Located behind the city’s visitor center at 349 Centennial Park Road in Soldotna, Centennial Park is a public-use, fee-based park and a campground with Kenai River and fishing access. This campground gets very busy when Salmon are running in the Kenai River. Anglers descend upon the Kenai River’s banks as thousands of Salmon swim through the river within easy casting distance of the large fishing areas in the campground.
Centennial Park was first built in the early 1980s and was later expanded to include a boat launch and new campsites throughout the following decades. New restrooms and cleaning stations were added to the park in 2011. In 2013, fish boardwalks and stairs were re-designed and installed; this greatly improved the natural habitat for fish, plants, and other living organisms along the river.
This park is a bit of “wilderness in the city.” It is a vast forested and wooded area with around a mile of frontage on scenic Kenai River; it is separated from the Regional Sports Complex by a steep wooded slope. Centennial Park has over 175 designated campsites, you can spot some of them along the river, and they all have fire pits, picnic tables, and lots of trees surrounding the site for privacy. Most sites are handicapped accessible, and potable water is available at well houses. There’s a park booth with pay phones and newspapers available. There’s also ice available to cool down on hot days and firewood to warm up on cold days.
This park isn’t just for camping; picnic and fishing areas are available for every visitor to enjoy. Over 650 feet of high-leveled boardwalk and 13 sets of river access stair units will guide you safely to the river’s edge. At the same time two boat launches allows you to get your boat on the lake, which is excellent considering that this area offers some of the best silver and red Salmon on the entire Kenai River.