Campbell Tract, a 730-acre forested area in East Anchorage, is home to large mammals such as moose and black and brown bears as well as a variety of smaller mammals, including lynx and coyotes. More than 40 species of migratory and resident birds can also be seen here over the course of the year. Diverse insects, including many species of butterflies, also make their home here.
The south fork of Campbell Creek meanders through this quiet natural area, providing spawning habitat for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, and king and coho salmon. The salmon are a food source for the bears sometimes seen here. Bridges over the creek enable visitors to get a good look at the fish.
Visitors to Campbell Tract may also find porcupines, snowshoe hares, and northern red squirrels. Squirrels are preyed upon by coyotes and occasionally by lynx, especially when snowshoe hare populations, their main prey, are in decline. Many raptors, including northern goshawks and great homed owls, also consider squirrels fair game.
There are several access points onto Campbell Tract. The main entrance is accessed from Abbott Loop and East 68th Avenue. Parking is available at the Smokejumper Trailhead and visitors can access both trails and the Campbell Creek Science Center road from here.
Many trails provide a nice hike into the area in summer and winter. In winter, this is a great place to try out your snowshoes and look for animal tracks.
Viewing and Safety Tips
Watch animals from a distance and be careful not to disturb nesting or baby animals. Be aware this area is also home to bears. Avoid surprising a bear and be especially alert in situations where a bear's ability to see you is impaired, such as low light conditions or thick brush. Be careful when background noises such as rushing water mask the sound of your approach. Sing, clap or talk loudly so a bear can hear you over the noise. Also, watch for moose along the trails and yield the right-of-way. Be especially alert for moose cows with young caIves.
Campbell Tract trails include approximately 3.5 miles worth of wheelchair accessible trails, including Lore Road Trail, Lynx Trail, Coyote Trail, Moose Track Trail, Old Rondy Trail and the Campbell Creek Science Center (CCSC) Spur Trail. The trails are packed gravel and meet federal accessibility guidelines.
Travel on Lake Otis Parkway to East 68th Avenue and head east on East 68th until it intersects with Abbott Loop Road, the western boundary of Campbell Tract. Turn right onto Abbott Loop Road and the entrance to the Campbell Tract will be on your left. A large facility sign marks the entrance. The Smokejumper Trailhead is the first pullout on the left.