Spring has come unusually early in the Mat-Su Valley, and everyone is bustling with activity as temperatures hit the mid-50s as early as mid-March. As news reports of a blizzard hitting the Midwest hits the airwaves, Alaskans are doing things like getting their golf game tuned up this April.

One clear indication that spring came early is the birch sap harvest that takes place near Talkeetna every spring. Temperatures must remain above freezing for the sap to be harvestable. Kahiltna Birchworks, the company that taps the trees to get the sap, started their process the first of April - the earliest in the company's 30-year history.

The early spring has also led to golfers grabbing their clubs a bit early. Both Palmer Golf Course and Settlers Bay Golf Course opened to play on Friday, April 5, giving duffers an opportunity to dust off the rust on their swings. Both courses are in great shape considering it is still early April, and they'll continue to get better as the days go by. 

The number of hikers hitting the Butte has also increased substantially this spring, as everyone is eager to get out and enjoy the great weather and get a jump start on their summer activities. While the Butte is a popular hike that is a great idea for spring, remember that some trails should be avoided during this time of year, as they need time to dry out and firm up.

While open water is still a bit in the future, lake fishing will begin soon and spring is a great time to target species like trout and pike.

Get ready for a great summer by taking advantage of "bonus" spring in the Mat-Su Valley!