Epic history, majestic ecosystem and pristine beaches await visitors to this quaint coastal town
Located on Baranof Island, Russian-tinted Sitka is the only community perched on the seaward side of Southeast Alaska. It's an incredibly beautiful place that is surrounded by seven state park units.
Three state recreation sites are accessible by road. Baranof Castle Hill State Historic Site, commonly referred to as Castle Hill, is a one-acre park located in downtown Sitka.
Tlingit natives originally inhabited the area and built a strategic fortification on the hill. In 1804 the Russians claimed the site and then officially handed over Alaska to the United States on top of Castle Hill in 1867. Halibut Point State Recreation Site is a popular, 22-acre day-use area 4 miles north of downtown Sitka along the ocean and 7 miles north of town is Old Sitka State Historic Site, a National Historic Landmark that once was the site of a Russian settlement.
Sitka's four other state parks are marine parks. The largest are 1,135-acres Magoun Island State Marine Park, 12 miles northwest of Sitka near Krestof Sound, and 1,023-acre Big Bear/Baby Bear State Marine Park 35 miles north of Sitka near Peril Straits. The other two are Sealion Cove State Marine Park 25 miles northwest of Sitka at the north end of Kruzof Island and Security Bay State Marine Park at the north end of Kuiu Island facing Frederick South and Catham Strait.
Alaska State Parks manages six state parks near Sitka. A variety of activities are available for adventurers of all ages and skill levels, including hiking, picnicking, beach combing, bird watching, boating, camping, exploring the back country, and learning more about Alaska's rich natural and cultural history.