The idea has been proposed for years: a thru hike from Fairbanks in the Alaskan Interior to Seward on Alaska’s southern coast. The nonprofit, Alaska Trails, really started to push the idea last year, and now the State of Alaska seems interested.
Maybe after the pandemic, Alaska leaders have realized we have put most of our tourist eggs in one cruise ship sized basket. At any rate, support for the 500 mile all-Alaska trail is gaining traction in Juneau.
Most of the proposed trail already exists within the trail system, but there are at least two sections where there is no connection. Money is being earmarked in the state budget to complete those connections.
Personally, I’m in favor of the idea, and not just because it will motivate me to get back in shape to hike the 500 miles. Thru hikes bring in tourism, as the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Coast Trail can attest to, but those tourists are not the cruise ship/tourist bus type of people. It’s a separate subsection that Alaska ironically has never really actively gone after. Our attitude is, “Well, it’s Alaska, and they will come”.
Might as well plant that seed early, and give it some water now and then.