Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is different from most Alaskan park areas. It is one of the few flat, lake-studded landscapes in Alaska preserved for recreation purposes. The recreation area's clear waters are ringed with unspoiled forests, and provide tranquil settings for canoeing, fishing, hiking and camping. In winter, the rolling topography is ideal for cross-country skiing, dog mushing and snow machining. Campground; in winter the parkway is not plowed beyond the Winter Trail head at mile 2.2. The community of Willow lies two miles north of this junction, and has a full range of services for the traveler. Cabins are located on Red Shirt, Lynx, Nancy, James, and Bald lakes. The cabins are insulated and equipped with wooden bunks, counters, and wood-burning stoves. Each cabin has an outhouse and an outdoor fire ring. Occupants need to bring all personal items including drinking water and leave the site neat and clean when they leave. It is best to bring firewood, as finding firewood may be difficult. Only wood that is down and dead may be gathered. Use of the cabins is by reservation only.
Nice easy hike that leads to beautiful Red Shirt Lake. That being said, the mosquitos were out in the hundreds when we went on this hike. The Pike fishing was awesome and the lake was gorgeous. Not a lot of people out on it because you have to hike to get to it, so great if you want to get away from the crowds. On the hike back the mosquitos weren't nearly as bad; but still, be prepared!
Liz B. on Red Shirt Lake Trail
By Alaska standards, this is a very easy hike. Not much elevation gain at all, if any. I would recommend waiting until the weather is colder to take this hike, though, because of the bugs. Mosquitoes the size of small birds will eat you alive out here amidst a number of area lakes. When you get to Red Shirt Lake, it is a great peaceful spot to fish, canoe or just lie on the bank.
This is an awesome trail. We spent Memorial Day weekend out there. The crowds were absent. We had our pick of the campsites. Which were very nice. Some of the islands have outhouses and campsites. There is bear boxes at some sites and the campsites around Lynx lake have tent platforms. The sounds of the loons at night and in the mornings were very eery but awesome. The sunsets over the lakes were beautiful. Skeeters weren't too bad yet!