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Skyline Ridge Park is an isolated municipal park located north of Fairbanks on the side of a hill—essentially a low ridge that forms the skyline of the city.
There are several different trails throughout this park, and some of them can be combined into a decent little loop.
Fair warning: this isn't an epic loop that will lure in tourists looking for an epic hike, but it *is *a popular locals loop.
While popular with hikers, the area is also particularly known for trail running. One of the reasons that these mediocre trails seem so popular is because this park is indeed located on a skyline ridge.
Many of the main trail systems closer to downtown Fairbanks run through lower, more mellow terrain that, while frozen and passable in the winter, turns to marshy muck in the summertime.
In contrast, these short trails in Skyline Ridge stay dry on the hillside and drain quite well. There are two different ways to access the trails, but the most easily-accessible trailhead is actually located on top of the mountain.
So, you'll have to hike downhill, then turn around and hike back up. The loop as mapped follows two of the natural-style singletrack trails running through the dense forest.
These two trails form a pleasant little loop that provides mellow walking or running over rooty terrain.
Many parts of the trail are veritably laced with tree roots, and these can get quite slippery when wet. Bisecting the entirety of the loop is a wide gravel path, which is the main trail in Skyline Ridge Park.
If, for some reason, the other trails are too wet and slick, or you want a shortcut, this wider path is a great option.
It also makes for a very mellow walk if you want something truly easy. Despite being located so high on an elevated ridge, you'll unfortunately never break out of the trees to gain a vista of the valley below.
This is a shame, and a viewpoint would make the area so much more attractive, but c'est la vie. The trails here are also legal for mountain biking, and while you'll find some riders on them, they are far from the best mountain bike trails in Fairbanks.