© Dept of Fish & Game, Alaska Division of Tourism
EAGLE ROOST PARK
Located on North Nordic Drive just walking distance from the edge of town. Operated by the Borough of Petersburg, Parks and Rec department, this park has two picnic tables, Wrangell Narrows viewing platform, benches and classic Petersburg landscaping. It is an excellent place to view eagles roosting in trees or take the trail down to the beach and watch eagles and other waterfowl, or explore tidal pools at low tide.
CLAUSEN MEMORIAL MUSEUM
This is the best place to go to learn about Petersburg’s colorful history. Just two blocks up from Nordic Drive (locals still call it Main Street), the Museum houses a wide variety of local and regional memorabilia from Alaska Native artifacts to early commercial fishing and processing gear and equipment. You can also view the Museum’s wide selection of videos and DVD’s about the culture and history of Petersburg and our surrounding area.
PETERSBURG BOAT HARBOR
Our three harbors are homeport to over 400 commercial and sport vessels. It’s common to see many types of boats, such as tugs, small cruise ships, charter boats, salmon trollers, seiners, gillnetters, longliners and crabbers. You will often see fishermen at work while you stroll the docks. Check out the fantastic view of nearby islands, mountains and an occasional sea lion.
You can walk or bike from downtown to Hungry Point, where the north end of the famous Wrangell Narrows meets Frederick Sound. An array of fishing vessels cruise by on their way to the fishing grounds of the Inside Passage and the Gulf of Alaska. River otters, bears, orcas, porpoise, sea ducks and a wide variety of sea birds can be seen along the Narrows.
SANDY BEACH PICNIC AREA
Three miles southeast on Sandy Beach Road is Sandy Beach Park. The extensive tide lands are the site of ancient Alaska Native petroglyphs and remnants of prehistoric fish traps. Three picnic shelters complete with fireplaces and picnic tables, a sand-volleyball court, a play area for kids, rough forest trail, restrooms, and borough water provide for a comfortable afternoon outing. Sandy Beach is also a great place for tide pooling on medium to low tides and for the brave, you can also swim in the frigid glacial waters.
This small park is halfway between town and Sandy Beach Picnic Area on Sandy Beach Road. The covered timber-framed shelter was built by a local shipwright and is reminiscent of the Norwegian longboats or Stave Churches (depending who you talk to). Telescopes and binoculars are available for scanning Frederick Sound for icebergs and marine life, for gazing at the snow-covered peaks of the Coast Mountains and for viewing Devil’s Thumb. Many couples have chosen this unique and scenic spot to exchange their wedding vows.
Sing Lee Alley
VISIT DOWNTOWN PETERSBURG
From galleries to outfitter stores, Petersburg has a great deal to offer. Enjoy fresh seafood or a cup of java, find unique local and Native artwork to take home with you. Stroll the streets and look down to see the inlaid bronze artwork in the sidewalks or look up at the Norwegian rosemaling that adorns the storefronts. Several murals have been painted and are placed around town for everyone to enjoy. Nearby is the hustle and bustle of the canneries and fishing fleet. Petersburg is a busy place all year long!
SONS OF NORWAY HALL AND THE BOJER WIKAN FISHERMANS MEMORIAL PARK
The Sons of Norway Hall, built in 1912, is on the National Registry for Historic Places. It was built as a social hall for the lodge and community and still is a center of activity today. In the summer, come and watch the Leikerring dancers perform Norwegian folkdances for the cruise ship passengers complete with Norwegian pastries and coffee. Right next door is an outdoor park and commemorative memorial for those who made their living in the fishing industry. In the center is a 9-foot bronze sculpture honoring local fisherman, Bojer Wikan. Underneath the Hall and the park are the tidal waters of Hammer’s Slough.
PETERSBURG MARINE MAMMAL CENTER
Located in the back of the Viking Travel Building at the corner of Gjoa and Nordic Drive, the Marine Mammal Center offers lots of information, and awesome interactive whale learning display and videos and DVD’s on whales and marine mammals of Southeast Alaska. The center’s mission is to assist researchers and serve as a link between researchers, locals, schools, community members and visitors and help develop programs on local marine life.
WHAT TO DO, A LITTLE FURTHER AWAY AND JUST AS MAGNIFICENT…
Petersburg is in the heart of the Tongass National Forest. As your vacation home base, you can do the following unique outdoor activities-
EXPLORE MITKOF ISLAND
Take your own vehicle, or rent one and journey out the road to experience the largest temperate rain forest in the world. See stands of virgin old-growth and vigorously growing 50 year old stands of Sitka spruce and Western hemlock. Visit Blind River Rapids fishing area via the accessible boardwalk trail, hike the Ohmer Creek Trail or fly fish in the quiet Ohmer Creek, walk the beaches of Sumner Strait or pick berries on the hillsides. Man-Made Hole has a beautiful, accessible forest trail and check out the newly renovated Blind Slough Recreation Area. Explore the muskegs, put in a canoe or kayak and paddle around or visit the Three Lakes area (Sand, Hill and Crane Lakes) where you will find rowboats to borrow and explore. These are only a few of the adventures you can have on the Mitkof Island roads.
Breaching Humpback Whale
© Jim Nahmens
HUMPBACK WHALES OF FREDERICK SOUND
Where the waters of Frederick Sound meets Stephens Passage and Chatham Strait, (30 miles north of Petersburg by boat), you will find some of the best humpback whale viewing in North America. Humpback whales are just one of the many marine mammals to be found in these waters. Take an all day boat cruise to see the whales, the historic Five Finger Lighthouse and the magical Brother Islands. Charter boats are available most says, but reserve ahead.
Troll for king and silver salmon or drop a herring to entice a pacific halibut that can grow as big as a barn door! Yes, 400 pound halibut have been caught around Petersburg, or cast for dolly’s and jig for herring right off the harbor docks. Along with natural fish runs, the Crystal Lake Hatchery releases millions of salmon fry each year.
© Dennis Rogers
LECONTE GLACIER BAY
This is the southernmost, active tidewater glacier in North America and it is only 15 miles by boat from Petersburg. When the tide and winds are right, the icebergs float into Frederick Sound and can be seen from the Petersburg shoreline. In LeConte Bay fjord, bergs of every size and shape can be found. Charter boat, kayaking and flightseeing tours are available for viewing this natural wonder.
Take a Hike!
© Ryn Schneider
HIKING, CABINS, AND CAMPING
There are hiking trails both in town and out-the-road. Some are wheelchair friendly, while others are single plank boards crossing the muskeg and only good for the nimble and fit. The area surrounding Petersburg is dotted with 20 US Forest Service Recreation Cabins which are available for rent for a reasonable fee. While most require either water or air access, the nearby Raven’s Roost Cabin is accessible from town if you are up to a steep and arduous
4-miles of muddy hiking. Improvements to the trail are being made for the 2009 season.
More information: http://www.fs.usda.gov/tongass/
VISTING NEIGHBORING ISLANDS
- Cross the Wrangell Narrows and visit the City of Kupreanof, gateway to Petersburg Creek a beautiful and scenic waterway abounding in wildlife. Don’t let the “city” fool you as most of the residents live in cabins scattered down the shoreline connected only by boat, trail or rough logging roads. Walk on the Kupreanof trails to access the crest of Petersburg Mountain or to the US Forest Service cabins on Petersburg Lake.
- Travel by ferry down the amazing Wrangell Narrows to visit the nearby City of Wrangell, situated at the mouth of the Stikine River.
- Book a charter to visit Anan Creek for outstanding black and brown bear viewing
- Take a trip up the wild and historic Stikine River
- Visit Chief Shakes Island in Wrangell and see authentic totems and lodge house
- Explore beautiful, peaceful Thomas Bay just north of Petersburg on the mainland
- Visit the unique El Capitan Caves on Prince of Wales
- Visit Kake, a Tlingit community on the northern tip of Kupreanof Island
- Take the IFA ferry with your vehicle to Prince of Wales Island or Wrangell to explore.
- Petersburg and Wrangell have fantastic birding opportunities on the Stikine Flats and just about anywhere there is water or trees, in other words-everywhere! Bring your binoculars and start filling in your Life List.
THERE IS A LOT MORE, TOO
The 1.6 million acre Petersburg Ranger District of the Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, surrounds Petersburg. It has thousands of miles of shoreline, it’s own Stikine Icefield, the Kuiu Island Wilderness, Devil’s Thumb, and much, much more. There is just too much to see and do in one visit.