Public Invited to Comment on Draft Valdez Master Trails Plan on National Trails Day

 Members of a fly-in for the outdoor recreation industry joined Gov. Bill Walker as he signed the proclamation designating June as Great Outdoors Month. National Trails Day, always the first Saturday in June, will be celebrated n Valdez with a trails open house. Pictured, from left, are Cailin-O-Brien Feeney, Outdoor Industry Association; Thor Stacey, Alaska Professional Guides Association; Lee Hart, Valdez Adventure Alliance/Confluence; Gov. Bill Walker; Dan Blanchard, UnCruise Adventures; and EJ Reiser, The North Face.

Members of a fly-in for the outdoor recreation industry joined Gov. Bill Walker as he signed the proclamation designating June as Great Outdoors Month. National Trails Day, always the first Saturday in June, will be celebrated n Valdez with a trails open house. Pictured, from left, are Cailin-O-Brien Feeney, Outdoor Industry Association; Thor Stacey, Alaska Professional Guides Association; Lee Hart, Valdez Adventure Alliance/Confluence; Gov. Bill Walker; Dan Blanchard, UnCruise Adventures; and EJ Reiser, The North Face.

VALDEZ, AK -  The Valdez Adventure Alliance will observe National Trails Day with an open house to attract public comment on the draft Master Trails Plan being developed in conjunction with a grant from the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program.

Hikers, bikers, snowmachine, off-road vehicle and other trail enthusiasts are invited to drop in to a Trails Open House that will be held Saturday, June 2, from 4 - 5 p.m. at the Roadside Potatohead, 255 Chitina Ave., on the harborfront in Valdez. Those who provide comments or share .gpx files of local trails will be thanked with their choice of a beer or soft drink and snacks.

Copies of the draft Master Trails Plan will be available at “The Potato” and are also available for preview by clicking on this link. Trails on local, state and federal lands from town to 50-mile are identified in the draft plan. Surveys, public meetings, and ranking exercises also produced a list of 15 proposed new trails. To complete the plan, Valdez Adventure Alliance and the National Park Service are asking Valdez residents for input on the plan and to share any .gpx files they may have of the proposed new trails by emailing .gpx files to info@valdezadventure.com. Many popular map and fitness phone apps enable users to easily download .gpx files.

National Trails Day, always held the first Saturday of June, is part of Great Outdoor Month a month-long celebration of the health, social and economic benefits of outdoor recreation that encourages friends and families to recreate outside. Gov. Bill Walker was among the first governors in the country this year to sign a Great Outdoors Month proclamation recognizing the “uniquely abundant outdoor recreation opportunities” and subsistence traditions Alaskans enjoy.

VAA also hopes to share the draft plan with the Valdez Parks and Recreation Commission at its June 12 meeting. For further information about the Trails Master Plan and Open House, contact Valdez Adventure Alliance Executive Director Lee Hart at info@valdezadventure.com.