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Trail Update from Dan



No grooming was done this week due to the fact that we have had no new snow, unseasonably warm temperatures and continuing work to remediate stumps on the new trails. The remediation work is nearly complete and has dramatically improved the surface of the trails. Big Lake area trails are a little rough with only a few inches of compacted snow. Temperatures have been in flux between 11 degrees and 39 degrees this week.


Come out to Big Lake this weekend to enjoy the restart of the Iron Dog on Sunday. Watch for them on the trails. While your out here, look for the new maps and kiosks on the trail.


Have a great weekend,


Dan Mayfield

Big Lake Trails, Inc.




Attached is a preliminary draft map of the trail system. It is only meant to show some of the changes and does contain some inaccuracies.


Drafts of the new trail maps can be viewed here, and here. Please remember that these are preliminary.


Security is a big concern for all of us on the lakes and surrounding area, whether you're a weekender or a full-time resident.

A new, all Alaskan company is debuting a product which might be of great interest to many of us.

SimpleSensor has more information Here.

The trail cleaning event was a success!


A large group of volunteers met at the East end of Flat Lake Saturday morning and promptly  headed out. We cleaned/brushed trail six all the way out to the Big Swamp.

We had a couple minor mishaps along the way, but that just made it a bit more interesting.





Erin Borowski sent in a link to a video that her son Ian and his friend Connor Zietlow made while having some fun on the ice a couple weeks ago.

From a safety standpoint, I'm not sure I'd recommend this, but the guys seem to be enjoying it.  12-4-14

Suspicious Activity Warning!


Paul Hansmeyer forwarded an important e-mail from a Horseshoe Lake resident:


"I received this email from Cathi Kramer over on Horseshoe Lake."


Hello Neighbors, I was made aware of some suspicious activity in the Big Lake area last night …. Please be on the lookout for a Black S-10 Blazer / late 90’s – license plate GLV975 with 2 male occupants. Please contact the Alaska State Troopers if you see this vehicle. Occupants were seen fleeing from a home in the Big Lake area on 11/18/14 and have been reported in other areas as well. FYI - MEA has a scheduled power outage for our area from 1 pm – 3 pm today. Stay safe and warm! Thank You, Cathi Horseshoe Lake Firewise Coordinator

The first of the season!

Remember to check the ice!

Over by Loon point, he was heading towards North shore campground? He was lucky there was a road nearby and towed it out the next morning.

TundraBen  11-9-14

Tundraben sent out some interesting shots from around Long Island. Click here to see.


Please remember the good

people who keep the roads to our

cabins open! Without them it

would be a long walk!

Donations to the Big Lake Ice Road Fund (just $100 for the whole winter!) for Flat Lake, Mud Lake, and Big Lake can be mailed to:

Carolyn Haggard

14949 Big Lake Lodge Road

Wasilla, AK 99623

Aaron from Big Lake put together an awesome video of himself and friends ice skating on the lake. Very nicely done, and best viewed in full screen.

Looks like a great way to spend an afternoon!


Click HERE to view

Burkeshore is delivering heating fuel on the lake. General Manager Tom Vitt has more information Here.

Flat Lake Weather

Sunday, 3/1/15.  Mostly cloudy yesterday, with light snow, and a high of 32.  No accumulation.  Foggy this morning, with a low of 17.   Total snow accumulation for the season is 23.75" but has settled and melted to 4.5", with a solid crust.  The ice roads on Mud Lake,  Root Beer Lake, and Flat Lake are in great shape, other than a little rough getting on and off.  Big Lake has refrozen, and the road is very rough in places, with jumbled ice shards.

As of 2/15/15, ice thickness on Flat Lake varies between 26" and 29".


SNOWMACHINERS and ATVs -USE CAUTION!  The channels between Flat Lake, Mud Lake and Big Lake have thin ice.  Warn any guests who aren't familiar with the area to stay out of the channels.  A four wheeler fell through the ice in the Big Lake channel on January 2nd.  Also, your volunteer plow crews would appreciate it very much if snowmachiners would avoid spraying snow into the plowed areas.  The snow sets up into speed bumps, and is hard on the trucks and drivers.










Jake, Craig, Wes, Calvin and Jaye have been hard at it, and their work is displayed in a great photo of Flat Lake, taken from the air by Wes.  It was taken looking down the lake to the east towards Mud Lake and Big Lake.


 Haggard Boat Storage and Repair http://haggardstorage.com/


Self-storage units now available for rent at Haggard Storage.  The units are 10' x 10', with concrete floors and interior sheetrock walls.  Heated units are $85 per month, unheated are $55 per month.  Units are available under a 6 month minimum contract.  Rent one for a year, and take 10% off! - Dale and Carolyn Haggard Call 907-892-7797 or 907-232-7411

We can also put a skookum top on as well as glass in your boat:

Dale Haggard

Carolyn Haggard




Smashwords (mobi format for Kindle)



ON FLAT LAKE TIME is the story of how my beautiful, resourceful wife, Gail, and I solved the many unforeseen problems encountered when we moved off the road system to a remote cabin on a lake in Big Lake, Alaska. It chronicles the adventurous lives of the Flat Lake “home guard” and the shift in perspective it takes to fully enjoy and look forward to the next challenge.

Cathy Mayfield shares some

beautiful shots.

(Click image to enlarge)

Aurora Forcast

Thanks To Larry Taylor



Rullah, a black and white Siberian husky, is missing. He took off last night (Feb 28)from our home on Mud Lake. He has poor vision and hearing and suffers from dementia. Please call Ken or Jo Walch if seen 892-2400 or 354-4305.

Thanks so much



A small cosmetics bag was found on the ice on Flat Lake. If you lost one, or know who did, please e-mail me with a description so that it can be returned.

Here's a photo of the Big Lake ice road, taken this evening.  There's standing water pretty much all the way, several inches deep in places.  No hole or ruts, though.  Flat Lake and Mud Lake are drier.  We're going to drive around West Susitna Pkwy and South Big Lake Road for the next few days.  It's supposed to get colder, and it would be nice to let the road freeze back up without tearing up the fresh ice.

Carolyn 2-23-15



The current temperature at Big Lake is 38 degrees. Two days of rain and warm temperatures have caused Ice 5 to be covered with 3" - 5" of water. This makes for sloppy and slippery travel on the lake. The faster you travel in these conditions, the more likely your engine may get flooded with water and stall. Just urging some caution.

Dan Mayfield 2-23-15



I would like to add, go slow, It will effect your electrical system, if your heaters draws down you're going too fast.

The roads on this side are not any better but if we had more snow things would be a lot worse.

Tundraben 2-23-15



Big Lake Truck Recovery




Hi Rob,

Here are some pictures of the truck recovery from Big Lake this afternoon.  As you may recall, a couple guys were fortunate to escape from a 2013 Denali pick up when it broke through the ice and sank in 22' of water early last month.  The crew who retrieved it today cut a truck-sized hole in the ice with a chain saw.  The ice was about 18" thick.  They had a diver attach 2 cables to the back of the truck near the bumper.  They were strung through a couple pulleys on the top of a steel tripod, and attached to the winch lines of 2 big pick ups.  Once the Denali was pulled to the surface, and the rear axle was exposed, 2 more lines from a third truck with winch and a portable winch were attached to the axle, and a couple big wooden poles were pushed into the water under the truck.  The truck was eased out onto the ice on the poles.  The whole operation went pretty smoothly, but took several hours.  There was a pretty good crowd there to watch.


Carolyn Haggard



Hey Rob,

Here's a photo of the 4 wheeler that fell through the ice yesterday afternoon.  It came out without too much trouble, with the help of some Flat Lakers.

On scene would be Larry Merriman, Craig Johnson, and Turk Kincaid. With some assistance from Kenny and Kristen Smith, who encountered the unfortunate driver right after the incident, and made sure he was OK, in addition to getting him hooked up with some Flat Lakers who were willing to lend a hand.

Carolyn Haggard   1-3-15



A map of Big Lake has been added to the "Useful links" column below.

Several people have asked about the location of some of the points referenced in ice and road reports. I have to admit that, even though I've been coming up to Big Lake for over over 27 years, I still have to look at a map to find some of the geographic points.

I obtained permission from Todd Communications to use the map, and Digital Blueprints of Alaska was kind enough to scan it for me so I could upload it.

I'm going to try to add information to the map in the near future, but hopefully this helps.

Bob Shem Photo.

There's a vehicle at the bottom of

this hole.........see below.


An Evening at the Mayfields : 12-5-14



First rescue mission of the year.

We have been warning people for a couple of weeks not to trust the ice on the west end of the lake but many people are tempted, might I say attracted, to try traveling to the west end because the roads are so great on the east end and, of course, there are no warning signs to stop people.

So, as Cathy and I sit in our easy chairs at 1 AM watching the last part of a show, we see two headlights come down the lake. As these headlights reach the a...rea near Bentz Island, they disappear, we see taillights and then nothing. Cathy and I jump into our snow gear and boots and then jump onto our 4-wheelers heading for Bentz. When we arrive, we find two guys waving us down. They had safely gotten out of the vehicle while it was sinking, just barely.

These two guys actually complained that there should have been warning signs posted on the road to warn people not to continue.

Big Lake ice has claimed it's newest addition. A 2013 Denali. Please folks, do not trust the west end of the lake unless you have measured the ice along your route. May I suggest that businesses and individuals on the east end, warn people and post notices that the ice is unsafe on this end. It may help. Now 3:14 AM and overdue for bed.




© 2014 Rob Nuss    907 rob@gmail.com