The easy Campbell Tract Loop Trail in the heart of urban Anchorage has been dubbed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to be a perfect "Day Hike for Weekend Warriors." Much of this relatively level trail is packed gravel, but don't let the convenient parking and groomed loop fool you. This is Alaska, after all; there's varying degrees of wild here!
Animals that have been spotted along the Campbell Tract Loop Trail include moose, bears, coyotes, and lynx. For your and your pup's safety, and out of respect for these wild neighbors, be sure to keep your dog on a leash and close to you. In the winter, another uniquely Alaskan sight you might encounter here is dogs pulling a sled. The Campbell Tract Loop Trail isn't just open to leashed dogs, but to horseback riders and dog mushers too!
From the Smokejumper Trailhead, the trail quickly moves into dense boreal forest and runs along the banks of Campbell Creek. Linger here and you might spot a moose crossing the water through pine-filtered sunlight. In addition to large mammals, small mammals like porcupines and red squirrels make their homes among the trees. At different times of year, migratory birds and butterflies wing through. In the winter, the Campbell Tract Loop is a great place to snowshoe or cross-country ski and look for animal tracks.
The trail has a more human side, too. It passes through territory that belonged to the Campbell Garrison during World War II, and history buffs will note tank trails, landing strips, and other signs of military drills that were done here. The local community takes pride in this trail and many committees and groups help keep it clean and safe. Children often come to natural history and educational events that the nearby BLM Campbell Creek Science Center hosts on the trail.
The Campbell Tract Loop represents the best of Alaska: a place where human and animal communities can share space in mutual respect. You'll be so glad you spent some time bonding with your best friend here.