North Peninsula Recreation Area
- Black bear
- Red squirrel
- Common loon
- Common raven
- Varied thrush
- Dark-eyed junco
A lush well-established lowland forest casts a dim greenish light over meandering, well-maintained trails. Forest birds such as thrushes, sparrows and chickadees skitter and sing from the trees, while dark-eyed juncos dart beneath devil’s club and willow. The trails, also used for cross-country skiing in winter, lead to a small lake with breeding loons, whose cries often echo through the forest. Moose find winter and summer food in the area, and black bears have been seen on the trails. A floating bog surrounds the lake, creating an edge between forest and lake that draws out animals. Alaska’s common carnivorous plant, the sundew, can be found amid the moss, lichens and willows near the shore. Watch for black-billed magpies and ravens near the playing fields and the Nikiski Pool.
A white spruce and paper birch forest interspersed with openings and brush dominates the trail system. Understory plants include devil’s club, willow and alder. A wetland rims the lake with a floating bog close to the water and black spruce along the edges The lake itself contains sufficient fish to support a nesting pair of loons.
The North Peninsula Recreation Area of the Kenai Peninsula Borough offers a family friendly swimming pool with waterslide and warm wading area, sports, picnicking, and a community recreation center for the Nikiski community.
Visit early and late to see moose. Walk the trails slowly and listen for bird songs. Spend time at the lake and the loons will appear.
Be prepared for mosquitoes. Bring rubber boots if you want to explore the lake edge, but be careful not to damage wetland vegetation.
Take Kenai Spur Highway/Road north to Nikiski, past the industrial facilities, to milepost 22. Turn left on Poolside Avenue at milepost 23.4 and park behind the Nikiski Pool.
North Peninsula Recreation Area, 907-776-8800