Kodiak Area State Parks
At 3,670 square miles, Kodiak is Alaska's largest island and the country's second largest (after the Big Island of Hawaii). Scattered in and around Kodiak Island are six state parks and state recreation sites, offering a wide range of opportunities including viewing World War II artifacts, renting a public-use cabin, whale watching and catching trophy salmon.
The largest unit at 75,049 acres is Afognak Island State Park, 25 air miles north of the city of Kodiak, followed by 47,000-acre Shuyak Island State Park 54 air miles to the north. Near the city itself is 186-acre Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park, 168-acre Buskin River State Recreation Site and Woody Island State Recreation Site, a 112-acre unit at the north end of Woody Island just two miles east of downtown Kodiak. Forty-five miles southwest of the city but on the Kodiak road system is Pasagshak River State Recreation Site, a 20-acre park.
Kodiak's most popular state park is Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park, a military fort, complete with a pair of eight-inch guns. The fort was built in 1941 by the U.S. Army to protect Naval Air Station Kodiak and the Ft. Greely Garrison from a Japanese invasion that never came. The old fort sits majestically on the cliffs above scenic Monashka Bay and can be explored through guided and self-guided historical walking tours. Just as interesting as the gun emplacements are the tidal pools found along the park's rocky shorelines, where you can easily pass an afternoon searching for sea creatures. In early summer, visitors can watch gray, humpback and minke whales migrate through Whale Passage. Fort Abercrombie also has 13 campsites designed primarily for tent campers (trailers and motorhomes have difficulty maneuvering on the narrow, rustic roads to the park).
Buskin River State Recreation Site is southwest of the city near the airport and features a 15-site rustic campground along with two picnic shelters, a self-guided nature trail and good salmon fishing in the Buskin River. The Buskin River is one of the most productive fisheries on the Kodiak road system and features a handicapped-accessible fishing platform on the river. Even further to the south is Pasagshak River State Recreation Site, created in 1980 to provide access to the lower section of Pasagshak River. Surrounded by mountains, Pasagshak River offers outstanding sport fishing with silver salmon during the summer and fall runs. The recreation site has a 15-site campground with only a hand-pump well for drinking water and one latrine.
Both Afognak Island and Shuyak Island are wilderness state parks accessible only by float plane. There are few visitor facilities on the islands with the exception of public-use cabins, two on Afognak Island and four on Shuyak Island and a number of private fishing lodges. The main activities in these parks are hunting, fishing and kayaking.