.

The pool side ski trails at the North Peninsula Recreation Center in Nikiski have been groomed and are ready for skate skiing, said Dale Bakk, trail groomer.

“We’ve got three kilometers of trails there,” Bakk said, “and we’ve got some additional trails that I’ll be working on over the winter.”

The five kilometers of school trails, Bakk said, are also ready for skate skiing.

Classic skiing is not yet available on the pool side and school trails, but Bakk said he will set some classic tracks behind the soccer field at the Nikiski High School.

The Wildlife Refuge trails not in good condition, Park Ranger Candace Ward said. She said the rain the refuge received Wednesday morning is responsible.

“Things were in really nice shape on Monday,” she said, “but I think our grooming generally won’t happen until things stabilize a little bit; this wet snow is not easily groomable.”

The Kenai golf course and the new trails sections that follow Ryan’s Creek in Kenai have not yet been groomed, Parks and Recreation Director Bob Frates said.

“Once we get the OK to start grooming we’ll be out there, but I can’t tell you when that’ll be,” he said.

The golf course needs about a foot of snow before it can be groomed, and he has not heard yet from the groomer that there is that much yet, he said.

The Ryan Creek trails, however, will “probably” have a classic track on it for the weekend, Frates said.

The four sections of trails run more than a half mile from Airport Way, behind Safeway, to the Spur Highway.

Dan Schwartz can be reached at daniel.schwartz@peninsulaclarion.com

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