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The Earliest Matanuska Valley Roads
Very little is written about the earliest roads here in the Valley.
The following information comes from the Chief Engineer Reports for the
Alaska Road Commission 1911-1920. It lists information for the following roads:



                Knik            Willow Creek            Susitna Station            Palmer            Wasilla

      Moose Creek     Matanuska Junction      Fishhook                   Trunk             Springer

      Finger Lake     Edlund                  Matanuska Bridge           Archangel         Mile 26½



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NOTE: Keep in mind that (in these old records) mileage began at Knik, the railroad tracks at Wasilla were at "mile 15" and "mile 26½" was basically at the end of the Carle Wagon road, (today its called Wasilla Fishhook).


Board of Road Commissioners for Alaska Washington Gov't. Printing Office 1911

Route 19  Kern Creek-Knik Trail: This route will carry, in addition to the through travel between Iditarod and the coast, all winter travel to Knik, Susitna, Beluga, Tyonek and Susitna Valley. Construction commenced at Old Knik July 11, 1911 and continues to date, with the trail being complete to Crow Creek Pass so far, 44.8 miles.

Route 20 A  Knik-Susitna winter trail, This trail will accommodate the same traffic as described in Route 19 Kern Creek-Knik Trail, but with a much more direct/shorter route.

Route 35    Knik-Willow Creek Sled Road (approximately 40 miles). Road was located in 1910 and is intended to be a route from Knik to the quartz district of Willow Creek. At present, the district is reached by a passable winter trail over very swampy ground. The new trail is located over dry ground and is expected to serve as a sled road in the winter and pack trail in the summer.


Board of Road Commissioners for Alaska Washington Gov't. Printing Office 1912

Route 20 A  Knik-Susitna Station Trail, 35 miles. At present, the trail follows long and winding trail made by natives. Trail completed in 1912, a direct route from Knik to Susitna Station for winter travel. Travel possible in summer, but not a good trail due to swamps.

Route 35    Knik-Willow Creek Sled Road, about 33 miles (20½ completed).



Board of Road Commissioners for Alaska Washington Gov’t. Printing Office 1913

Route 20 A  Knik-Susitna Station Trail, 35 miles; this trail completed on 11/2/1912. It conforms to the adopted standard for winter trails and provides a direct route from Knik to Susitna Station, for winter travel. It is passable in the summer, but cannot be considered a good summer trail because of swampy ground.  Communication between terminals is maintained in summer chiefly by boats on Knik Arm, Cook Inlet and the Susitna River. Cost of trail averaged $76.95 per mile. It was located and constructed by Mr. R. S. Giddings, foreman.

Board of Road Commissioners for Alaska Washington Gov’t. Printing Office 1914

Route 35 Knik-Willow Creek Road
34 miles; repairs made for 7½ miles of this road; clearing, widening and small amount of corduroy; price of corduroy was 75 cents a linear foot.

Board of Road Commissioners for Alaska Washington Gov’t. Printing Office 1915

Route 19 Kern Creek-Knik Trail, 86 miles; upgrade. Establishment of winter mail service from Seward to Iditarod via this route, together with activities of A.E.C. at Ship Creek made this important trail.

Route 35  Knik-Willow Creek Road
35 miles improved to wagon road standards. In fair condition for entire season by horse dawn vehicles and under favorable condition, supports light automobile traffic.

Board of Road Commissioners for Alaska Washington Gov’t. Printing Office 1916

Route 19 Kern Creek-Knik Trail
, 86 miles; 13 miles of this trail seriously damaged by forest fire summer of 1915, which destroyed greater part of retaining walls on steep grades and bridges.  Travel over this route unusually heavy in 1915 due to increases in mail service and activities of the A.E.C.

Board of Road Commissioners for Alaska Washington Gov’t. Printing Office 1917

Route 19 Kern Creek-Knik Trail, 86 miles. Forest fires summer of 1916 and land slides due to excessive rains, destroyed large part of trail along Turnagain Arm 20 miles.  Removing slides, repairing bridges, culverts, rebuilding cribbing winter of 1916.  Two men hired to clear slides and ice from Turnagain Arm section of trail.

Palmer, Mile 26 Survey: During fall of 1916, a location survey was made for a road, 8 miles long, from Palmer on the Government Railroad, to mile 26 on the Knik-Willow Creek Road.

Board of Road Commissioners for Alaska Washington Gov’t. Printing Off
ice 1918

Matanuska Bridge over Palmer Canyon
; bridge built to provide outlet to government railroad for a farming community on east side of Matanuska River; 150’ combination span, one 100’ combination span and 190’ trestle approach $22,252.15   Palmer – Matanuska Bridge Road, 1½  miles connects Palmer Station on government railroad with new Matanuska Bridge.

Board of Road Commissioners for Alaska Washington Gov’t. Printing Office 1919


Route 35 Knik-Willow Creek Road
34 miles; grading, ditching, cutting down hills from Wasilla – mile 15 to mile 25.  Repaired washouts and culverts mile 25 to 34.

Route 35A  Archangel Extension
– 3 miles; 35’ bridge over Archangel Creek.  Palmer mile 26½  (8 miles) put in corduroy and three 30’ bridges.

Route 35B Palmer Mile 26½ Road
(8 mile wagon road) connects the government railroad at Palmer with the Knik-Willow Creek Road at mile 26½. Road also serves a few small farms. Six acres of right of way cleared $512.18

Route 35C Matanuska Bridge (over Palmer Canyon)
. The main pier of this bridge was damaged by flood during July, which undermined and carried away the rock filling. This was repaired at a cost of $875. Later, built a new pier of larger dimensions, filling it with heavy rock and brush and also dumped a lot of heavy rock around the outside at a total cost of $1890.40.

Route 35G  Palmer-Springer, connects a number of ranchers along the Matanuska River with Palmer at mile 5 of the Chickaloon branch of the government railroad.  About 2 miles of the road were grubbed and cleared in order to allow the ranchers to get in and out with their implements and machinery. Expense $418.

Route 35H  Wasilla-Finger Lake
(7 miles wagon road). This road runs from town of Wasilla at mile 160 government railroad, north, in easterly direction, to connect with the Matanuska Trunk Road (Route 35K) at Forest Hall. It runs through the richest part of the Matanuska Valley and serves a great man ranchers; 6½ miles were grubbed and graded last season at a cost of $725 a mile, total cost $4,714.15.

Route 35I  Moose Creek–Palmer (2 mile wagon road). This is an A.E.C. Tote road and serves a few ranchers living along the railroad.

Route 35J  Wasilla–Matanuska Junction
(11 mile wagon road). Built by A.E.C. for transportation of construction supplies.  Connects Matanuska Junction, mile 151 of government railroad with Wasilla at mile 160.

Route 35K  Matanuska Trunk Road
(8 miles wagon road). Leads from Wasilla Matanuska Road (35J) about a mile out of Matanuska in NE direction, into the farming country and serves a great number of farmers along the route.  At Forest Hall, about mile 6 from Matanuska, it is joined by the Wasilla –Finger Lake Road (route 35H). It terminates with its junction with the mile 26½ Palmer road (route 35B).

Board of Road Commissioners for Alaska Washington Gov’t. Printing Office 1920

Route 35 Knik-Willow Creek (34 mile wagon road) Connects the mines of Willow Creek District with the government railroad at Wasilla. General maintenance, removing slides and dragging $4122.24

Route 35A  Archangel Extension
(5 1/2 mile wagon road). Begins at the 1.5 mile point on the Willow Creek Extension of Route 35D, traveling the high bench of the Little Susitna River, it turns up Archangel Creek to the vicinity of several small quartz mines in the Willow Creek Mining District.

Route 35B Palmer Mile 26½ Road
(8 1/2 mile wagon road). So called because it leaves the Old Knik Road, 26.5 miles from Knik, or 11.5 miles from Wasilla on the Wasilla-Fishhook Road; running SE to Palmer Station on the Matanuska Branch of the Alaska Railroad, opening large area of promising agricultural land.

Route 35C  Palmer–Matanuska Road
(1½ mile wagon road). Road leads from Palmer Station on Matanuska Branch of railroad for 1/4 mile, turns at right angles crossing the tracks and continues on to the Matanuska River. Chief work on this route was to protect and save the river pier of the Matanuska bridge. Entire river channel has shifted and caused a total settlement of 18'. The settlement was so great that the trusses became badly warped and necessitated dismantling the bridge. As the span lengths used, require a river pier at this location, it was decided to replace this structure with a 300' span suspension bridge and to ship and re-erect the old bridge structure at the Chatanika River crossing on the Chatanika Circle Road.

Route 35D  Fishhook Extension (11 mile wagon road). This road climbs the hill from the terminus of the Wasilla Fishhook Road (35E), turns up Fishhook Creek, a fork of the Little Susitna River and crosses the divide to Willow Creek, 5 miles out. It then follows the valley of Willow Creek to point of the ridge between Willow and Craggie Creeks, then up Craggie Creek to the Gold Bullion Mine. Two native timber bridges with pole decks of 12' and 14' spans were built.

Route 35E  Wasilla Fishhook
(21 mile wagon road). This is one of the most important railroad feeders leading from Wasilla, mile 160 on Alaska railroad, to Fishhook Inn, where it connects with roads to Willow and Archangel Creeks in the Willow Creek Mining District. Two thousand tons are hauled annually over this road.

Route 35F  Wasilla–Knik Road (15 mile wagon road). This road served as the original artery from the head of ocean navigation at Knik, to the Willow Creek Mines. Served the Willow Creek Mining District before completion of the railroad. Road completed Wasilla to mile 7 of Knik Road (formerly a trail through the woods); remaining 8 miles in poor condition.

Route 35G Palmer-Springer Road  (3 mile wagon road) This route connects several ranchers along the Matanuska River with Palmer, mile 6 Matanuska Branch of the Alaska Railroad.

Route 35H  Wasilla-Finger Lake (12 mile wagon road). This is a 24' graded earth road connecting Wasilla with Palmer at mile 6 on the Matanuska Branch of the railroad, passing through rich agricultural district. It crosses at right angles, the Matanuska Trunk Road (Route 3K) at Forest hall, a congregating center for farmers of the entire community.

Route 35 I  Moose-Palmer
(2 mile wagon road) This route is a continuation of an old railroad construction road along the Matanuska branch line, used by a few farmers.

Route 35J  Wasilla-Matanuska (10 mile wagon road) This road was formerly a railroad construction road and almost parallels the track between Matanuska and Wasilla.


Route 35K  Matanuska Trunk Road  (8 mile wagon road) This is an important farm road in the Wasilla-Matanuska section, serving the Government Experimental Station and numerous farms. Cutting the Wasilla-Finger Lake-Palmer road at Forest hall and terminating at its junction with the mile 26.5 Palmer Road, midway between Palmer and Wasilla Fishhook Road.

Route 35 L Palmer-Matanuska (6 1/2 mile wagon road) Built for railroad construction purposes. It passes through an important farming section along the Matanuska branch of the railroad between Palmer and Matanuska.

Route 35 M  Knik Corduroy (3/4 mile corduroy) This corduroy, 10' wide, was placed on the route of the Old Rainy Pass Trail, 1 mile from Knik, to accommodate ranchers for summer use.


Route 35 O  Fishhook-Gold Mint Road
(6 miles sled road) This road connects with the Wasilla Fishhook Road at Fishhook Inn and leads to the Gold Mint Mine and other prospects on the upper Little Susitna River.


Route 35 P  Moose Creek-Baxter (5 mile wagon road). This route leads from mile 13, Matanuska branch of the Alaska railroad up Moose Creek to coal mines and quartz prospects and serves to haul coal to the railroad until Moose Creek Spur is completed.

Route 35 Q Edlund Road  (1/2 mile wagon road) This new road connects farmers on the south side of railroad at mile 157, with the Wasilla Matanuska Road at mile 3, giving them an outlet to the railroad on an easy grade.




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