U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Maple

New Crew Members:
 

Welcome to Sitka! You are now living in one of the most beautiful areas in the world. Located in protected Sitka Sound, the town of Sitka is nestled in the middle of a vast temperate rainforest. In the forests, mountains, and waters surrounding Sitka, you will find enormous opportunity to enjoy the pristine landscape. Within the town itself, there are many activities to keep you busy during your off-duty time. Also note that Sitka a popular destination and that those activities designed to entertain visitors are equally enjoyable for locals. The following is a guide to some of the activities available to you in town. We also recommend talking to members of the crew or Coast Guard Spouses and Women's Association about any subjects not thoroughly covered at this site. However, Sitka Through Four Seasons is a great place to start.

Outdoor Activities:

General Safety: If you intend to venture into the Great Outdoors, be sure to take a few safety precautions. Wear warm, weather-appropriate clothing, avoid cotton!  If it gets wet, you will be sorry. It is never a good idea to venture out along so, bring a friend. Tell other people where you are planning on going, and when you expect to return. File a trip plan with the cutter and your friends. The cutter has VHF radios, GPS tracking devices and Electronic Position-Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs), which you can borrow for long hikes, camping trips, or fishing – just ask the CDO for help. If you plan to venture out while the cutter is underway, the Fire Department also loans radios out for free -- in exchange for your trip plan.

Hiking

Sitka is full of hiking trails for all levels of ability. The Forest Service Office located on Katlian Street has a wonderful hiking book filled with maps and information. Sitka Trail Works is another great resource.

Fishing

The best of the fishing season takes place in the spring and summer months. Fish in season in the early summer include King Salmon, Dolly Varden, and Pink Salmon. Graylings are in season all summer, while Lingcod will sometimes be temporarily out of season, but this varies. Halibut are in season all year, but good luck catching them in the winter months - an almost impossible feat. Finally, in the late summer, trout and steelhead are your best bets. If you do not understand the seasons and the corresponding rules, talk to members of the crew that fish. If you have never fished before, it would really be a good idea to fish with someone who has for your first time out.

Hunting

Hunting is another sport in which one could learn from hunting with one or more partners for your first few endeavors. There are many seasons for the various game. Deer are in season from August 1st to January 31st, with the month of January allowing hunting on federal lands only. Brown bear are around in the fall and spring, but if you are not yet a resident of Sitka (have been here less than a year) you are required to hire a guide to accompany you, and that can be expensive. Goats provide for tough hunting, but if you are good enough to get within range, you are pretty much guaranteed a shot. You are allowed 1 goat per year and the best time to hunt them are from August to September. For more details concerning fishing and hunting, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Shooting Ranges

  • There is an outdoor shooting range located past the ferry terminal down Nelson Logging Rd. It has the capacity for both 100 and 200-yard rifle, and 25-yard pistol. The range is strictly first come, first serve, and is open from 0700 to 2200 daily.
  • There is also the Sitka Sportsmen’s Association (SSA). The SSA has skeet shooting, trap shooting, and an indoor pistol range. Phone: 907 747-6790

Kayak Rentals

Maple owns two kayaks for the crew's use and Air Station Sitka's MWR also loans kayaks for free.

Attractions:

  • Raptor Rehabilitation Center: Open from 0800 to 1600, Sunday through Friday and closed Saturday. The RRC is an “Eagle Hospital” with 25 resident birds, a flight training center, bird shows, and guides to show you around. You can take a stroll down the center’s rainforest pathway observing the rehabilitating raptors, while being protected by a sheltered walkway. The center is also always looking for volunteer help if you are willing to offer your free time. For more information, visit the Alaska Raptor Center or call 800-643-9425.
  • Sitka National Historic Park: Also known as Totem Park, this 100-acre treasure contains numerous hiking trails guiding you past the parks numerous hand-carved totem poles. There is also an informative museum and gift shop. The park has several tours available every day during the tourist season ranging from Totem walks to Banana Slug tours. The best way to find out what is going on in any given week is to simply check the Friday newspaper, visit the National Park Service, or call 907 747-0110.
  • Pioneer Home: This former Marine barracks became housing for Sitka’s aging “sourdoughs” (gold prospectors from the late 19th century). With the statue “The Prospector” in the front courtyard, it now houses over 100 residents and sits in the heart of downtown Sitka. It is great for photographs and learning more of Sitka’s history. Phone: 907 747-2103
  • Centennial Hall: a convention center is used for many events, ranging from Russian dancers, to music festivals, symposiums, plays, and during the winter, the infamous Grind monthly talent show. Check the Friday issue of the newspaper every weekend to get the scoop on the weekend events.
  • Sheldon Jackson Museum: This modest museum highlights many aspects of various Alaskan Native cultures. Hours are 0900 to 1700 daily, except holidays. Phone: 907 747-8981

 

Last Modified 5/15/2012