The Airport Wetlands trail is a dirt road that paralells the airport's fenced perimeter. Great views and easy rides are easily attained until adventurous riders decide to head out into the wide open grasslands and tidal flats. Tides can trickle in at moderately aggressive rates and cut off the route the rider previously rode, which adds an element of speculation to the ride. If folks are in the right place at the right time, Alaska Airlines 737's will take off right over your head and give you a roaring, belly button view of take off. It's really exciting! Several helicopter and float plane companies also work out of the area so there is always something flying about the horizons.
Trail DescriptionThe dirt road becomes a meter wide trail that dead ends where the adventurous riding begins turning a 15 minute out and back into two hour excursion. Out in the wetlands, shallow streams can act as possible trails and gently meander their course towards Gastineau Channel and the ocean. There are several optional branching trails that dead end at the channels edge. Otherwise, riders are free to roam wherever they wish.
The only thing to look out for are the rare, guttered out shallow trenches that act as booby traps looming under the coverage of tall grasses. I found two on a recent ride. I also found patches of granite sands forming miniature beaches in the middle of nowhere. Just beyond lay fields of brilliant pink fireweed and wild golden wheats. As the wheels roll along, the swishing grasses have a mezmorizing affect on the brain. To top it off, the ride is wide open out there; a rare feeling for Juneau mountain bikers.
From "the road" turn onto Old Glacier Hwy at the McDonalds light and pass through the next light in order to hang a left onto Berners Avenue across from the Travel Lodge Hotel. When Berners ends at Radcliffe, hang a left and follow it to the trail parking area at the deadend.