Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

CIA making headway on trail around homes


The Chilkoot Indian Association is about halfway toward completing a trail encircling its Chilkoot Estates subdivision, an addition that will more than double the length of a .7-mile wetlands trail across from the high school the tribe completed in 2015.

Tribal transportation coordinator Nick Kokotovich said the new section starts where the previous section ended, across the street from a parking lot on the north side of Chilkoot Loop. Expected to be completed in summer of 2018, the trail will include pull-outs, benches and interpretive signs about vegetation, wildlife and traditional uses of the land.

“My relatives used to hunt ducks back there,” said Kokotovich. Because much of the new trail is in saturated areas, about half of the new trail will be in the form of boardwalks, he said. “Some of it is really, really wet ground.”

Work extending the trail is continuing through winter, with new sections being added during thawing spells and improvements like bull rails installed during colder temperatures.

At five feet wide, the trail is intended for resident and community use by pedestrians, bicyclists and horse riders.

A 600-foot section added last year connects the subdivision to the Deishu Drive subdivision at the south end of the Deishu apartments. Another spur may connect the new loop to Third Avenue close to its intersection with Old Haines Highway.

The tribe, which is handling the construction work, has acquired a tracked loader and trailer in recent years and also will purchase additional equipment with an eye toward other trail work in the community, Kokotovich said.

“We’ve been talking to the state about doing maintenance on their trails but we don’t have any agreements yet,” he said. Ideally, other projects would be lined up as work on CIA trails winds down, he said.

Tribal officials have been meeting with other groups including Takshanuk Watershed Council, on plans for a trail starting from the southwest corner of the tribe’s new trail, extending west.


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