Sitka, Alaska is located on Baranof Island, along the outer coast of Alaska's Inside Passage. Alaska State Parks manages six state parks near Sitka. These state parks offer a range of recreational opportunities including hiking, picnicking, beach combing, bird watching, boating, camping, exploring the back country, and learning more about Alaska's rich natural and cultural history.
Commonly referred to as Castle Hill, this park is one of the most historically significant sites in Alaska. Tlingit natives originally inhabited this area and built a strategic fortification at this site. Between 1804-1867 Russians occupied this site. In 1867, on top of Castle Hill, Alaska was officially transferred from Russia to the United States. Today, Castle Hill is a state historic site and also designated as a National Historic Landmark. A fully accessible walkway leads visitors to the top of the hill and provides outstanding views of downtown Sitka and the waterfront. Interpretive panels provide opportunities to learn more about the history of this site. This park is located in downtown Sitka. More facility information.
Located west of the Sitka airport runway, Fort Rousseau Causeway State Historical Park provides a unique opportunity for visitors to discover Sitka’s WWII history. Although there is no land access to the park, a short boat ride or kayak is worth the effort. Visitors to the park can explore numerous WWII features including ammunition magazines, lookouts, gun emplacements, and the headquarters command center. The park also offers great opportunities for picnicking and wildlife viewing. Fort Rousseau Causeway SHP is undeveloped with no visitor facilities.
Fort Rousseau State Historic Park Was Part of the Navy’s Coastal Defense Program during World War Two. It consists of eight Islands connected by causeways to the Navy Air Station on Japonski Island. Fort Rousseau was designated a Historic Landmark in 1984 and an Alaska State Historic Park in 2008. Troops arrived at Fort Rousseau Causeway in 1941 and it was in use in 1944 when it was decommissioned. Fort
Rousseau is part of the Sitka Naval Operating Base and U.S. Army Coastal Defenses National Historic Landmark. In addition to National Historic Landmark status, the fort’s significance as the headquarters for the harbor defenses of Sitka during World War II also earned it designation as a State Historical Park in April 2008.
People visiting the park should be aware that some of the Causeways are in Disrepair and some emplacements have open power corridors in them. A tide table and a flashlight are recommended when visiting the causeway. Park visitors should also be aware that work on the Fort Rousseau Causeway is on going.
Visit these websites and centers for more information on the park and its history:
Located along the ocean four miles north of downtown Sitka, Halibut Point State Recreation Site is a popular day use recreation area for local residents and visitors. Three covered picnic shelters and a number of picnic sites are located in this park. In addition, a half-mile hiking trail provides an opportunity to walk through the coastal spruce and hemlock forest. The ocean beach offers people a chance to beach comb and explore the inter-tidal zone. The Sitka State Parks Office is also located at this park.
In the early 1800s, Russians built a settlement at this site along Starrigavan Bay. Today, the site is designated as Old Sitka State Historical Park. Located 7 miles north of downtown Sitka, this park offers a variety of recreational opportunities. This site has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and interpretive panels provide information about the history of this site. A public use boat launch and dock allow boaters to access ocean waters north of Sitka. The Forest & Muskegs trail is a 1.25 mile barrier free trail (maximum 12% grade) with a self guiding brochure that has information about the natural and cultural history of this area. The Mosquito Cove trail (1.5 miles long) provides an opportunity to hike along Starrigavan Bay and Mosquito Cove in the coastal spruce and hemlock forest. Old Sitka State Historical Park is located within walking distance of the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry Terminal and the US Forest Service Starrigavan Campground.
More Information - Interpretive Panels