Rabbit Slough is a shallow creek that flows through a large network of interconnecting waterways. 5.5 miles of iceskating will take you to a series of breath taking frozen lagoons in the windswept Palmer Hay flats.
Most skaters start at the Rabbit Slough Parking lot at the end of the frontage road that comes off of Trunk Road. To reach the lagoons, skate left from the parking lot.
Note that the maps call this waterway Palmer Slough, but everyone calls this trip Rabbit Slough.
From the boat launch you’ll snake under low hanging alders that crowd the shore for the first couple miles. This section of the slough has plenty of straights aways that really allow you to pick up speed and in comparison to the rest of the trip, gives you some more protection from the wind.
Past the wooded section you’ll be rewarded with unobstructed panoramic views of Pioneer Peak and the Chugach Mountains.
The slough winds through the tidal flats in a series of hairpin turns.
Stay on the slough until you reach this prominent and illegally built shack on the left bank. This is a great place to sit down and rest on the benches if your feet hurt from all the skating. For those who want to keep going this is a great jumping off point to explore the extensive lagoon network on the flats.
The slough and the marshlands at the end are notorious for sometimes being covered in silt or dirt that gets blown around the valley – after a good day of skating make sure to check and see how sharp your blades still are.
Be cautious of overflow and be aware that this is definitely wild ice. It’s always advisable to check up weather reports or drill into the ice yourself to test the thickness – it can be very variable regardless of where you drill.. Make sure to bring the proper safety gear as well. Like a throw rope with ice screws, a helmet, ice spikes, and extra clothes in a dry bag.
If you don’t have Nordic skates, don’t worry any skates will do – even if that skate looks identical to a bike with studs.