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Sitka, Alaska, United States

Riverview Trail - Sitka National Historical Park

Guide to the Riverview Trail, walk along the Indian River in Sitka National Historical Park.

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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.3 miles / 0.5 km
Duration: 1 hour or less
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
Overview: Nice walking trail along the Indian River in Sitka National Historical Park.

Tips: Watch out for possible brown bears in summer.

Points of Interest


Start of the Trail


Nurse Log

In the temperate rainforest, seedlings often get their start growing on a decaying log on the forest floor. These logs are called nurse logs. They result in a linear row of trees growing on a ridge.

Root System Formed Over Nurse Log

This tree has a root system that originally wrapped around a nurse log. The nurse log has now rotted, leaving a root system suspended around the space where the log once was.

Witches' Brooms

Hemlock trees in this section of the trail have branches that form gnarly witches' broom due to the parasitic plant, Hemlock Dwarf Mistletoe. The mistletoe plants are rooted in the branches of the hemlock trees and gain there sustenance from foods in the vascular system of the tree. The mistletoe roots release plant hormones that cause the hemlock to develop clusters of thickened branches called witches' brooms.

Trail Improvements

This section of the trail was recently improved by leveling the grade, graveling and compacting. The new trail eliminates badly eroded sections of trail and is much easier to walk than the old trail.

Branch to parking lot.

At this point a branch trail going west (left if proceeding according to this guide)and leads to the upper end of the Sitka National Historical Park parking lot.

Indian River View

From many locations, including this one, you can see the Indian River from the trail.


This footbridge crosses water returning to the river from the nearby hatchery flume, which carries water diverted from the river through the Sheldon Jackson/Sitka Fine Arts Camp to supply the fish hatchery at the Sitka Sound Science Center. Any excess water beyond that needed by the hatchery returns to the river here.

Indian River View

This is another spot with a good view of the Indian River.

Woodland walk

From here the trail is a nice graveled path through the woods.


This large tipped tree shows how shallowly rooted these conifers are.

Old Stairs

This section of trail has some sections of old wooden steps. Watch your step going up or down.

Looking up the Indian River

From this part of the trail, you can see up the Indian River, past the Sawmill Creek Road Bridge.

Stream Crossing

At this point the trail crosses a small stream. It can usually be crossed without getting your feet wet.

Climb up to Sawmill Creek road

The maintained trail ends at the park boundary, but there is an eroded track up the hill to Sawmill Creek Road.
Pictures in this guide taken by: Swamp Doctor Photography, Swamp_Doctor

Riverview Trail - Sitka National Historical Park Map

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