Northeast of Anchorage and southeast of Butte in the Chugach National Forest, the Knik River Trail (Knik River Flats) is a 22 mile one-way route open to ATV riding. The route follows the Knik River up to the Knik Glacier.
The trailhead starts at the Knik River bridge on the Palmer side. The route follows the north bank of the river, but is not continuous. To reach the trailhead: About 30 miles north of Anchorage - North on Glenn, take Old Glenn exit (before the river bridges) for about 8 miles along Knik River over the Knik River Bridge - follow the Old Glenn about 1 1/2 miles further, turn right at the Alaska Raceway Park sign (asphalt road), follow it 1.25 miles, past the raceway - two entrances to the Pavilion parking area are on the right (just past Butte Airman Rd on the left)
The first 10 miles are pretty obvious, running from bar to bar in the flood plain. There are small sections of trail on the banks in between the multiple water crossings. The depth of the water crossings varies with both tides and season, and of course, year to year with channel shift. Overall, about a third of the route is across the gravel bars on the valley floor, kind of open riding. About a third is through the forest, and the final third is braided stream valley with water crossings.
The next 12 miles are pure dead reckoning up to the Knik Glacier. Truly a spectacular area. Watch out for moose, bear, caribou, horseback riders and of course, other motorized users.
Note: As of September 2007, ATV riding is not permitted on any Forest Service roads.
Overall, Knik River Trail is the 6th most popular ATV riding trail of all 27 ATV trails in Alaska.