A Chronological Listing of Events in the Development of Kincaid Park with Emphasis on the Contributions of Members of
- The Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage
- The Anchorage Junior Nordic League
- The Biathlon Association
- Other Volunteers
- Kincaid History
Kincaid is a city park of approximately 1500 acres south of the airport and as far west as you can go in Anchorage. Geographically, it is part of Point Campbell. Geologically, the area is part of an old delta formation. Melting glaciers and out wash from rivers deposited the silty/sandy soils. Subsequent erosion and freezing/melting caused the hilly character that is evident in the park today. The rolling terrain is covered with old growth birch and spruce forest. The oldest trees in the Anchorage bowl are at Kincaid Park. The park is home to many moose, coyotes, owls, eagles and, some suspect, an occasional black bear. Waterfowl are numerous in the tidal lands. Little Campbell Lake is in the northeast area of the park. The western one thousand acres of the park are a former Nike military ground-to-air missile site which became park land in 1978. The southwest border of the park is the former borough car dump, an area now used for motorcross activities. Jodhpur Street forms part of the park boundary. PLI, private, and FAA land bound the rest of the eastern border. The airport is to the north and Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm are to the west. The elevation ranges from 2.6 meters below sea level to over 100 meters above sea level. Most of the credit for the development of Kincaid Park as a ski area should go to the volunteers of the Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage and other volunteer groups in cooperation with the city parks and recreation department and Jerry Walton, Manager of the Kincaid Outdoor Center.
Winter of 1971-1972
Dimond High School Ski Team began practicing at Kincaid Park using what trails existed around Little Campbell Lake and along the fence lines. Previously used trails around Dimond High School had finally succumbed to subdivisions. The ski coach was Jim Burkholder.
Summer of 1972
Dick Mize and Jon Elliott constructed ski trails around Little Campbell Lake on borough park land. The Lake Loop of 5km and the Inner loop of 2 1/2 km were flagged Mothers Day weekend by the Elliott and Mize families. The trails were cut and put in using a small cat during the summer by Dick Mize and Jon Elliott and volunteers of the Nordic Ski Club. The cat was donated by Ken Wilson.
Winter of 1972-1973
The lake was used as a start/finish area and the 7 1/2 km of trails were used for training and racing. Any maintenance and grooming were done voluntarily by the ski club for races or by coaches for practice. Jon Elliott was the usual volunteer track setter.
Summer of 1973
In anticipation of the FIS tryout races to be held in January, work continued on improvement of the Lake and Inner Lake Loop Trails. Trails were widened and smoothed to national standards. Some directional and ski trail signs were posted. Ralph Peterson donated a cat which was operated by Jon Elliott for this work.
Winter of 1973-1974
The ski club continued to hold local races at Kincaid using the lake start/finish area and the 7 1/2 km of trails. Jon Elliott again set tracks as a volunteer. In January of 1974 the Nordic Ski Club hosted the National FIS Team Tryouts at Kincaid Park. The volunteer organizers for this event were Don and Marion Richter and Dick and Arlene Mize. This was the first national event held at Kincaid.
Summer of 1974
Work on trails on the south side of the road began. The Horseshoe Loop as well as the 6km and 4 km loops were laid out and cut. These loops include locations such as Ice Box, Mize's Folly, Big Dipper, Stairway to Heaven and the original Compression Hill before it was tamed. Trails may have extended beyond the actual park boundaries onto military land in a few places. The trails were laid out and constructed by volunteers Dick Mize and Jon Elliott of the Nordic Ski Club. Jerry Harmon charged $650 for the use of a D-6 cat for one weekend and Ralph Peterson donated a 450 cat for the necessary cleanup work. Twelve and one half kilometers of trails were put in that summer by volunteers.
Winter of 1974-1975
Local races were held now using the lake or road start/finish areas and a total of 20 km of trails were available for skiing. Trail grooming was still done by the ski club volunteers. Gene MimMack volunteered to set race tracks with the help of Jon Elliott.
Summer of 1975
Volunteer work continued to improve the Horseshoe, 6 km and 4 km loops. Erosion from use of the trails by vehicles was a problem. ATV barriers were constructed at necessary locations. More signs were installed.
Winter of 1975-1976
The trails at Kincaid were recognized as the best in town, and at least a third of the local ski races were held there. Trail maintenance was done voluntarily by the ski club with minimal payment for race trail preparation. All trail grooming equipment belonged to the Nordic Ski Club. This equipment included a snow machine and various drags and track setting pans.
Summer of 1976
Annual trail maintenance was continued by volunteer work crews of the Nordic Ski Club. Brush was cut and some trails were widened. Erosion problems caused by four wheel drive vehicles and motor bikes making huge ruts and rough trail surface which had to be repaired each year. By this time many people were training year round at Kincaid. The ski trails were popular with summer runners, walkers, and hikers.
Winter of 1976-1977
Local races continued at Kincaid. As a result of the political efforts of the Lands and Trails Committee of the Nordic Ski Club, the city let a contract for area wide ski trail maintenance. The first contractor could not do the job adequately, and the contract was re-awarded to the second lowest bidder. Gene MimMack bought a Bombadier SV 200, and the first large machine maintenance began on the ski trails at Kincaid, Russian Jack, Hillside and the bike trails.
Summer of 1977
In anticipation of the 1978 National Championships, a lot of volunteer work was done to bring all 20 km of trails to national standards. Trails were widened, smoothed, and erosion damage repaired.
Winter of 1977-1978
The US National Championships sponsored by Prinz Brau were held at Kincaid Park in January. George Moerlein was the volunteer event chairman. Sports Illustrated referred to Kincaid as the "land of the frozen eyeballs." Local training and races continued at Kincaid, and Gene MimMack continued to set tracks area wide under contract with the city Parks and Recreation Department.
Summer of 1978
The military declared the Nike Ground-to-Air Missile Site west of the park surplus. The process was begun to turn the site over to the city for park use via a land transfer to the BLM and the state. The Nordic Ski Club Lands and Trails Committee took the lead in the political process to assure that this land would become a municipal park and not a state prison site. The process took only 18 months, somewhat of a record for this type of transfer.
Winter of 1978-1979
Trail maintenance was again contracted to Gene MimMack. The Nordic Ski Club formed a committee to plan extensive improvements at Kincaid Park using Project 80's funds. Thought was given to the idea of Anchorage as a winter Olympic site and the necessary development that would be needed was considered.
Summer of 1979
Annual summer trail maintenance was completed by the ski club. The city dug some ditches in an attempt to stop some ATV access to the park. Active committee work on the development plans continued.
Winter of 1979-1980
Winter trail maintenance continued by Gene MimMack through contract with the city. Local races and training continued at Kincaid. By this time about one half of all cross country races in Anchorage were held at Kincaid. Committee long range planning continued.
Summer of 1980
In May of 1980 the Nordic Ski Club, in association with Land Design North and partially funded by the city, completed a proposal for a year round Nordic Recreation and Sports Park at Kincaid. The fees involved with this plan were minimal compared to the thousands of dollars to be spent during the next two years by professional planners. The results were similar.
As a result of political efforts by the Lands and Trails Committee of the Nordic Ski Club the Jodhpur Lighted Loop was started. This project involved construction of trail connections to create a 2 1/2 km loop as part of the original 6km loop. It was funded by a state trails grant. A contractor was hired to do the work. The construction was finished and the lights appeared to be functional by December, but they were never turned on due to an inner city squabble over who was going to pay for the electricity. It took the intervention of Claire Pease at the level of the Mayor's office to flip the switch in February 1981.
Winter of 1980-1981
In addition to the regular race schedule, the first night races away from Russian Jack or the Biathlon trails were held at Kincaid. Winter trail grooming continued by Gene MimMack through contract with the city.
The city decided it was necessary to study winter recreation before considering any large development as recommended by the Nordic Ski Club. The Anchorage Winter Recreational Advisory Committee was formed to study Anchorage's long term winter recreational needs. Jim Burkholder and Dwayne Adams attended meetings of this committee as representatives of cross country skiing. The city hired professional planners for the study. In put was solicited from all winter sports groups.
Summer of 1981
In August the Winter Recreation Advisory Committee report was completed. Facts obvious to the Nordic skiers were confirmed. We learned that one of every three people in Anchorage owned cross country skis and participated in the sport. Recommendations were made for major development at Kincaid Park. Annual summer trail maintenance was done by club volunteers. ATV erosion control and repair, clearing brush, and grass cutting along the trails are constant tasks requiring annual attention
Winter of 1981-1982
There was no action yet on the recommendations of the Winter Recreation Advisory Committee.
Trail maintenance was done by Jim and Sally Burkholder through contract with the city.
The ski club bid to host the 1983 US National and World Cup Races.
Summer of 1982
As a result of the report by the Advisory Committee, $9 million was recommended for Kincaid Park for year round recreational development. Two and one half million dollars of Project 80's money was set aside for Kincaid with a promise of more money later. The future funds were never available. Skiers watched the library, Sullivan arena, indoor ice rinks and the Performing Arts Center get full funding. There were no funds available for further development at Kincaid Park.
The city hired Tryck, Nyman, and Hayes to develop a master plan for Kincaid Park in response to the Advisory Committee report.
The first use of the Project 80's money for construction was to hire Gorder Excavating to upgrade and build trails needed for the upcoming World Cup and National races. Jim Burkholder and Jon Elliott were hired to lay out the trail work that needed to be done. Gorder Excavating loosely followed their plans. This job included construction of 3 km of new trail to connect the top of the slalom hill with the World Cup start/finish area and widen other trails needed for the national races. It also included installation of the second lighted section which was put in but not operational that winter. It is the section from the bridge to the upper tunnel. Neither the bridge nor the tunnel were there at that time.
Winter of 1982-1983
The snow came early, trail work by Gorder was incomplete, and we skied over great clumps of dirt all winter.
The first international ski races were hosted at Kincaid by the Nordic Ski Club. The US Nationals and International World Cup races were held on melting snow in March. Pat Cress and Judy Pendleton were the event organizers, and Sally Burkholder was the volunteer race chairman for the events. Armies of volunteers shoveled to provide snow on the trails for the races. The start/finish area was in the large field at the road junction one half mile East of the present area. Gunde Svan clinched his first World Cup season with a win at Kincaid and, with the success of the World Cup races, the Kincaid Park trail system became recognized among skiers as a world class ski area.
Summer of 1983
The Tryck, Nyman, Hayes master plan was completed in March. Work on the lighted trail started in 1982 was finished by September. The master plan called for asbestos removal and building demolition of all wooden structures. This work began and a significant portion of the $2 1/2 million was spent. In the fall Proposition 23, a tax cap, passed and the city announced they would no longer fund ski trail maintenance.
Winter of 1983-1984
Proposition 23 went into effect on January 1, 1984, and the city no longer paid a contractor for trail maintenance. The first trail pins were made by the Mizes, volunteer trail fees were collected and Gene MimMack finished the season under contract to the ski club at a significantly reduced rate.
Summer of 1984
Quadra Engineering, Dwayne Adams, designed trail connections, overpass, and underpasses, with help from Jim Burkholder and laid out the new start/finish area. With Project 80's funding, about $80 thousand was spent on the bridge and $45 thousand on each of the upper and lower tunnels. Work was started on the start/finish area. The Nordic Ski Club was awarded $65 thousand from Project 80's funding to construct 3km of trails to connect the new start/finish with the existing trails and new lighted sections from the World Cup start/finish area. The club hired the Mizes and Elliotts to do this work. In addition to the required work, they planned and constructed an additional 7 km of trail known as the Mize Loop and Elliott's Climb. Trail signs and map kiosks were also designed, constructed and installed with this funding. Due to the use of the skating technique, these trails were constructed 12 feet wide. Eventually other trails were upgraded to this width. The Lands and Trails Committee applied to the state for a grant to purchase trail maintenance equipment.
Winter of 1984-1985
The state awarded the ski club funds for equipment purchase. A Piston Bulley 100 was obtained and Lance Bodnar was hired by the club to maintain trails. The club continued to collect a voluntary user fee to fund the program. Track setting became more difficult with the demand for wide smooth trails for skating as well as tracks for diagonal skiers. The third section of lighted trail from the upper tunnel to the stadium had been installed in the fall but was not operational that winter. Addition of the bridge and tunnels made for more trail combinations and safer skiing.
Summer of 1985
USKH designed the outdoor center. Construction and remodeling were started. They used water from the old Nike site well and created a new large septic field south of the center. The parking lots by the building and the stadium were constructed, and final grading was completed in the stadium area. The lighted trail connecting the stadium area to the upper tunnel was completed. Approximately $300 thousand of Project 80's money was spent on the stadium, parking lots and trail work. The city gave the ski club permission to use the old Nike site bunker by the lower tunnel for equipment storage. Upgraded underground electrical service and phone service were brought into the park area. The ski club volunteers began to widen trails to accommodate the skating technique. Mountain bikers added to the growing number of summer trail users.
Winter of 1985-1986
We now had a total of 8km of continuous lighted trails connecting the new start/finish stadium area with the Jodhpur Street Lighted Loop. The ski club continued voluntary trail fee collections to fund trail maintenance, and Warren Templin was hired as the tracksetter. The skating/diagonal controversy continued with skaters constantly wiping out the diagonal tracks. Diagonal skiers were reluctant to pay trail maintenance fees. Trail maintenance time was increased due to constant destruction of the tracks.
Summer of 1986
The Kincaid Outdoor Recreation Center Building was completed from Project 80's funds. The building was a welcome addition for the ski community and soon became popular with the public at large. The building is now rented almost every weekend by school, club, and business groups for recreation and picnics, by individuals for weddings, and by church groups as well as its daily use by the public. Rental fees help cover the operational costs of the building.
The ski club became involved with the JTPA program and partially funded the hiring of a supervisor for 10 JTPA participants. Part of their summer work was to widen all trails which were going to be used for the 1987 Junior Nationals and NCAA championships. Mountain biking grew as an active summer trail use.
Winter of 1986-1987
The ski club continued winter trail maintenance with voluntary trail fee collection. Warren Templin was hired for a second year as the tracksetter. The new start/finish area was used for races. It quickly became apparent that a bridge or underpass was needed to connect the start/finish area to the trails on the south side of the road. The NCAA Championships hosted by UAA and Junior National Championships hosted by the Nordic Ski Club were held in March. Rick Kapella was the event organizer and Don Wester was the voluntary chairman for the Junior Nationals. Over 500 skiers from out of state skied at Kincaid, and its reputation in the national ski community continued to grow.
Summer of 1987
The coastal trail was connected to Kincaid Park. In conjunction with the JTPA program, the club did annual summer maintenance on trails. With the death of Andrew Lekisch, the Lekisch family decided to construct a trail at Kincaid in his memory. Jon Elliott, Bill Spencer, Jim Galanes, and Steve Beardsley designed and supervised the construction of 7 1/2 km of trail and installation of two tunnels to and from the start/finish area. Over three thousand hours of volunteer work were put in by Nordic Ski Club members and friends of the Lekisch family. The project would not have been possible without the donation of equipment, labor, and advice by Jerry Harmon of Eastwind Construction. The addition of Andrew's Trail gave Kincaid Park a long sustained climb which was the one quality it lacked to be a truly international caliber trail.
In relation to the AOC's attempts to host the Winter Olympics and as a result of several almost snowless winters, the ski club began to plan for the installation of snowmaking at Kincaid. The city, under Mayor Tony Knowles, gave the club a $60 thousand grant to purchase snowmaking equipment. The long process of planning for snowmaking was begun by Jim Burkholder relying heavily on the engineering advice of Tobben Spurkland.
Runners, mountain bikers, and orienteering groups were now using the trails for regular summer competition. Hiking and jogging continued as popular summer activities on the ski trails.
Winter of 1987-1988
The Piston Bulley 100 was traded in by the ski club for a Piston Bulley 130 with a tiller. A lot of early season snow stressed the ski club's trail maintenance abilities to their limits. Warren Templin was hired by the club as the track setter and Tom Peacock, club president, put in many hours on the job as well. By now, many of the trails had been widened to 12 feet and required a two-pass system to set the tracks for both diagonal and skating. The challenge of training and racing at Kincaid was greatly enhanced with the addition of Andrew's Trail and the connecting tunnels to the area wide system.
Summer of 1988
The lights were installed on 2.9 km of the Lekisch Loop. Jon Elliott supervised erosion control work on the Lekisch trail. This project was fully funded by donations from the Lekisch trail fund. Ellen Lekisch put in two garden sites on Andrew's trail and has continued to maintain those each summer setting an example for others on park amenities which contribute to the enjoyment of Kincaid Park for everyone.
The Biathlon range and connector trails were put in with equipment and work donated by Chris Berg Construction. The Nordic Ski Club Trails committee led by Kim Berg supervised the project. The approximate value was $60,000.
After a great deal of work by Scott Belyea, Jim Burkholder, and Tobben Spurkland a very basic snowmaking system was installed but not tested due to lack of necessary electrical work.
Heavy summer trail use continued by hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and orienteering groups.
Winter of 1988-1989
After voluntarily supervising the trail maintenance program from its inception, Jim Burkholder was hired as the track setter. A more concentrated effort was instituted to collect trail fees from all cross country skiers. Records were kept, and we learned that it took about 60 hours per week to maintain the trails city wide. Guy Thibedeau was hired for some assistance. The Lake Loop and Horseshoe Loop were set aside for diagonal skiing only. All other trails were set for skating and diagonal techniques.
Over 20 races were held at Kincaid including the state high school ski meet.
Summer of 1989
John Clark was hired by the club to do annual summer maintenance and trail preparation for the 1990 US Nationals to be held at Kincaid in January. Recreational and competitive summer use of the trails continued.
Winter of 1989-1990
The ski club continued to collect voluntary trail fees. Jim Burkholder continued as the track setter and John Mahaffey was hired as an assistant. Both worked almost full time for the winter. Snow fell almost daily in January and February necessitating constant track setting. The ski club hosted the US National Championships in early January. Bill Strutz was the Race Chairman and Linda Grover and Marty Yuknis were the volunteer event coordinators. After much volunteer labor for renovation led by Mike Miller , a small building donated by MB Construction was moved into a permanent location in the s/f area as a timing facility. The approximate value was $5000. This building has since been moved to the Biathlon range for timing. Over 30 races, including the high school state ski meet were held at Kincaid Park during the winter. The first annual Tour of Anchorage as part of the national marathon series was held. The 50km race ends at Kincaid Park. PJ Hill was the event organizer.
Summer of 1990
The electrical work on the snowmaking system was completed and ready, if needed, for the 90-91 season. The timing building was raised 4 feet and improvements were made with volunteer labor. Fill was brought into the s/f area with the help of the National Guard to eliminate low spots .
Forty thousand dollars from the voluntary trail fee program had been saved and was spent to purchase a used Piston Bulley 200 with 12 foot grooming capability for more efficient grooming. John Mahaffey was hired by the club to widen 10km of trails and trail connectors from 8 and 10 feet to 16 and 18 feet so the new machine could be driven around a majority of the trails allowing one pass maintenance. The approximate value of this work was $33,000.
Summer trail use continued by varied groups. Mountain bikers seem to be generally compatible with other non mechanized trail users. A serious conflict began to develop between some horse owners and other trail users.
Winter of 1990-1991
The ski club hosted over 40 races at Kincaid. The high school championships were held in February followed by the US Masters Championships and Junior National Championships in March. Peter Lekisch and Tom Hartman were the volunteer event organizers. John Clark and Lynn Spencer were the race chairmen. These events brought over 500 outside racers to Anchorage and over a million winter tourism dollars into the Alaskan economy.
John Mahaffey was hired as the track setter. Eric Quam was his assistant. The voluntary trail fee program had its most successful year under the direction of Greg Cress and Jeannie Larson.
John Oswald, engineering professor at UAA, and Bob Kean, ski club member and engineer, organized a full scale mapping project for Kincaid Park with the help of Dick Mize and Jim Burkholder.
Tim Middleton, Parry Grover and Lynn Spencer submitted a request for funds for a Timing Building to the state legislature for use with the Masters World Cup the following winter. The request was for $40,000 and $30,000 was granted.
Summer of 1991
Extensive work was done to enlarge the biathlon shooting range and improve the trails into the range in anticipation of the North American Biathlon Championships scheduled for March 1992. Scott Belyea was involved with this project. The approximate value of this work was $50,000.
A new 10 km loop trail was planned, flagged and cut on the bench area below the Mize loop and north of Andrew's Trail. It was necessary to add this trail to the Kincaid system because there was not enough flat terrain for the women's 30 km and men's 50 km races in the Masters World Cup events to be held in March 1992. The trail was planned and laid out by Dick Mize with help from Arlene Mize and Jim Burkholder. The Parks and Recreation personnel approved the trail location. Dick Mize supervised the cutting and grading of the trail in September and October. MB construction and Mike Miller were instrumental in providing a cat and operator for trail construction. Final clean up work was completed in the spring of 1992. The Sisson family donated money to cover the expenses of the new trail construction. The trail was named after Alex Sisson, a long time club member and trail advocate who died that summer.
John Oswald and Bob Kean, with help from other volunteers, surveyed the new trail for inclusion in the Kincaid Park mapping project.
Foundation posts were set in the stadium for the new timing building.
Winter of 1991-1992
Kincaid Park Timing Building - This building was designed and constructed by the Nordic Ski Club. The approximate cost was $68000. $27000 came from a State Grant via the city. The rest of the funds came from the Nordic Ski Club. Volunteers Tim Middleton, Parry Grover and Randy Bergt led this project. Pilings for the building were set in the fall by Mike Miller, Tobben Spurkland and others. Construction of the foundation, building, and roof was by Mike Leo, and Randy Bergt with guest appearances by Wally Smith. The electrical was done by electrical apprentices of the IBEW. Sheet rock was done by Ernie Piper. The exterior siding was painted in the bunker by volunteers before installation. Interior finish work was doe by volunteers including Tim Brabits. This is now a permanent Park building at Kincaid. Approximate value: $75,000
Summer of 1992
Finish work on the timing building was completed. Annual trail maintenance including brushing and mowing trails was done.
Summer of 1993
10km of trail at Kincaid widened to 18 feet - phase two of widening project by the Nordic Ski Club Trails Committee - Ben Powell Approximate value: $33,000
New Map of Kincaid Park with trail names 35 maps posted and over 100 trail location name signs posted - John Oswald, Jim Burkholder Approximate value: $10,000
Summer of 1994
Annual trail maintenance including brushing and mowing on trails was done.
Summer of 1995
The Parks Department completed the Raspberry Road Parking Lot Lighted trail connection . The Nordic Ski Club funded the cat, and operator for the widening and grading of 200 yards of trail for that project and help with grading for the Parking Lot. Approximate value: $5000
New map of Anchorage Area ski trails with Kincaid, Far North Bicentennial, Mahaffey Trails, Russian Jack - Nordic Ski Club Trails Committee and Land Design North completed this project. Approximate value: $30,000
35 new maps in map display containers were put up on trails at Kincaid Park - John Oswald and Jim Burkholder were the Nordic Ski Club volunteers leading this project. Approximate value: $4000
15km of trail at Kincaid widened to 18 feet - phase three of widening project - A project of the Nordic Ski Club Trails Committee - Ben Powell Approximate value: $50,000
Summer of 1996
The Mize Loop was lighted and Margeaux's Loop established from the stadium to the bridge and back on the lighted loop by the Menaker family in memory of their daughter Margeaux. This trail includes wooden routed signs and a garden/bench area at the trail head.
The Anchorage Junior Nordic League - Lighting Amphitheater, Ski play Hill. Three fifty foot poles, each with two high intensity flood lights. Contributors: TAB Electric-trenching, pole erection, conduit placement. Value: $20,000
Summer of 1997
Mize Loop Upgrade , Sisson Trail reconfiguration, Construction of Mize/Sisson Trail connector. A Simms Grant was received and Nordic Ski Club funds used to match the Grant for work to Cut and remove beetle killed trees on the Mize Loop, smooth and reseed the Mize Loop Trail surface, construct a new connector trail to the Sisson Loop and reconfigure the Sisson Loop trails. The Nordic Ski Club employee leading this effort was Lynn Spencer. Approximate value: $55,000
The Junior Nordic League Kincaid Stadium Lighting - Eight 75 foot poles were installed, each carrying four high intensity flood lights.Partners and contributors: Alcan Electric and Engineering - linemen, wiremen, boom trucks, auger trucks, and miscellaneous equipment. Redi Electric - Ditchwitch trencher, equipment truck and trailer. Alaska Transport - hauling poles to site. IBEW electricians and linemen volunteers. JATCC Electrical Apprentice School-volunteer linemen and wiremen. Materials provided at favorable cost by Northcoast Electric, Jim Reynolds and Potelcom, Kevin Hudson. Electrical Engineer - Larry Hale. Anchorage Junior Nordic League volunteers. Funding from the Junior Nordic League - $22,000 and ASEF grant of $2700. Estimated value: $70,000
Junior Nordic League - Kincaid Park Instant Telephone Weather Reporting Contributions from Anchorage Junior Nordic League, Nordic Ski Association and Jim Burkholder. Estimated value: $ 5000
The Denkewalter family and friends established Pia's overlook and gardens on the Mize Loop.
Summer of 98
Stadium area at Kincaid - fill and grading around tunnels and entrance to Mize Loop -This project was funded by the Junior Nordic League, using surplus fill from a city road project . The volunteer leading this project was Jim Burkholder. Approximate value: $2000
15 additional trail maps constructed and put up on Kincaid Trails by the Nordic Ski Club Trails Committee. The volunteers for this project were John Oswald and Jim Burkholder. Approximate value: $1200
Homologation of Kincaid Trails -This 10 year effort by Dick Mize resulted in the international ranking of Kincaid racing trails - These are the only trails in the United States to be homologated by the FIS, the international governing body for cross country ski racing. There are only two other sites in North America and only 25 sites world wide. We now have 5km, 7 1/2km, 10km, and 15km courses that have been homologated. Homologation means that the cross-country ski courses have met the FIS standards for “skiability”, total climb (MT), longest single climb (MM), height difference between the low and high points (HD), as well as the required number of A, B, C climbs - degrees of difficulty. The application process for homologation began in 1988 after the courses were constructed and surveyed. It was not until 1994, after a cooperative effort among the Nordic Ski Club; Lee Todd, USSA representative; John Oswald, who compiled all the survey data and made detailed maps as required by FIS; UAA, LCMF, and several volunteers, that we applied for FIS homologation through USSA. After submitting the data an on site review was conducted by Bjorger Pettersen, FIS representative and cross country technical delegate for the past four Winter Olympics. After a three day inspection he recommended the courses for approval. Approximate value: $500,000
Note: This history of the development of Kincaid Park was put together from information collected from the memories of many of the involved volunteers by Sally and Jim Burkholder for use by the Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage. When a facility like Kincaid Park, located on public land, is used extensively by all the residents of a city, the long process of its development is often forgotten. Due to lack of information, people often assume that the city employees and city tax dollars have been responsible for the construction and development of all the trails and facilities that they enjoy today. While the city has generally been supportive of the development of Kincaid Park as a major cross country ski facility, we really need to thank the long time Anchorage cross country skiers for their dreams and countless volunteer hours of physical labor and political action.
Many individuals who have cut trees and brush, clipped alder, and raked rough spots have not been named here. If you have seen an error here or if you know of a major designer or significant event we have missed please let us know so that the next draft can be more accurate.
History of Point Campbell/Kincaid Park
(Compiled by the Parks and Recreation Department - MOA for the 10th anniversary of the Kincaid Outdoor Center)
On March 1, 1959, the 4th Missile Battalion, 43 Artillery, became the first operational Nike-Hercules Unit in Alaska. Located on three sides of Anchorage, the sites, known as Battery A, B, C, launched and stored Nike-Hercules missiles. Each site had one of the most advanced radar systems of the day and was maintained on a 24 hour, seven day a week vigil with over 100 men on alert.
Battery A was located on Point Campbell Military Reservation, now known as Point Campbell/Kincaid Park. The mission of these missile batteries, until their deactivation in 1979, was to provide air defense for Anchorage, Fort Richardson Army Reservation and Elemendorf Air Force Base.
The name Nike and Hercules was derived from the mythological winged Goddess of Victory and mythological strongest man of the world. The Nike-Hercules was a solid propellant missile with a range in excess of 15 miles and altitude of over 100,000 feet. The Nike weighed 1300 pounds, was 16 inches in diameter and 12 feet long. Once launched, the Nike could accelerate from 0 to 1000 mph in less than 4 seconds.
In 1971, the unit's name was changed to 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery. The unit was deactivated on March 30, 1979 and fell into the jurisdiction of Elemendorf Air Force Base. Elemendorf had plans to construct a sophisticated airborne warning and control system at the site, but their plans fell through. The land was transferred to the Municipality of Anchorage by the Federal Land Surplus Act on November 25, 1980. On July 12, 1983, the land came under management of the Parks and Recreation Department and was added to Kincaid Park where the Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage and Anchorage Parks and Recreation have been developing ski trails, with nearly 11 km of the trail system lighted on 1400 acres of land.
Construction began in 1985 on the Kincaid Outdoor Center. One of the Nike-Hercules missile silos was selected for remodeling and upgrading to create the existing Outdoor Center. One can walk through the Outdoor Center today and still see some of the features of the missile battery existence.
Construction was completed and Kincaid Outdoor Center was turned over to Anchorage Parks and Recreation on Saturday April 12, 1986.