State Marine Parks near Seward
Thumb Cove State Marine Park
Thumb Cove State Marine Park is located approximately nine miles south of Seward on the east side of Resurrection Bay. The park's 720 acres include the southeast shoreline of the cove; a long beach of fine to medium sand and beach cobble; forested uplands of spruce, hemlock and alder; and most of the waters of Thumb Cove. Perhaps the most striking geologic feature in the area is Porcupine Glacier, towering above the park and providing a dramatic backdrop to this popular marine destination.
Thumb Cove SMP is a favorite stop for Seward's recreational boaters and camping is popular along the beaches. Fishing for salmon is a favorite activity during the various runs, and Thumb Cove offers good protection from the often unstable weather of Resurrection Bay. Fresh water is available from a stream flowing from Porcupine Glacier. Thumb Cove SMP has two public use cabins for rent. One of these is wheelchair accessible. Two mooring buoys are located within the park; one in front of each public use cabin. Click here for more information on the cabins.
Sandspit Point State Marine Park
Sandspit Point State Marine Park is located at the northeast tip of Fox Island (Renard Island) in Resurrection Bay, twelve miles southeast of Seward. The park includes steep, inaccessible uplands to the west and a half-mile long spit to the east, a total of 560 acres. The north beach of the spit is fine sand while the south beach is medium to large size cobbles. Marine tide pools abound near the west end of the spit, and a low spruce forest dominates the higher east end.
Sandspit Point SMP offers spectacular panoramic views of Resurrection Bay to the north and Eldorado Narrows to the south.
The variety of marine life found in tide pools, the ease of launching and landing on the sandy northern beach, and suitability for beach camping make this a popular destination for kayakers. The southern beach is not recommended for landings due to its rocky nature and the often heavy surf. There is no fresh water available in the park.
Sunny Cove State Marine Park
Sunny Cove State Marine Park is located fourteen miles south of Seward at the south end of Fox Island (Renard Island) in Resurrection Bay. The cove faces west, providing a good view of Callisto Head, Bear Glacier and Kenai Fjords National Park. The park provides a good camping beach along the south shore of the cove with fine to medium beach gravel. The park's 960 acres encompasses the entire south portion of Fox Island, including an unnamed peak of 1,362 feet. With the exception of the south beach of Sunny Cove, vertical rock cliffs characterize the park's coastline.
Sunny Cove SMP is popular as an anchorage for sailboats and power boats with some beach camping also occurring.
Excellent wildlife viewing exists around the vertical cliffs, especially those along the eastern shore. Numerous seabird species and marine mammals can be easily viewed from skiff or kayak. Fresh water is available seasonally in the park; during wet weather, water is generally available from small waterfalls south along the shore from the cove, but these can only be reached at low tide.
Driftwood Bay State Marine Park
Driftwood Bay State Marine Park is located along the southwest coast of Day Harbor to the east of Resurrection Bay, a twenty-three mile boat ride from Seward. The park's shoreline includes medium to coarse gravel and cobble beaches interspersed with steep rock cliffs. Driftwood Bay SMP, the largest of the area's marine parks at 1,480 acres, offers excellent mountain views and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Driftwood Bay SMP is a popular fair-weather anchorage for recreational boaters and offers good protection from Day Harbor's often rough seas. Fishing for saltwater fish species is popular in Driftwood Bay and Day Harbor. Fresh water is limited to runoff during wet weather.
Safety Cove State Marine Park
Safety Cove is located along the western side of Day Harbor to the east of Resurrection Bay, a twenty-eight mile boat ride from Seward. The park's 960 acres include the cove's marine environment and an upland spruce, hemlock and alder forest. An attractive geologic feature of this park is a three acre fresh water lake just above a gravel storm berm at the head of the cove.
Safety Cove SMP offers excellent beach camping as well as safe anchorage for recreational boats. Upland exploration is also an appealing activity in the park, with excellent views of Ellsworth Glacier, an arm of the Sargent Icefield, near the cove's entrance. Fresh water can be taken from the lake at the head of the cove.
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