Kincaid Park, Point Campbell

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Kincaid Park, Point Campbell

by | Oct 5, 2020

Kincaid Park is 1,517 acres (614 ha) located on Point Campbell between Knik and Turnagain Arms at the head of Cook Inlet, 5.2 miles (8 km) southwest of downtown Anchorage, Alaska. The park was created in 1978 on the site of a deactivated Nike missile base. The park has since been developed into a world-class Nordic ski facility.

In 1778, James Cook explored here while searching for the Northwest Passage. In 1794, George Vancouver, who had sailed with Cook, returned here for more surveys and charting. His journals describe naming Cook Inlet, Turnagain Island (now Fire Island), and Points Woronzof, MacKenzie, and Campbell at the junction of Knik and Turnagain Arms. Although naming Point Campbell, Vancouver did not attribute the name to a specific person which created opportunities for subsequent speculation. However, the most likely source of the name was Sir Archibald Campbell, who was a British Army officer appointed Governor of Jamaica in 1782. Vancouver was introduced to Campbell while serving as a lieutenant in the West Indies under Sir Alan Gardner in 1784-89 where he conducted his first independent marine surveys. Sir Campbell died in 1791 in England, a few days before Vancouver departed on his voyage to the Pacific Northwest.

Anchorage started as a tent city on Ship Creek in 1912,  and by 1915 the area to the south around Point Campbell had been turned into the Point Campbell Military Reserve. In 1959, the 4th Missile Battalion became the first operational Nike-Hercules Unit in Alaska. Located on three sides of Anchorage, the sites were known as Battery A, B, and C, and each stored and launched Nike-Hercules anti-aircraft missiles. Battery A was located on Point Campbell Military Reservation. The unit was deactivated in 1979, and the land was transferred to the Municipality of Anchorage. In 1983, the land came under the management of the Parks and Recreation Department and was added to Kincaid Park where the Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage was developing a network of ski trails. Read more here and here. Explore more of Kincaid Park here:

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