The wait is over. For three years, the Seldovia Parks and Recreation Department has been working on a much-needed hiking trail within walking distance of town, and the brand new, Rocky Ridge Trail will officially open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The trail, open to foot traffic only, begins at the Rocky Street trailhead in Seldovia and climbs Rocky Ridge to a peak of approximately 880 feet, follows the ridge to Reservoir Road and follows the road back to town. From the Seldovia Slough Bridge, the trail is a 3.3 mile loop and from trailhead to trailhead it is 1.5 miles.
Rated moderate to difficult, the trail offers panoramic views of Mt. Illiamna, Mt. Redoubt, Seldovia Harbor, Seldovia Bay and Kachemak Bay.
In 2000, Parks and Recreation obtained a $5,650 grant through the Alaska Recreational Trails Grant Program, according to Kari Hulien, who spent the next three summers with her husband Claude and Bob Moser digging out roots, pulling back sod, trimming limbs and foliage and putting in steps where needed.
Parks and Recreation was required to match the funds with in-kind services, which included surveying and volunteer labor.
The group also received occasional help from others in the community and from two church groups, one from Seldovia and one from Kenai.
In 2002, the workers built the Rocky Street end of the trail up to the ridge, which involved putting in five switchbacks.
Work this summer included installing a turnpike, said Kari Hulien, which is a 70-foot long set of parallel logs filled in between with gravel and dirt. The group also built a 120-foot wooden walkway, a bridge and several reroutes.
"Now, although there is more work to be done, the trail is complete," Kari Hulien said.
Everyone is welcome to the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Rocky Street trailhead.
"Please take a hike," she said.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.