This lily pad covered lake offers excellent year-round fishing in peaceful surroundings

Located between Fairbanks and Delta Junction along the Richardson Highway, Birch Lake State Recreation Site is a 191-acre park nestled between a lily pad-covered lake and forested wetlands.


Birch Lake is close to a glaciated area and surrounded by forested wetlands. At the south of the lake, the Alaska Range decorates the horizon with snow-capped peaks. Sandy beach wraps the lake, and yellow pond lilies (Nuphar polysepala) bloom mid-summer from the blanket of lily pads that cover the lake’s surface.


The fishing is excellent year round: anglers fish on shore in the spring, and from boats in the summer and ice huts in the winter. Birch Lake is stocked with rainbow trout, king salmon, silver salmon, grayling and Arctic char and northern pike, and provides ideal habitat for waterfowl. Moose and caribou can be seen wading in the water and in the vicinity.


The lake is popular for camping, swimming, fishing, jet skiing and water skiing in summer and ice fishing and snow-machining in the winter. The site is a popular winter location to view the Northern Lights.

Fishing during the summer months is best from a boat. When the lake freezes, ice fishing huts are available for rent, usually between November and April. The four ice fishing huts were constructed by the Department of Fish & Game as part of the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program and are managed today by Alaska State Parks.

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