Marsh Lake

Sterling, AK
Length: 6.00 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

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Marsh Lake Trail was built over a rehabilitated wildland fire fuel break from the 2015
Card Street Fire. It is a wide, rolling trail with few hills. The trail passes a wildlife habitat restoration area which, over time, will show the stages of forest succession, but now makes the first part of the trail windy and more exposed to the elements than the rest of the trail, which passes through old growth boreal forest before reaching Marsh Lake.
SCENIC VIEWS: Several nice viewpoints can be found on Marsh Lake Trail, on small knolls that give brief looks out across the wildlife restoration area near the beginning of the trail, and later, where the trail reaches a hill overlooking Marsh Lake and the mountains to the north.
CAMPING: No formal campsites have been established on Marsh Lake Trail though several nice spots on the hill near Marsh Lake would be suitable. Please use a backpacking stove to reduce impact. Carry water or filters. Giardia is known to exist on the Refuge and lake water should be treated properly before consumption.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: The wildlife habitat restoration area offers good viewing opportunities for birds of prey like owls hunting along the forest edge. Wildflowers can also be seen throughout the summer months. Fall colors and mushrooms are great in the autumn.
WINTER ACTIVITIES: Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are possible on this trail, though three hills in particular will make skiing difficult for the novice.

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Trail Features

Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 100 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Lake, Mud Puddles, Shaded Hike, Viewpoint, and Wildlife Viewing

Trail Contributor

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Lacey Stock is the Kenai Peninsula Branch Ambassador (16,000 square miles) in Alaska for Hike it Baby. She is also a volunteer on the Technical Support Team and Calendar Team for Hike it Baby. She has visited 49 out of the 50 United States and hopes to hit Hawaii in the near future. She has enjoyed hiking all her life and hopes to instill that same value and love in her three daughters (Rebekah (6), Hannah (4), and Esther (2).) Originally from Katy Texas (Near Houston), she now resides in Nikiski Alaska. Lacey owns her own yoga studio and volunteers on two local boards (Kenai Little League and Nikiski Senior Service Area). She also is a fulltime college student currently with a Associates of Technology in Process Technology and pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Social Sciences with concentrations in Anthropology, Government & Political Science, and Economics. She is a homeschooling mom as well and loves to take her kiddos on “fieldtrips” around the country where you can almost always find them hiking during the trip.


Trail Map

Getting There

Marsh Lake Trail is located on Skilak Lake Road, at milepost 16.6, just over 2 miles from the west entrance junction with the Sterling Highway. The trailhead, on the west side of the Skilak Wildlife clearing.