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Soldotna: Crossroads of the peninsula

Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2001

A river runs through it -- Soldotna, that is.

Bisected by the glacier-fed waters of the majestic Kenai River, Soldotna is the crossroads of the Kenai Peninsula. A right turn as you enter downtown will lead you to the historic city of Kenai; drive through Soldotna, and you're soon on your way to the scenic south peninsula.

Soldotna's two business districts -- one on the Kenai Spur Highway, the other on the Sterling Highway, cater to every need a visitor or angler may have.

But there is far more to do in town than cruise the stores.

Soldotna information sources

City of Soldotna

Phone: (907) 262-9107

World Wide Web: www.ci.soldotna.ak.us

Soldotna Parks & Recreation Dept.

(Soldotna Sports Center)

Phone: (907) 262-3151

e-mail: acsports@ci.soldotna.ak.us

Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

Phone: (907) 262-9814

e-mail: info@soldotnachamber.com

Web: www.soldotnachamber.com

Soldotna Visitor Information Center

Phone: (907) 262-1337

Web: www.soldotnachamber.com

Soldotna has much to offer those who take time to explore the side roads of this family-friendly town of about 3,800 that serves as the seat of the Kenai Peninsula Borough government.

Soldotna has 10 city parks totaling nearly 400 acres, with more than a half-mile of elevated boardwalks along the river and more than 200 campsites.

There is a $9 fee for over-night camping at Centennial and Swiftwater parks and a $5 fee for day use at those and Rotary Park.

The town's recreation facilities include the Soldotna Sports Center, ball fields, rodeo grounds, golf course, recreation trails, a public library, bowling alley, roller rink and an airport that hosts small planes and ultralights.

Summer events culminate during Soldotna Progress Days with a parade, rodeo, community dinner and other family activities. This year's event will be July 27-29.

The Soldotna Historical Society Museum offers a glimpse of the town's original settlement by postwar homesteaders. It has restored original cabins, wildlife displays, pelts and Native artifacts. Reach the museum by turning north off Kalifornsky Beach Road on Centennial Park Road. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. It is closed Mondays.

The Soldotna Visitor Infor-mation Center displays a 97 1/4-pound king salmon, the world's largest sport-caught chinook, landed on the Kenai River in 1985. It also offers free information on the community or viewing wildlife. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from May 1 to Sept. 30 near the corner of the Sterling Highway by the Kenai River bridge.

The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce is in the visitor center building.



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