Petersburg is known for its stupendous scenery and is also one of the few places in Southeast Alaska that offers a number of hiking opportunities. One of our favorite trails is accessed by dinghy at the public dock directly across Wrangell Narrows from Petersburg’s South Harbor Docks. Located just upland from the public dock on Kupreanof Island is the trailhead for the Petersburg Creek Trail.
This boardwalk trail takes hikers through the beautiful muskeg and tundra area of Kupreanof, with a nice rest area and view platform found along the way. The hike is an easy three-quarter-mile boardwalk trail, ending at the creek or river. You might see bear scat on the trail or near the creek, a good reminder to be bear aware. During most tidal levels, you can walk onto the river flats for some bird watching. For the serious mountain hiker, turn right at the head of Kupreanof dock for the Petersburg Mtn. Trail to access the 2,700-foot climb to Narrows Peak for some great views. Allow 4-6 hours round trip.
The Petersburg Creek Trail and Petersburg Mountain Trail begin at what was once known as West Petersburg, now the city of Kupreanof, on the eastern shore of Kupreanof Island. The roadless “city” consists of a few homes, with a population of 7 permanent residents. Kupreanof was once a thriving community of fur farms and commercial fishermen during the 1920’s. A sawmill that began in 1911 produced barrels for salted fish. Then in the 1930’s and 40’s, a small ship repair facility and a clam cannery were in operation. As time went on, most folks moved to the larger city of Petersburg just across the Narrows.
Back in Petersburg proper, boaters looking for more opportunities to stretch their legs can walk up Dolphin Street to access the Nature Boardwalk trail that connects with the .8-mile Hungry Point Trail circling around a small lake. If you have bicycles aboard your vessel, another option is to bike the 1-mile Haugen Street Bike Path to Sandy Beach Park, where you can hike the 1-mile trail that parallels Frederick Sound, offering fabulous views. For hikers wanting to camp for the night, you can choose the more difficult 4.1-mile Raven Trail that terminates at the Raven’s Roost rental cabin, located on a mountain top above the airport.
In addition to visiting Le Conte Glacier, the biking paths, trails, and stunning scenery is a major draw for visitors and locals who long for Petersburg’s special wilderness opportunities. You can pick up a Petersburg trail map at the Visitor Center located in town at 19 Fram Street; call (907) 772-4636 for hours of operation. For trails on Kupreanof Island, see the City of Kupreanof website.