Pattern of Community Inspiration
Home of the Ski Bear
For over 50 years, Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage has been committed to providing the best cross country skiing opportunities for Anchorage. Since the early 60s as Anchorage grew, motivated parents and those who found joy investing in their community prioritized their kids’ health and wellness by building trails, and investing time and energy to provide outdoor recreation options for their community. Dirt, sweat and tears have led to many of Anchorage’s trails. Starting with trail design and constructions, NSAA’s focus has now shifted to taking care of our existing trail system with regular, extensive maintenance that ensures sustainability for years to come.
In the early 60s, skiers used trails in Anchorage wherever they could: potato fields, prison farms, camper parks, animal shelter property and military bases. Winter trail grooming prior to 1976 was all voluntary. It wasn’t until 1976 that the city funded a contract to groom ski trails. Less than 7 years later, the passage of a tax cap in 1983 eliminated that funding. NSAA assumed the trail maintenance and grooming, supported primarily by individual donations and volunteers. NSAA’s community spirit, tenacity and volunteer driven work ethic perfectly reflect Anchorage’s ”live, work, play” vision, with NSAA having a significant role in the PLAY piece.
Today, thousands of enthusiastic trail users frequent the trails year long, but most have no idea who created and is responsible for the trails they love. Many assume taxes cover grooming and year around maintenance costs, but NSAA is responsible for most of the soft-surface trails in our community with help of individual contributions, volunteer time and local support. NSAA is committed to healthy living and enhancing the quality of life for Anchorage, one trail at a time.