The Tsalteshi Trails provide over 12 miles of cross country ski and running trails that are frequented by 3 high schools, 2 middle schools, a youth (6-12 years old) ski program, several adult fitness groups and countless members of the community at large. We believe healthy outdoor activity is fundamental to physical, mental, and emotional health and are proud to contribute to the high quality of life available to residents of Soldotna and the greater area.
We had a productive year in 2012! New trail projects were completed on two parcels we obtained permission to develop in 2011. The “Fox” trail, developed on City of Soldotna property, provides a challenging, rolling loop that also affords new route options for racing and recreational skiing. On Kenai Peninsula Borough property we roughed in the “Owl” loop, further expanding the beginner friendly options South of Skyview High School. The Owl and adjacent Squirrel loops are excellent ski trails but need to be surfaced before reaching their full potential for summer use. We also flagged and partially completed a Snowshoe trail, with the help of a local boy scout. This is a narrow trail, designed to be packed by it’s users, that travels between and across our existing ski trails. In this way it allows snowshoers improved access without sacrificing safety or increasing grooming requirements. Finally, we worked with the Kenai Peninsula Rotoract to install a 18 hole Frisbee golf course on the Squirrel trail.
Last year was also a great year for community events at Tsalteshi Trails! We hosted the Besh Cups this winter, which is one of the premier ski races in the state. TTA also operated a wide range of community events (She Can Ski, Everything but the Red Run, the Psycocross bike race, Spook Night and our Youth Ski Program) and continued to provide race support for Kenai Peninsula Borough School District sanctioned events. We also collaborated with several groups to allow additional community events at Tsalteshi Trails. These include the Tri-the-Kenai, the Salmon Run Series (Kenai Watershed Forum), Learn to Ski day for Children with Special Needs (Natures Way Rehabilitation Services), Step Out to Stop Diabetes 5k (American Diabetes Association), United Steel Workers 5k, and the Tustumena 200 fundraiser skijour race (1 day only with dogs). Finally, we opened our 22-caliber biathlon range after a long hiatus this winter. Thanks to the enthusiasm generated by our youth ski program’s laser biathlon component, we now have a small group of volunteers who have completed the safety training required to operate the range responsibly.
Great job everyone!