Sitka Trail Works will kick off its 2017 summer series of weekend hikes on Saturday, May 13, with a easy to moderate three-mile hike on the Starrigavan Loop. Meet at the Old Sitka Boat Launch Parking Lot at 9 a.m. That will be followed on Saturday, May 20, by a lesson on geocaching taught by volunteers. After a short tutorial at 8:30 a.m. at the Sitka High School entrance to the Cross Trail, participants will go discover some local geocaches (bring a smartphone or GPS device, if you have one).
The series of weekend hikes are led by various members of Sitka Trail Works, and there also are occasional bike rides and kayak trips on the schedule. Most of the hikes near town are free (donations are accepted), but some of the hikes require a boat trip and those have fees. The schedule runs through the end of August.
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In other news, Sitka Trail Works recently received funding for Phase 6 of the Cross Trail, and construction is expected to start in FY 2019, after the next reauthorization of the federal transportation bill in 2018. Sitka Trail Works also received funding for Phase II of the Mosquito Cove Trail Repairs Project, which repairs trail damage done by August 2015 and January 2017 storms.
On National Trails Day (Saturday, June 3), Sitka Trail Works and other groups will do repair work to trails TBA. Tools will be available, but you should bring gloves, pruners and toppers, if you have them.
Don’t forget to check the Sitka Trail Works website for current trail condition reports.
Sitka Trail Works, in partnership with the City and Borough of Sitka, is planning Phase 6 improvements to the Sitka Cross Trail system. A public meeting to receive comment on the project will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Detailed maps and information about this project will be shared at this meeting.
The Phase 6 project will build a new multi-use component of the Cross Trail system extending from the Harbor Mountain Road to Starrigavan. The public input received at the public meeting will be a major factor in determining the final trail alignment.
Questions about the project may be directed to Lynne Brandon of Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244 or email@example.com. Please send an email or written comments may be mailed to Sitka Trail Works at 801 Halibut Point Road, Sitka, Alaska, 99835. Comments need to be received by Dec. 14.
Sitka Trail Works will hold its annual meeting and potluck dinner from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, at the Harrigan Centennial Hall.
Members and trail enthusiasts are invited to the meeting and asked to bring a main dish, side dish, or dessert to share. Sitka Trail Works will supply beverages, paper plates, etc. Join us for an evening of fun and friendship.
Meeting highlights include a review of this year’s accomplishments, the election of one new board member, ceremonial matters, and a presentation by Matt Goff on the Natural History of Southeast Alaska.
For further information, please call Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244.
Sitka Trail Works board members are hosting a trail maintenance day at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, meeting at the parking area on the uphill side of the road just beyond Whale Park.
The effort will focus on pulling young alders on the ocean-side of the Sawmill Creek Road separated multi-use path, past Whale Park, to keep the view open. Participants are asked to bring work gloves and five-gallon buckets.
For further information, please call the Sitka Trail Works office at 747-7244.
The Old Sitka State Historical Interpretive site parking lot and the Mosquito Cove Trail will be closed Thursday, July 21, so that Sitka Trail Works can helicopter transport gravel for a trail maintenance project.
Additional trail maintenance work is scheduled later this summer and is being funded by a Recreational Trail grant. Sitka Trail Works apologizes for any inconvenience.
For questions, please call Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244.
Sitka Trail Works is sponsoring a guided kayak trek to the Fort Rousseau Causeway State Historic Site on Saturday, June 25.
This trek features two hours of kayak paddling, plus a 2 1/2-hour easy stroll to the historic World War II installations. For the more adventurous, there are a few sections of difficult scrambling over large armor rock to go further along the causeway.
Contact Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures at 752-0660 to reserve a spot for just $99 plus tax (a $50 discount from usual price). You’ll see ammunition bunkers and machine gun platforms. If you intend to go inside the bunkers, you’ll need a flashlight or headlamp. Water and a snack are suggested. This trip is a good way to learn more about Sitka’s role in World War II.
Meet at 9:15 a.m. at the big blue Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures bus in the Crescent Harbor parking lot. Thank you Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures for partnering on this Sitka Trail Works fundraiser. For more information, contact Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244.
Ready for a day at the beach? Sitka Trail Works is offering a trip to hike the 2.5-mile trail to the beach at Sea Lion Cove on outer Kruzof Island on Saturday, June 11. The Allen Marine Tours catamaran will leave Crescent Harbor dock at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and will return at 5:30 p.m. The 45-minute boat ride to the trailhead at Kalinin Bay is through the protected waters of Olga Strait and Salisbury Sound.
If you are looking for a day-hike that packs the most diversity for your effort, the Sea Lion Cove trail is a must. Muskeg, mountains, forest, rushing streams, a lake, estuary and a sandy beach, Sea Lion Cove trail has it all. Littered with driftwood and brilliantly colored seaweeds and shells, hikers spend hours combing the sand for treasures.
Although finding transportation to Sitka’s brilliant neighbor — Kruzof Island — can sometimes be difficult to access, Sitka Trail Works offers transportation and company once a year on this guided hike. The trip is a great way to meet new people with similar interests, enjoy a diversity of habitats, and bring home a few beauties for the beach combing collection.
This trip is part of Sitka Trail Works’ calendar of annual guided hikes which promote trails and get hikers out to enjoy Sitka’s amazing trail system. Find the calendar at sitkatrailworks.org. Guided hikes are important fundraisers for the organization, too.
Call Sitka Trail Works soon, 747-7244 to sign up and purchase your $100 ticket, which includes a Sitka Trail Works membership. The hike sells out quickly.