If you want to get a taste of the natural beauty of the Interior, but are pressed for time, Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge is the perfect place to visit.
Located on the northern edge of the city, 1300 College Road, about 2 miles from downtown, Creamer’s Field offers visitors and residents alike a quality outdoor experience without leaving the confines of the Golden Heart City.
The diverse wildlife refuge is a safe haven for migratory birds and other wildlife as well as an oasis for people who want to spend a few quiet minutes or even hours outdoors.
The nonprofit organization Friends of Creamer’s Field serves as steward of the state-owned refuge in cooperation with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
The Friends of Creamer’s Field Website states: “Our Mission: Inspiring environmental stewardship and lifelong learning through experience, awareness and appreciation of the natural and historical resources of Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge.”
The refuge was purchased from Creamer’s Dairy through a community-wide fundraising campaign more than 50 years ago and is now part of a large complex that includes the farmhouse and gift shop and Creamer’s Barns. It also houses the Alaska Department of Fish and Game offices.
The refuge is open to the public at all times. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the programs offered by the Friends of Creamer’s Field could be altered, delayed or rescheduled during the summer months.
Check the organization’s website, www.friendsofcreamersfield.org, as it will be updated as warranted.
There are three main hiking/walking trails at Creamer’s Field, and trail maps are available at the visitor center.
The Boreal Forest Trail is the most popular of the three, taking you on a 1.5-mile journey featuring at least 17 points of interest. The Farm Road Trail and the Seasonal Wetlands Trail go out into the adjacent fields where the migratory geese, cranes and swans frolic during the spring and fall.
Some of the programs offered by the organization include volunteer naturalist walks at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday, the Design Alaska Wild Art Walk, Creamer’s Dairy Day, the Sandhill Crane Festival and Luminary Trail & Open House.
If you go to Creamer’s Field on your own, dogs are allowed but must be kept on leashes. Doggy stations are set up along the trails.