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by Wildcat Dianne
June 19, 2010
Elderberry Park is one of the many parks in Anchorage that is great for hiking and other outdoor activities. Located at the western End of 5th Avenue in Downtown Anchorage, this park covers western Anchorage and is linked to Earthquake Park and Kincaid Park by several paths that link the three parks together. While Kincaid and Earthquake Park are located on the outskirts of Anchorage, Elderberry Park is more downtown but worth the time to hike around and enjoy the views of Flat Top and Denali.
I was in need of a little hiking to get my exercise while in Alaska along with needing a change of scenery while I was walking around downtown Anchorage. So I left downtown Anchorage and headed west to Elderberry Park. I was greeted by green paths and views of the Pacific Ocean along with the snowcapped peaks of Denali (Mt. McKinley) and Flat Top, a popular hiking destination in Anchorage. To the right of the park entrance is the Oscar Anderson House, a yellow with brown trimmed house that was built by one of Anchorage's Swedish immigrants to the area. After Mr. Anderson's widow died about 30 years ago, the house was sold to someone else, but they moved out a few years later saying the place was haunted by the spirit of Mrs. Anderson. The place was never lived in again and is now a tourist attraction. I didn't go inside the place thinking it wasn't open for sightseers, but I did take some pictures and admire the architecture of the place.
After sitting to catch my breath a bit after all of that walking, I hit the path to check out the scenery more. I went right and took pictures of a ship wrecked in the mud flats located all over the shores of Anchorage. A word to the wise about those mud flats: If you are in a park in Anchorage, obey the signs posted to stay on the pathways. If you get into a mud flat thinking you can cross over to Flat Top, you are sadly mistaken. After getting stuck in the quicksand like mud of the flats, you are screwed. You will be doubly screwed if high tide hits when you drown. So stick to the paths and no one gets hurt!
After looking at the Anderson House, I went left towards a tunnel that leads you to the rest of the path in Elderberry Park towards Earthquake Park. I enjoyed the views of the driftwood in the mudflats along with flat top and the beautiful Alaskan Mountains. There is a little statue of a little boy bent over as if he is looking at something in the water, and it reminded me of my Dad when he goes to a new body of water and has to touch the water to claim he has been to the Atlantic or Pacific or the Gulf of Mexico. "I need to touch the water!", His Lordship claims.
I hiked about a mile before turning around to head back into the downtown, and I returned the next day to hike the same path and enjoy the fresh air and scenery once again. On the way back up the steep hill back into downtown Anchorage (and a cold drink), I stopped at the Captain James Cook Memorial (more on this in my next journal entry) to admire the beautiful bronze statue there.
Make sure you wear good shoes when going to Elderberry Park. I wore sandals the first time I went there and couldn't go very far without my ankles screaming by the end of the day and if you can't make the hills getting to Elderberry Park, then it's best to stay downtown and admire the views from the many hilltops. It's a place not to be missed in Anchorage.
From journal Things To Do For Free In Anchorage
October 11, 2000
From journal A Weekend in Alaska