Also known as Indian River Park and Totem Park. The Southest Alaskan Indian Cultural Center is onsite, admission is $4 per person.
We visited the park in July and it was the perfect family outing on an overcast Southeast day!
You would think there would be tourists galore since it's such an accessible location and also because it's FREE -- that wasn't the case at all! We shared the network of trails with locals (one had to assume) as they ran with their dogs and a few tourists occasionally - that was it.
The trails are well-signed and there are scattered porta-johns for your convenience. The terrain is super flat, being at sea level. Underbrush was sparse in most areas and surprisingly, we didn't need rubber boots. The trails were not muddy at all - a surprise to find real terra firma in the region!
The area is home to bears so the family must be "Bear Aware" if you are going to hike in the area. There is a visitor's center with demonstrations and historical displays, mostly relating to Tlingit culture. I find the anthropology of the area fascinating, so I spent quite some time looking at all of the displays.
Tip: We were able to use an umbrella stroller along the dirt paths - they were that well-maintained. A carrier of some kind might be more convenient, but it is a stroller friendly park.
Bottom Line: This is a gorgeous park to stretch your legs. It's a fun place to let kids loose a bit, especially after a long ferry ride!
The National Historical Park has beautiful coastal rain forest trails that lead to totems, a creek, and lots of wildlife viewing. We enjoyed picking some salmon berries along the way! You can see the meadow where the battle between the Tlingkit people fought back the Russians here, and many totem poles. After viewing the totems, walk along the beach in low tide to see the intertidal zone at its best. End up at the visitor's center for a good video about Sitka's history and more totems.
Just a short walk past the harbor, the Sitka National Historical Park is a combination of beautiful walking trails and a museum. The trails pass along the coast line and lead to interesting totem poles along the way. The vegetation is lush and beautiful. I can’t say enough about how beautiful the area is. The park also has a museum building with exhibits and a history of the area, along with a small gift shop, clean bathrooms and friendly staff.
First of all, if you roaming around Alaska Sitka is a must!
The national park is about a mile and a half outside of town (walking distance). It is gorgeous. The hiking trails have totem poles throughout and the forest is amazing. The best part was the tidal pool exploration.
You can stop the ranger station and pick up a tidal pool pack (magnifying glass, bucket, water specium cup, shovel, and charts of what you might find) and head out during low tide. I was so much fun, we spent hours out there. We found all sorts of crabs, starfish, a baby eel, worms, and various bugs. We also saw bald eagles while we were there.
The cultural center has a totem pole exhibit for a minimal fee. The center also has displays of tribal dress, pictures, tools and ceremonail objects. Also included in the center is the totem workshop, where you can watch them either carve one or work on a restoration project.
There are a few trails to choose from. The hiking is easy on all of the them, the difference is the distance hiked.