Sitka Area State Parks Alaska
Photo Credit: ATIA

Sitka Area State Parks

Sitka Area State Parks

Epic history, majestic landscapes, and pristine beaches await visitors to the state parks in this quaint coastal town.

Located on Baranof Island, Sitka is the only community perched on the seaward side of the Alaska's Inside Passage. Alaska State Parks manages seven parks and sites 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 backcountry, and learning more about Alaska's rich natural and cultural history.


Baranof Castle State Historic Site, commonly referred to as Castle Hill, is a one-acre park located in downtown Sitka. The park is easily accessible by road off of Lincoln Street. Castle Hill features an accessible walkway to the top of the hill where there are interpretive panels and outstanding views of downtown Sitka and its waterfront. The hill was originally the site of a strategic fort for the local Tlingit people. In 1804 the Russians claimed the site and occupied it for about 60 years with military and government buildings. Alaska was formally transferred from Russia to the United States in 1867 in a ceremony on top of Castle Hill. Alaska Day celebrations are held on the site each year on October 18.


Halibut Point State Recreation Site is a popular 22-acre day-use area 4 miles north of downtown Sitka along the ocean, accessible by Halibut Point Road. The recreation site has a picnic area with three covered shelters and a half-mile trail through the coastal spruce and hemlock forest.


Seven miles north of town is Old Sitka State Historical Park, a National Historic Landmark that once the site of a Tlingit camp, and was later the site of a Russian settlement. The park is accessible by road at Mile 7.8 of Halibut Point Road. The park has interpretive displays, a boat launch, and three easy, scenic trails totaling around 3 miles: The Forest & Muskegs Trail, Mosquito Cove Trail, and Estuary Life Trail. While there is no camping in the park, it is a short walk to the U.S. Forest Service Starrigavan Campground as well as the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry Terminal. 


The Sitka area is home to four State Marine Parks accessible by boat or kayak. These parks are undeveloped and are used by boaters and kayakers for backcountry camping, fishing, beachcombing, and hunting.

The largest is 1,135-acres Magoun Island State Marine Park, 12 miles northwest of Sitka near Krestof Sound. Big Bear Baby Bear State Marine Park is 1,023 acres and 35 miles north of Sitka near Peril Straits. Sealion Cove State Marine Park is 25 miles northwest of Sitka at the north end of Kruzof Island. Security Bay State Marine Park is located at the north end of Kuiu Island facing Frederick South and Catham Strait.


There is no mainland road access to Sitka. The city is reached by daily jet service from Seattle and Anchorage via Juneau or on the Alaska Marine Highway.

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