Recreational Boating Access Projects
The Big Lake South boat launch facility is a State Recreational Site that is managed and maintained by State Parks. It is located on a 16-acre parcel on the southeast side of Big Lake, approximately 15 miles north of the community of Wasilla at mile 5.2 South Big Lake Road. In 1997, the site was identified as needing an over-haul. Original amenities included a single lane boat ramp, campsites, and toilets. The concrete logs comprising the single lane boat ramp were crumbling and the material surrounding the ramp had eroded away, creating an unsafe and hazardous ramp surface. Traffic flow at the site was also a problem due to the unorganized boat ramp parking area.
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The project objective was to replace the deteriorating boat launch ramp with a wider double lane design, realign the launch parking area for a smoother traffic flow pattern, create a boat mooring and staging area adjacent to the launch ramp and provide various amenities to facilitate day use and camping.
The project was completed in 1999. The old single lane launch ramp was replaced with a doublewide concrete ramp allowing two boats to launch simultaneously. The ramp was also extended further into the lake to help prevent trailer damage caused by dropping off abrupt edges. The parking area was structured to accommodate 25 vehicles with boat trailers, which included 3 handicapped sites. A boat staging area was incorporated into the ramp access road that allows boaters to prepare their boats for launching prior to occupying ramp space. A hardened gravel (handicapped accessible) trail was constructed from the parking area to eight (8) newly constructed campsites having fire rings and picnic tables. A landscaped beachfront, instructional signage and an interpretive kiosk were also constructed as part of this project. The doublewide ramp has benefited boaters by allowing quicker and safer launches and retrievals. Boat trailers and boats are no longer subjected to potential damage due to dropping off the sides or end of the ramp. The mooring beach has encouraged quicker and safer launches and retrievals by providing a staging and holding area during the peak use periods, and, the redesigned parking area has provided a safer and smoother traffic flow to and from the boat ramp.