Project Aims to Revamp Historic Iditarod Trail


by Russ Slaten

Original Air Date: July 26, 2012

One of the greatest passions for many Alaskans is hiking. In order to follow his passion for hiking, and his duty as a life scout, one Anchorage teenager is aiming to bring back one of the lost trails of the Iditarod.

Girdwood, and especially up Crow Creek Road, is home to some of Southcentral Alaska's favorite recreational spots.

One group is set to add to those trails by rehabilitating about a mile of the historic Iditarod Trail. Heading the operation is 17-year-old Nick Reiter, a senior at South Anchorage High School, who will lead about a dozen boy scouts in his mission.

"There's a lot of brush and overgrown vegetation, and there's about two or three wet sections that I want to clear out so people can walk through without having to truck through with rain boots," said Nick.

Nick is currently working to become an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, and to obtain that, he must find a way to give back to his community. His trail revamping project will allow the public to use a larger trail system, but also give him a leg up when it comes to the real world.

"It's really supposed to be like a working experience, and how you manage people, and how you have to plan everything out, kind of like a job," said Nick.

Assisting the scouts, the statewide non-profit group Alaska Trails will provide Nick with a tool trailer to clear the path.

"Part of our mission is to enhance the Alaska trail experience. It just means they will be a little more available for people to use and enjoy," said Alaska Trails Vice President Jack Mosby.

The trail rehabilitation project shows Nick's dedication to the community, but also provides a lesson for a brighter future.

"I hope to be more confident and be able to lead people, and tell them what they need to get done and how to do it. And just be a good leader and follow through with what I want to get done," Nick said.

Nick and his fellow volunteers will work on the historic Iditarod Trail over the next two weekends near the Winner Creek Trailhead down Crow Creek Road.

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