Washout Limits Reflections Lake Trail Access
- ADF&G Press Release

Sam Cotten, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, Alaska 99811-5526

Press Release: May 9, 2016

Contact: Joe Meehan, Statewide Program Coordinator, Lands and Refuges Program, (907) 267-2281

Washout Limits Reflections Lake Trail Access

(Palmer) — Visitors to Reflections Lake Trail off the Glenn Highway between Wasilla and Eagle River at the Knik River Access Exit are advised that a portion of the popular trail bordering the lake is currently washed out and impassable. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game plans to conduct emergency repairs as soon as possible, but completing the work may take several weeks.

The washout occurred over the Mother’s Day weekend when high tides breached a berm supporting the trail on the lake’s west end. Refuge users can still walk halfway around the lake but it’s not possible to bypass the eroded section of trail.

“We’re still encouraging the public to use the site,” said Lands and Refuges Coordinator Joe Meehan. “The boardwalk and wildlife viewing tower are still accessible and open to public use.”

Located in the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge, Reflections Lake was created in 1963 when a gravel pit was opened to construct the original highway across the flats; the pit filled with water after area lands sunk in the wake of the 1964 Good Friday earthquake. When the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge was created in 1974, Reflections Lake was included within the boundaries.

Over the years, the site became known for garbage dumping, vehicle burning and target shooting. Cleanup efforts began in 2003 when the community and state and federal agencies worked to remove trash and mitigate hazardous lead-contaminated soils from decades of target shooting.

Improvements today include restrooms, kiosks, interpretive and educational panels, an educational pavilion, a 1-mile loop trail with boardwalks and bridge, and now the wildlife viewing tower. The lake is stocked annually by the department with rainbow trout and is an ideal place for children and those with mobility challenges to enjoy sport fishing. All the facilities including the trail and lower deck of the tower are accessible to those in wheelchairs and with mobility challenges.

For more information, contact Joe Meehan at 267-2281 or joe.meehan@alaska.gov.