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Tsalteshi Trails Association gets grant

Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2000

n The Tsalteshi Trails Association sponsors two summer events annually. On July 1, it will host the Tsalteshi Duathlon, which includes a 3 kilometer run, a 7 kilometer bicycle ride, and a 5 kilometer run. It begins at 10 a.m. with registration at 9 a.m. There is an entry fee of $15 -- $5 for students. For more information, contact Mindee Morning at 283-3954.

n The second annual Tsalteshi Challenge will be held July 23, with cross country runs of 7.5 and 15 kilometers offered, beginning at 2 p.m. Entry fees are $15 for adults, $10 for members and $5 for students. For more information, contact Penny McClain at 262-6257.

HEAD:Summer events planned on Tsalteshi Trails

BYLINE1:By LAURA FAEO

BYLINE2:Peninsula Clarion

The Tsalteshi Trails Association recently received a 10-year lease from the Kenai Peninsula Borough, which will make the organization eligible for a $12,000 grant from the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.

The funds will be used for directional signs, construction of an equipment shed to store winter grooming equipment and a new road sign to be placed along the Sterling Highway.

The trails are located on borough land and the association has previously had only one- or two-year leases for the property.

The lease is necessary for the association to receive the money.

The association will provide matching funds, volunteer labor and equipment to receive the in-kind service grant. Instrumen-tal in getting the ordinance passed for the lease were assembly members Pete Sprague and Tim Navarre.

The Tsalteshi Trails are located behind Skyview High School. They were laid out 10 years ago by Alan Boraas and Allan Miller, who wanted to start a local ski program. The trails association was formed to help maintain the trails and promote cross-country skiing.

The association is a nonprofit organization, relying on donations and volunteers. In the past, it has received local grants from Unocal and the Sportsmen's Association for purchase of trail-grooming equipment.

Penny McClain, a member of the association, said the trails have become more popular every year.

"At any given time, 20 or 30 people will be using the trails," McClain said. "In winter, all the schools use them daily for skiing, and Soldotna High School uses it for cross country running, too. A lot of people know about the trails and use them. We've even had people come down here from Anchorage to use them."

The new signs, which will be produced by G.F. Sherman in Soldotna, will be placed along the trails to show directions.

"We didn't have any signs for 10 years, and people were getting confused about how to get back to where they started," McClain said.

The signs will give trail maps, names and "You Are Here" pointers to aid runners and skiers. Skyview is the starting point. Another new sign, donated by Soldotna dentist Justin Moore, will be placed at the trail head.

The signs will help with events, including the Tsalteshi Duathlon and Tsalteshi Challenge, which are sponsored by the association.

Those who want to be a part of the association can obtain a year's membership. Fees range from $25 to $100. Members receive a locally made wooden pin and window sticker with the organization's logo. However, membership buys more than that.

"(Members) get lovely, safe, groomed trails," McClain said. "It gives you a wilderness experience close to town."

There is no fee for use of the trail system, and you needn't be a member to use them.

McClain said bicycles are welcome, but not horses or motorized vehicles. Dogs are allowed only in summer and must be leashed. Owners are asked to clean up after their pets.



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