High school cross country meet at Sitka National Historical Park on Saturday

On Saturday, Aug. 25, Sitka High School will host its annual cross country meet.

Approximately 100 racers from throughout Southeast Alaska will run the totem trail between 10 a.m. and noon. While the park will remain open to normal park activities, our local and visiting public should be advised that the runners will also be in the park during that time. Please be sure to have dogs on a leash, walk your bike in the park, and share the trail.

If you have questions, please call the park’s Visitor Center at (907) 747-0110.

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About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more about Sitka National Historical Park at http://www.nps.gov/sitk or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark.

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Sitka National Historical Park switches to summer hours on Tuesday, May 8

Beginning Tuesday, May 8, Sitka National Historical Park will transition to its summer hours of operation. This year the Visitor Center and the Russian Bishop’s House will have the same hours of operation which will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Ranger-led interpretive programs will be held daily at the Visitor Center, with topics focusing on the stories and legends of the totem poles, the Battle of 1804, sea otter ecology and other aspects of the park’s natural and cultural history. The park’s 12-minute film will be played on request. Master artisans will be demonstrating in the art studios on days when cruise ships are in town.

The Russian Bishop’s House Ranger-led programs of the upstairs residence will be offered every 30 minutes on the hour and half-hour, with the first program beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the last tour beginning at 4:00 p.m. The first floor hosts a self-guided museum and video that are available anytime during open hours.

Park trails are now open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Cyclists are reminded that bicycles must be walked on park trails. A bicycle rack is provided at the visitor center for those wishing to explore the rest of the park on foot. Visitors are also welcome to walk dogs on park trails, but must keep their pets on a leash at all times and dispose of pet waste properly. Park staff appreciate your cooperation with these important park policies.

For additional information, visit the park’s webpage at http://www.nps.gov/sitk or call the Visitor Center at (907) 747-0110.

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About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more about Sitka National Historical Park at www.nps.gov/sitk or visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark.

Sitka National Historical Park reminds Sitkans to walk bikes through park, keep dogs leashed

Sitka National Historical Park has recently experienced an increase of individuals riding bicycles on park trails and dogs off-leash within park boundaries, which are violations of park regulations. These situations cause safety hazards for other park users hiking on the same trail system, as well as for wildlife within the park.

The National Park Service reminds the public that it is prohibited to ride bicycles anywhere in the park, and dogs must be on-leash at all times in the park, including on the tidelands.

The majority of these violations appear to be occurring in the morning and evening hours as individuals commute to and from work or school, or recreate outside of their work hours. Rangers will be increasing their patrols for violators and will be taking the appropriate law enforcement action, which may include the issuance of a United States Violation Notice in the amount of $75 (plus $35 processing fee) for riding bikes, $50 (plus $35 processing fee) for dogs off-leash, and $300 (plus $35 processing fee) for harassment of wildlife.

Questions or concerns regarding park regulations can be directed to Chief Law Enforcement Ranger Sean Brennan at 907-747-0127 or sean_brennan@nps.gov.​

Sitka National Historical Park announces National Trails Day events

National Trails Day Poster 2016 Final

On Friday and Saturday, June 3-4, Sitka National Historical Park will celebrate National Trails Day, a day set aside to enjoy and appreciate the recreational opportunities within your public lands.

To celebrate this occasion, the park will be organizing various activities that show that trails aren’t just for walking. This years’ events will highlight alternative recreational opportunities which include Movement Inspired by Nature for kids on Friday and T’ai Chi Chih on Saturday. Participants interested in attending these program should meet at the park’s visitor center.

Sitka National Historical Park’s
National Trails Day event schedule

  • Friday, June 3, 9:30-10:15 a.m. — Movement Inspired by Nature for kids with Jasmine Shaw. Jasmine will lead youth through various movements and poses that mimic the natural world. This program is geared for preschool through second grade-aged youth and their parents or guardians. Youth must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the program.
  • Saturday, June 4, from 2-3 p.m. — T’ai Chi Chih with Martina Kurzer. T’ai Chi Chih consists of 19 stand-alone movements and one pose, and is appropriate for people of all ages. Martina has been an accredited T’ai Chi Chih instructor since 2000.

The National Trails Day activities will be held outside if the weather is conducive for outdoor activities. Events will be moved indoors in the event of adverse weather conditions.

ntd_2013_copyright2_rgb-1024x1019All participants taking part in the National Trails Day activities as well as anyone who recreates within the park is eligible to participate in the Park Prescriptions program. This initiative encourages recreation within the park by providing incentives for participants. Cash drawings awarded by the Sitka Community Hospital Foundation are held quarterly. If you are interested in participating in the program, stop by the park’s visitor center to pick up a punch card.

National Trails Day is a nationwide annual event from the American Hiking Society that celebrates the vast recreational opportunities on America’s trails. Please note that this is a family activity and all children must be supervised.

You are welcome to come for all or part of the event as we join thousands of other people across the country in celebrating the many trails that allow access to the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude, inspiration, and physical and mental health. In 2016, the National Park Service is celebrating its centennial, and you can celebrate by going to the FindYourPark.com website.

For more information about these events, please contact Ryan Carpenter at (907) 747-0121 or ryan_p_carpenter@nps.gov.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more about the National Park Service at http://http://www.nps.gov. Learn more about Sitka National Historical Park at http://http://www.nps.gov/sitk or visit the park’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark.

Use Park Prescriptions hikes of Sitka National Historical Park for an Active April

Walk and Win Park RX Active April Final #1 (1)

Several local groups are using the Park Prescriptions program to promote an Active April with hikes of the Sitka National Historical Park. If you take the challenge, you can win prizes by hiking the park trails during April.

Park Prescriptions is an award-winning program started in 2011 where local health providers tell you to go take a hike, and then write it up as a prescription. By taking your Park Prescriptions with you and getting it stamped when you hike the totem trails at Sitka National Historical Park, you can become eligible to win a variety of prizes, including cash from the Sitka Community Hospital Foundation and merchandise from local merchants. Just turn in your Park Prescriptions RX card by April 30 after completing some hikes of the park.

The Active April Challenge is hosted by the Sitka Community Hospital Foundation, Sitka Community Hospital, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), and the Sitka National Historical Park. Help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service by hiking the park.

Click this link to hear Ryan Carpenter of the Sitka National Historical Park, Doug Osborne of Sitka Community Hospital, and Lauren Hughey of SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) discussing the new Active April Challenge during a recent Morning Interview on KCAW-Raven Radio.

New trail traffic counters installed at Sitka National Historical Park

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SitkaNationalHistoricalParkSignHave you noticed little brown boxes on some of Sitka National Historical Park’s trailside signs?

The park recently installed four traffic counters along the park’s scenic trails. The trail counters are not cameras, they simply provide park managers with an accurate count of the number of people who recreate on the park’s trails. This information is used for annual reporting requirements, budgeting purposes, and maintenance requests.

The original counters were installed in 2014 without protection cases, but were damaged by vandals and the weather.  The counters and their batteries are now encased in brown boxes to protect them from the elements, specifically rain.

Also, a reminder to all cyclists that people are to walk their bicycles through the park trails, not ride them. This is for safety reasons, as there are many elders and children hiking on the trails who may not hear the bikes coming up behind them. In addition, the restriction on biking helps prevent erosion and other damage to the trails. And a reminder that metal detectors are prohibited in all national parks, including Sitka National Historical Park.

Since 2011, there have been no fees collected at the Sitka National Historical Park Visitor Center, which includes the cultural center where Native carving is demonstrated. The only fees are at the Russian Bishop’s House, which uses this fee schedule.

Sitka National Historical Park to host National Trails Day events on Saturday, June 6

Nat'l Trails Day Poster JPEG

SitkaNationalHistoricalParkSignFun for the whole family will be the focus when the Sitka National Historical Park hosts its annual National Trails Day events on Saturday, June 6.

Fun family activities range from scavenger hunts to a toddler hike, allowing families to explore and enjoy the recreational opportunities offered by the park’s trails. In addition, the park also will offer its regular Totem Walk, which explores the stories and legends on the Totem Loop Trail. You can find a detailed schedule at this link.

Sitka National Historical Park’s
National Trails Day Event Schedule

  • Toddler Hiking Group and Picnic, 10:30 a.m. to noon — Join us for a hike along the park’s trails with your toddler. A ranger will join the group and help toddlers complete a scavenger hunt while hiking through the park. Following the hike, at 11:30 a.m., join other families for a beach picnic. Participants are encouraged to bring their own picnicking supplies and refreshments. Please RSVP for the group hike by calling the park’s visitor center at 747-0110.
  • National Trails Day Trail Scavenger Hunt, 2-3 p.m. — How well do you know Sitka National Historical Park’s trails? Find out during the National Trails Day scavenger hunt. This event, designed for school-aged children and their families provides opportunities for participants to discover various park resources. Participants will earn a Junior Ranger sticker at the conclusion of the scavenger hunt.
  • Totem Walk, 2-3 p.m. — The Totem Walk tells the stories and legends of the totem poles on the Totem Loop Trail, focusing on the common totem figures, the origins of the 1903 John Brady collection, carving methods, and the Alaska Native culture of Southeast Alaska. This guided walk is approximately one mile, and lasts about one hour.
  • Ice Cream Social, 3 p.m. — Following the scavenger hunt, enjoy some refreshing ice cream on the seaside porch of the park’s visitor center.

ntd_2013_copyright2_rgb-1024x1019National Trails Day is a nationwide annual event from the American Hiking Society that celebrates the vast recreational opportunities on America’s trails. Please note that this is a family activity and all children must be supervised.

You are welcome to come for all or part of the event as we join thousands of other people across the country in celebrating the many trails that allow access to the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude, inspiration, and physical and mental health. In 2016, the National Park Service will celebrate its centennial, and you can celebrate by going to the FindYourPark.com website.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more about the National Park Service at www.nps.gov. Learn more about Sitka National Historical Park at www.nps.gov/sitk or visit the park’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark.