Ruth Arcand Park
Ruth Arcand Park is a little known 1 mile square park located in the middle of hillside neighborhood. Whenever we have a hike at this park, we always encounter people wh has never heard of this park. The park was originally about to be sold to dvelopers, but was saved through the effort of a concerned citizens lead by Ruth Arcand. The park was named after her.
Main entrance is located on Abbott Rd between Lake Otis Pkwy and Elmore Rd. This entrance is notorious for disappearance. We always get a call looking for the park entrance. They have been driving on Abbott 3-4 times, and still can’t find it!!
Attraction of this park is its serenity. Even though the park is surrounded by major highways, once you are in the park you’ll never feel that you are in the middle of a city.
The park trail is generally flat and well maintained. It is wide enough for a stroller. However, because majority of the park is built on a wetland, the trail tends to be wet and flooded, especially in Spring. You may need a long boots even in summer. This trail is about a 3 mile loop, frequently used by equestrians. While the trail has a post and trail name, it does not have a trail map or a location indicating where you are.
Direction to the Ruth Arcand Park
From downtown, take New Seward Highway toward Seward. Exit at Dimond Blvd. Take left to Abbott Rd. After passing Lake Otis Pkwy, the entrance is about 3/4 mile on right.
Yellow line: Main Trail
Red line: Side Trail
Aqua: Winter Trail
Ruth Arcand Main Loop Trail: 3.0 miles
Difficulty: easy, but can be wet…
From the parking lot, walk toward back to the entrance. About 100 ft, you will find a trail on both side with sign. Let’s take right. A narrow trail goes behind equestrian field. About 1/8 mile, the trail bends right through wooded area, and another 1/8 mile the trail bends right toward stable and reaches a 4 corner. Take straight slight uphill. At next intersection, you will see 2 trails on left, one is up, the other is down. Take either trail, and both will take you to a bridge. After crossing the bridge, you will be at a small open space and a trail extending straight in front of you. DO NOT TAKE THIS TRAIL. The trail will take you to a neighborhood. Instead, look at on your right. You will find a dump trail that goes into woods. This section is wet during early spring season. On your right you will see a fence bordering the O’Malley Golf course. After half mile of muddy trail walking along the fence, the loop trail bends 90 degree right and takes you to an open wetland spot. When weather is nice, you will see Chugach mountains, Flattop, O’Malley. On the half way of the wetland pass crossing, you may notice a right trail that goes further into the wetland. This is a winter trail, extremely wet. At the end, the trail again bends 90 degree right. The trail goes another several wet sections, and bends right winds. On your right, you may see a narrow trail. This trail takes you at the back side of a school, forming an extended loop. The wider and established trail is the main loop trail. At the end of half mile of through the woods trail, you will cross a bridge, and open trail. 1/4 mile after the bridge, trail forks straight and right. Take straight trail and you will complete the loop.