On a hot summer day in Alaska, there is nothing better than soaking up those incredible UV rays while staring a a large mass of water that you can dream about jumping into head first at any given moment. And really, maybe you just might take the plunge! Why not, right? In the raw and rugged last frontier, anything goes. Heck, you only live once so why not seize the moment? And without further ado, you’ve just got to check out these 16 gorgeous waterfront trails in Alaska that are perfect for enjoying a summer day!
1. Chena Riverwalk – Fairbanks
When the temps rise to the 80s and 90s, you'll be flocking to this 3.5 mile paved river-walk that stretched from Pioneer Park and Airport Way,
2. Nugget Falls at Mendenhall Glacier – Juneau
On a warm day in the capital city of Alaska, it doesn't get much better than an easy, short hike (about 20 minutes one way) to a huge glacier with booming falls splashing on you from a safe distance.
3. Westchester Lagoon – Anchorage
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail offers miles upon miles of stunning beauty along the inlet. Kick off your day in the sun downtown at this gorgeous lagoon that is perfect for dipping your toes in the water after a nice run or bike ride.
4. Susitna Riverwalk – Talkeetna
Oh Talkeetna, you beautiful little slice of paradise! The short, rocky river-walk along the Susitna River is the perfect place to take in a spectacular view of Denali (on a clear day) and soak up those bluebird sky's.
5. Homer Spit Path – Homer
Park over to to the left and take a 3-4 mile mile walk, run or bike ride town the perfectly paved path. Enjoy epic views of Kachemack Bay and the Homer Boat Harbor in the distance. Take the beach back (on the other side) and let your toes cool off in the ocean water.
6. Russian River Falls – Cooper Landing
Head to Russian River Campground for awesome well-traveled dirt trails that lead to world-class fishing spots. Or take the 2.5-mile trail to the falls and enjoy a breathtaking view. Be bear aware!
7. Connell Lake Trail – Ketchikan
Go 2.3 miles one way on this moderate hike (with an elevation gain around 100 feet) and enjoy views of Talbot Lake and Connell Lake.
8. Lake Gertrude Trail – Kodiak
Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park is an excellent place to soak in breathtaking waterfront views. Lake Gertrude offers a bonus: great fishing!
9. Eklutna Lakeside Trail – Outside Anchorage
Miles upon miles looping the stunningly beautiful Eklutna Lake. Hike, run, bike or just take a stroll with your pups and enjoy and occasional splash in the water to cool off.
10. Tonsina Beach Trail – Seward
Only about three miles roundtrip, this incredible hike is a great place to check out salmon spawning streams or go beachcombing.
11. Lost Lake – Kenai Peninsula
This long trail (15 miles one way) is an excellent place to set out on an overnight backpacking excursion. When you finally get to the waterfront retreat, jump in head first and cool off from the intense sweat that you worked up!
12. Winner Creek Trail – Girdwood
Take the lower trail for a short and sweet three mile trek and enjoy stunning waterfront views. The shade from the large trees will keep you cool on a hot day!
13. Thimbleberry Lake to Heart Lake – Sitka
This 1.7-mile (one way) hot spot is a super popular spot for cyclists, families, runners and swimmers to soak up the endless summer sun.
14. Thunderbird Falls – Chugiak
Take a one mile stroll in the woods and wind up in an enchanting waterfront paradise with an incredible waterfall beating down in the distance.
15. Triple Lakes Trail – Denali National Park
This moderate to intense level 9.3-mile hike is perfect for those who love the mountains yet want to get some waterfront action as well. Bring a good lunch, lots of snacks and ample water because you're sure to work up an appetite.
16. Stampede Trail - Teklanika River
If you've seen the movie 'Into the Wild' then you'll know where were coming from with this recommendation. Cross the Teklanika River in true rugged, Alaskan spirit and find your way to the infamous bus. Be sure to use lots of caution because the waterfront can be swift and roaring defending on the time of year.