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Fun, adventure wait at the end of the road

Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2001

One of the nice things about being close to the end of the road is you don't have to go too far to get off the beaten path.

Captain Cook State Recre-ation Area at the end of the Kenai Spur Highway is just such a spot.

Captain Cook State Recre-ation area, opened in the 1970s, covers some 3,500 acres. The park is named after Capt. James Cook, an English mariner who in 1778 explored the inlet that now bears his name.

The park boundaries, which start at Mile 36 of the Spur Highway, encompass saltwater beaches along the shores of Cook Inlet, freshwater boating, fishing and swimming on Stormy Lake, and the 51-site Discovery Campground at the end of the paved road. For day users, there are picnic facilities at Stormy Lake, Bishop Creek and Discovery Campground.

Captain Cook serves canoeists as well, providing a spot to take out after paddling down the Swanson River and the Swanson River Canoe Trails in the adjacent Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Activities in the recreation area tend to be more of the relaxing variety -- a walk on the beach, searching for shells or agate, watching wildlife, checking out the view or just finding a spot in the sun to stretch out.

Bishop Creek has been designated as a day-use area for several seasons due to bear concerns. From the parking lot at Bishop Creek, beachcombers can follow a quarter-mile trail down to the beach, which is soft and sandy at the mouth of the creek. On a clear day, Mount McKinley can be spotted 120 miles to the north.

Stormy Lake has three access points -- a swimming beach, picnic loop and boat launch, and the Yurick Nature Trail rings the Discovery Campground and has interpretive displays identifying the wildflowers along the trail. Part of the trail overlooks the inlet, affording views of the mountains on the other side.

Rules to follow while in the park:

* All fires must be either in the fire pits provided, on saltwater beaches or confined to a camp stove.

* All-terrain vehicles are allowed only in designated areas. Snowmachines are allowed where the snow depth is sufficient to protect vegetation.

* Horses are not allowed in any of the picnic or camping areas.

* Motor vehicles are restricted to roads and parking lots to avoid destruction of vegetation and wildlife habitat.

* Use of firearms, fireworks and explosives is not allowed anywhere in the park, including beaches.

* Destruction of vegetation and cutting or removing bark from green trees is not allowed.

One of the nice things about being close to the end of the road is you don't have to go too far to get off the beaten path.

Captain Cook State Recre-ation Area at the end of the Kenai Spur Highway is just such a spot.

Captain Cook State Recre-ation area, opened in the 1970s, covers some 3,500 acres. The park is named after Capt. James Cook, an English mariner who in 1778 explored the inlet that now bears his name.

The park boundaries, which start at Mile 36 of the Spur Highway, encompass saltwater beaches along the shores of Cook Inlet, freshwater boating, fishing and swimming on Stormy Lake, and the 51-site Discovery Campground at the end of the paved road. For day users, there are picnic facilities at Stormy Lake, Bishop Creek and Discovery Campground.

Captain Cook serves canoeists as well, providing a spot to take out after paddling down the Swanson River and the Swanson River Canoe Trails in the adjacent Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Activities in the recreation area tend to be more of the relaxing variety -- a walk on the beach, searching for shells or agate, watching wildlife, checking out the view or just finding a spot in the sun to stretch out.

Bishop Creek has been designated as a day-use area for several seasons due to bear concerns. From the parking lot at Bishop Creek, beachcombers can follow a quarter-mile trail down to the beach, which is soft and sandy at the mouth of the creek. On a clear day, Mount McKinley can be spotted 120 miles to the north.

Stormy Lake has three access points -- a swimming beach, picnic loop and boat launch, and the Yurick Nature Trail rings the Discovery Campground and has interpretive displays identifying the wildflowers along the trail. Part of the trail overlooks the inlet, affording views of the mountains on the other side.

Rules to follow while in the park:

* All fires must be either in the fire pits provided, on saltwater beaches or confined to a camp stove.

* All-terrain vehicles are allowed only in designated areas. Snowmachines are allowed where the snow depth is sufficient to protect vegetation.

* Horses are not allowed in any of the picnic or camping areas.

* Motor vehicles are restricted to roads and parking lots to avoid destruction of vegetation and wildlife habitat.

* Use of firearms, fireworks and explosives is not allowed anywhere in the park, including beaches.

* Destruction of vegetation and cutting or removing bark from green trees is not allowed.

HEAD:Fun, adventure wait at end of the road

One of the nice things about being close to the end of the road is you don't have to go too far to get off the beaten path.

Captain Cook State Recre-ation Area at the end of the Kenai Spur Highway is just such a spot.

Captain Cook State Recre-ation area, opened in the 1970s, covers some 3,500 acres. The park is named after Capt. James Cook, an English mariner who in 1778 explored the inlet that now bears his name.

The park boundaries, which start at Mile 36 of the Spur Highway, encompass saltwater beaches along the shores of Cook Inlet, freshwater boating, fishing and swimming on Stormy Lake, and the 51-site Discovery Campground at the end of the paved road. For day users, there are picnic facilities at Stormy Lake, Bishop Creek and Discovery Campground.

Captain Cook serves canoeists as well, providing a spot to take out after paddling down the Swanson River and the Swanson River Canoe Trails in the adjacent Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Activities in the recreation area tend to be more of the relaxing variety -- a walk on the beach, searching for shells or agate, watching wildlife, checking out the view or just finding a spot in the sun to stretch out.

Bishop Creek has been designated as a day-use area for several seasons due to bear concerns. From the parking lot at Bishop Creek, beachcombers can follow a quarter-mile trail down to the beach, which is soft and sandy at the mouth of the creek. On a clear day, Mount McKinley can be spotted 120 miles to the north.

Stormy Lake has three access points -- a swimming beach, picnic loop and boat launch, and the Yurick Nature Trail rings the Discovery Campground and has interpretive displays identifying the wildflowers along the trail. Part of the trail overlooks the inlet, affording views of the mountains on the other side.

Rules to follow while in the park:

* All fires must be either in the fire pits provided, on saltwater beaches or confined to a camp stove.

* All-terrain vehicles are allowed only in designated areas. Snowmachines are allowed where the snow depth is sufficient to protect vegetation.

* Horses are not allowed in any of the picnic or camping areas.

* Motor vehicles are restricted to roads and parking lots to avoid destruction of vegetation and wildlife habitat.

* Use of firearms, fireworks and explosives is not allowed anywhere in the park, including beaches.

* Destruction of vegetation and cutting or removing bark from green trees is not allowed.



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