Less than 50 miles south of Fairbanks lies a peaceful oasis where you and Fido can reconnect with nature. Spanning 325 acres on Richardson Highway, the Harding Lake State Recreation Area is one of the longest standing facilities in the Alaska State Park system, having welcomed outdoor enthusiasts since 1967. Here, you and your pooch can experience the natural beauty of Salcha through activities such as hiking and camping—what a woofderful treat!
The SRA contains various hiking trails that meander throughout the park, including the half-mile Harding Lake Nature Trail. This simple loop doesn't have much elevation, making it pawfect for canine and human hikers of all skill levels. Best used from June through September, it is marked with arrows that make it easy to follow and features a bit of wildlife—try to spot the red squirrels! For a longer hike, you and Fido can take the mile-long extension that leads into the old-growth spruce forest.
Another pawpular activity at the park is plying the calm waters of Harding Lake. Visitors with canoes, jet skis, and motorized boats can use the boat launch facility for an additional fee; a straight canal connects the boat launch to the center of the lake. If you'd like to extend your adventure, the park contains over 90 campsites where you and your pooch can spend the night. Each site comes with a fire ring and picnic table so you can enjoy your favorite camping meals. Traveling with a large group? No problem! There are five walk-in group campsites as well.
Four-legged visitors are welcome at the Harding Lake SRA as long as they are leashed and accompanied at all times. If Fido responds well to voice commands, they may go off-leash in the backcountry. Just remember to clean up after your pooch! Be sure to have clean-up bags on hand, as well as water to share with your thirsty pup.
A relaxing getaway awaits you and your best friend at the Harding Lake State Recreation Area!