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Sea Lion Cove Hike – June 10

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We’re having our first off-island hike of the year on Saturday, June 10. 

UPDATE 6/9/17 – This hike has sold out!  

ORIGINAL POST: Sitka Trail Works is offering a 6-mile round trip hike to the beach at Sea Lion Cove on outer Kruzof Island on June 10. If you are looking for a day-hike that packs the most diversity for your effort, the Sea Lion Cove trail is a must!   There are just a few tickets left and they’re going fast.  Book yours now using our online store before they sell out!

If you already have tickets there should be a reminder email in your inbox.  Please come to the Crescent Harbor dock at 6:00am for check-in.  The vessel will depart promptly at 6:30 am and arrive at Kalinin Bay at approximately 7:45 am where you will begin your hike.  We’ll have you back to Crescent Harbor around 5:45 pm.  This trip is part of Sitka Trail Works’ calendar of annual guided hikes which promote trails and get hikers out to enjoy our amazing trail system. Please be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and bring boots for the estuary section.  Hike leaders will carry first aid supplies &VHF radios.

For further information please call Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244.

 

Volunteer Trail Maintenance – Thimbleberry Lake Trail – June 3rd

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June 3 is National Trail Day.  To celebrate, Sitka Trail Works is hosting a trail maintenance event for the Thimbleberry Lake Trail.  We invite everyone to join us and volunteer 9 to 11 am on Saturday 6/3.  Meet at the Thimbleberry Lake trailhead and bring your work gloves, water, and favorite pruners or trimmers.  Tools and snacks will be provided.  For further information please call Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244.

Double Header – Kayak & Hike or Bike Tour – Saturday, May 27th

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We have two exciting outdoor opportunities for you this weekend. Join us Saturday, May 27th!

Kayak/Hike: We are partnering with Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures to bring you a kayak & hiking combo for a special discounted rate of just $99+tax.  Please contact their office at 907-752-0660 to reserve your spot.  The trek will explore Fort Rousseau with about two hours of paddling and two and a half hours of an easy stroll with a few sections of scrambling over rock. You’ll see ammunition bunkers and machine gun platforms. If you intend to go inside the bunkers, you’ll need a flashlight or headlamp. Water and a snack suggested.  Meet at the Big Blue Bus at Crescent Harbor at 9:15am.

Bike Tour: To celebrate National Bicycling Month, Sitka Trail Works and the Bike Friendly Coalition are offering a  free bike tour, guided by Doug Osborne, on the Sitka Cross Trail. The event is scheduled for Saturday May 27, 2017 and will meet at the Indian River trailhead at 9:00 AM. The tour is approximately a 10 mile, moderate to strenuous ride to Kramer Ave. and back to the trailhead. The Indian River trailhead parking lot is up Indian River Road ½ mile; take a right off Indian River Rd. across from Peter Simpson Road.

For more information call 747-7244.

Free Hike – Intro to Geocaching at Cross Trail – May 20th

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Meet at the Sitka High School entrance to the Cross Trail on Saturday, May 20th at 8:30 AM for a short, fun, and free introduction to Geocaching.

Hikers will learn about discovering hidden caches while exploring and take an easy 1 to 2 mile hike on the Cross Trail. Participants/parents and guardians should bring a smart phone with a downloaded geocache app to participate. Also, kids should bring a trinket or two in exchange for a “treasure” they may discover in the cache. Hike length will depend on the interest level of the group. Don’t forget to bring your water bottle.  Touring poles are available to borrow and the hike leader will carry first aid supplies and a VHF radio.

For more trail information call us at 747-7244.

Free Guided Hike – Starrigavan Trails – May 13th

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Our first guided hike of the summer is almost here!  You are invited to explore the Starrigavan Trails with us.  This 3-mile hike will be mostly easy with a few moderate sections.  Meet up at 9:00am on Saturday 5/13 at the gravel Old Sitka boat launch parking lot.

More:  The trail begins by gradually climbing across a side hill to a forested muskeg with small streams. The trail is gravel until it reaches the outskirts of the muskeg on the top of a low hill. Through the muskeg, the trail is a boardwalk and winds among marshy ponds until reaching the forest again, with views up Starrigavan valley. The trail gradually descends through the forest with occasional glimpses through the trees of Starrigavan estuary. At the base of the hill, the trail crosses Nelson Logging Road and crosses Starrigavan River to the Estuary Life portion of the trail. In late summer and early fall spawning salmon may be seen from the bridge. This portion of the trail continues on boardwalk at a gentle 5% grade for about a quarter mile to a bird viewing platform. Bears are common feeding on the grassy flats in the estuary, and sometimes use the trails. Interpretive panels discuss the birds that use the estuary and the fascinating dynamics of an estuary.

Sitka Trail Works board member Deanna Bennett will lead the hike. For more information call 747-7244.

Blue Lake Road and Green Lake Road – Access Update Feb 2017

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The City & Borough of Sitka has issued a statement that repairs to Blue Lake Road and Green Lake Road are nearing completion.

Both roads are now open to public pedestrian access.  Vehicle access to the Heart Lake/Thimbleberry Lake and the Beaver Lake Trails via Blue Lake Road remains closed.

The extensive road repairs are primarily being funded by the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as repairs from the 2015 landslide.  These repairs will allow the Electric Department to complete the dam overlook project which will lead to a reopening of public vehicle access to Blue Lake sometime next fall.  The closure is meant to ensure the safety of the public while large construction equipment is working on the narrow roads.

For additional information please contact the City Electric Department at 747-4000.

NEW ADDED VALUE FOR MEMBERS

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For your holiday shopping – don’t miss out on 10% discounts with our new member’s discount program at three of our Sitka outdoor/hiking gear vendors. This discount program will work on a calendar year basis; so if you have donated to Sitka Trail Works since January 1, 2016, you should have received your 2016 STW Member Card, the flyer below and our Fall newsletter. If you haven’t donated yet, this is an excellent reason to donate now so you can get the most benefit from our membership discount program the remainder of this calendar year.

If you didn’t get your member card or newsletter, contact us by calling 907-747-7244.  (For a look at the Fall Newsletter, just go to the menu bar at the left side of this page and click on the “Newsletter” button.)

member-card-flyer_final_2016_doc55

Thanks to all for a Great Hiking Season!

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Public Meeting Announcement: Sitka Trail Works, in partnership with the City and Borough of Sitka, is planning Phase 6 improvements to the Sitka Cross Trail system. A public meeting to receive comment on the project will be held on November 29th at Centennial Hall, Sitka from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. Detailed maps and information about this project will be shared at this meeting (for a preview, click on the Current Projects tab at top of this page).

The Phase 6 project will build a new multiuse component of the Cross Trail system extending from the Harbor Mountain Road to Starrigavan. The public input received at the public meeting will be a major factor in determining the final trail alignment.

Questions about the project may be directed to Lynne Brandon, Sitka Trail Works, (907) 747-7244. Please send an email to trail@gci.net. or written comments may be mailed to Sitka Trail Works at 801 Halibut Point Rd., Sitka, AK 99835. Comments need to be received by December 14.

Next STW Board of Director’s Meeting:
Sitka Trail Works Board of Director’s meetings are open to STW members and the public.

When: Thursday, January 19th 12:00—1:30 PM

Where: Centennial Building

Meeting Agenda:

TBA
For more info, call the office at 747-7244.

Ft. Rousseau State Historical Park – Causeway

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• USE : Hike

DESCRIPTION : The causeway connects Japonski, Sasedni, Kirushkin, and Makhnait Islands. There are many beaches scattered along the route and beach-combing for shells is good here, but the probability of finding glass fishing floats is slim. There are underground bunkers that remain from WWII and they can be explored but use caution because they are very old. If you do plan on exploring these bunkers, use a good flashlight because within them, there are some sudden drop-offs.

DISTANCE : 1.5 miles one way

TIME : 2 – 3 hours to walk length of trail and explore historic structures and relics. Be sure to be there long enough for the tide to fall enough to access Makhnati Island.

TRAILHEAD : Options to access by kayak or boat at any of the “bights” along the length of the Causeway. Kayaks can be rented or local sea taxis will drop you off and pick you up. Whiting Harbor has an invasive sea organism, the tunicate D.vex (Didemnum Tunicate – Didemnum vexillum), so arriving by boat at high tide is recommended. The organism is found below the low tide line.

ELEVATION GAIN : The trail is level.

RECOMMENDED SEASON : Year-round, depending on sea conditions. The trip to the Causeway is difficult when it is windy.

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY : Easy.

TRAIL MANAGEMENT AGENCY : Alaska State Parks ceased maintenance of the trail when Ranger position defunded due to budget cuts in 2015.

FEATURES

Located west of the Sitka airport runway, Fort Rousseau Causeway State Historical Park provides a unique opportunity for visitors to discover Sitka’s WWII history. Although there is no land access to the park, a short boat ride or kayak is worth the effort. Visitors to the park can explore numerous WWII features including ammunition magazines, lookouts, gun emplacements, and the headquarters command center. The park also offers great opportunities for picnicking and wildlife viewing. Fort Rousseau Causeway SHP is undeveloped.

Fort Rousseau is part of the Sitka Naval Operating Base and U.S. Army Coastal Defenses National Historic Landmark. In addition to National Historic Landmark status, the fort’s significance as the headquarters for the harbor defenses of Sitka during World War II also earned it designation as a State Historical Park in April 2008.

The developed gravel trail ends before the causeway to Makhnati Island. It is recommended to cross this causeway on a falling or low tide. It is impassible at medium to high tide so planning the timing for a crossing is important. The rocks are slippery and extreme care should be taken when crossing the causeway. The best WWII era features are found on Makhnati Island. See link to Matt Hunter’s SitkaWW2 website below for the best description.

OTHER SOURCES

http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/southeast/ftrousseau.htm

http://www.sitkaww2.com/harbordefenses/harbordefenses.html 

Kruzoff Island ATV Trails

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USE : ATV, Bike and Hike

DESCRIPTION : Miles and miles of old logging road used for ATV, biking and hiking trails and beaches to explore crisscrossing this volcanic island.

DISTANCE : Varies

• TIME : 4 – 6 miles

TRAILHEAD : Mud Bay at Kruzof Island.

ELEVATION GAIN : 300 feet

• RECOMMENDED SEASON : Year-Round

• LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY : Easy to Difficult

TRAIL MANAGEMENT AGENCY : US Forest Service


 

ACCESS

This road begins at Mud Bay, which is on the east coast of Kruzof Island and about 13 miles NW of Sitka by boat. The road begins on the north shore of the Bay, west of the cleared area. Kruzof Island road is closed to all vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 1,000 poinds or more. A mooring buoy is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

HISTORY

This trail, originally constructed as a logging road in the early 1970’s offers a good travel way across the island.

SPECIAL FEATURES

During snowy winters this road is good for cross-country skiing. Motorized vehicles are not permitted in iris meadows or off the roadway. Access to the Shelikof cabin (hike-in) and North Beach cabin (ATV use) is via this road.

DESCRIPTION

The intersections are confusing and not signed. It is suggested to carry a map and compass or GPS. The road follows the north side of Shelikof River The intersection for to the Shelikof Cabin turnoff at Iris Meadows about six miles across. After the Shelikof Cabin turnoff the road goes to the right, through Iris Meadow and up over a hill to the several miles to the North Beach cabin.

OTHER SOURCES:

http://www.alaska.org/detail/shelikof-cabin

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/shelikof-cabin/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=71863

http://www.alaska.org/detail/north-beach-cabin

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/north-beach-cabin/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=71876