Should you ever find yourself in Anchorage, Alaska with a sense of adventure, comfortable shoes, and a few hours to explore, you have to make your way downtown to one of the many bike rental shops and head out to follow the one-way, 11-mile long Tony Knowles Coastal Trail until the end, or as long as you can.

 

It’s a well-marked, wide, nicely paved and maintained trail that winds out of the downtown area.

 

You’ll see an interpretative exhibit about the great earthquake of 1964 and find a few benches where you can take a break and enjoy the view:

 

The scenery is sublime; mudflats on one side of you and forest on the other.

 

You’ll pass under the takeoff and landing path of the Anchorage Airport, so don’t be startled when a jumbo jet roars what seems to be just feet from your head:

 

Don’t be surprised if you see a moose or three, and don’t approach them! I was using a telephoto lens for this picture and was a little spooked when the younger one looked as if he noticed me.

I’m pretty sure that’s just about where I turned around, at about mile 7. And remember, what goes up, must also go down:

 

And since you’ve worked up an appetite, be sure to stop at Tia’s Gourmet Sausage stand at the corner of 4th and E street and treat yourself to a spicy reindeer hot dog.