Chena River Greenway

Run the beautiful Chena River Greenway through downtown Fairbanks.

Trail Running Easy

Distance
12 km
Ascent
388 m
Descent
388 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
90 m
High Point
156 m
Gradient
10˚
Chena River Greenway Map

The Chena River Greenway is a beautiful paved path that winds along the eponymous river through the heart of Fairbanks, Alaska. This mellow trail is a great way to experience Alaska's second-largest city, which is one of the northernmost cities in the world.

Description

While Fairbanks can be bitter cold in the wintertime, in the summer, the weather along the riverfront can be absolutely beautiful! You'll enjoy wildflowers, beautiful trees, and the sites and sounds of this small city.

Most of the trail is straightforward, but the section where the greenway skirts around the heart of downtown can be confusing at first. To avoid having to cross traffic at all, take a left turn across the first bridge (Barnett Street Bridge). After crossing the bridge, take a hard left turn and wind back underneath, utilizing an underpass to travel under the Barnette Street Bridge and Cushman Street Bridge. Then, look for a pedestrian bridge up ahead, take a right to cross the Chena River again, and carry on down the greenway.

One notable feature along the route is the Fairbanks Antler Arch, located just off the main greenway path. The arch is made of over 100 different antlers of varying types. Although it's often known as the "Moose Antler Arch," you can also spot antlers from caribou and elk.

The route, as shown here, measures 7.5 miles round-trip, running from a parking lot near Pioneer Park to the edge of Fort Wainwright—a US Army base. It's possible to continue several miles further along the river through the military base, but you do need to check in at the entrance station before you continue. Be sure to bring your driver's license as identification if you choose to head through the base.

This flat paved path serves all types of people and all types of activities, from cyclists to walkers and runners, and even folks on longboards. Whatever your mode of nonmotorized transportation, you'll enjoy the Chena River Greenway. Just be courteous to the other trail users when you pass.

Difficulty

Easy

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between May and October

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area