Petersburg Lake Trail – The Outdoor Women

This trail follows Petersburg Creek from the Kupreanof state dock to the recreation cabin at Petersburg Lake. The lake, cabin, and much of the trail are in the Petersburg Creek – Duncan Salt Chuck Wilderness.Length (one way): 10.5 miles from Kupreanof State Dock to Petersburg Lake or 6.5 miles from high tide trailhead to lake.
Rating: More Difficult
USGS Maps: Petersburg D-4 and D-3


Access: Boat from Petersburg across the Narrows to the state dock on Kupreanof Island. The Petersburg Lake Trail leads west (left) from the dock. The trail leading east (right) goes up Petersburg Mountain. The high tide trailhead is approximately 4 miles up the creek. You need a tide of 14 feet or higher to reach the upper trailhead.

Description: From the state dock, the trail heads south along an old road for about 800 feet, then leaves the road bed and turns right up a small set of steps. From the steps, it continues up a small hill then descends to Petersburg Creek. Four miles up the creek from the dock is the high tide trailhead, the trail registration box, and the entrance to the Petersburg Creek – Duncan Salt Chuck Wilderness.

From the high tide trailhead and registration box, follow the trail through timber and muskeg for 6.5 miles to Petersburg Lake and the cabin. You cross a small creek about halfway between the high tide trailhead and the lake. Parts of the trail are boardwalk, but other parts may be muddy or brushy.

Attractions: Petersburg Creek supports runs of cutthroat, dolly varden, and steelhead trout, as well as silver, pink, chum, and sockeye salmon. Petersburg Lake has good trout fishing. A small boat is provided at the lake for cabin permit holders (others may use it if no one is staying in the cabin). Waterfowl, including ducks, geese, loons, and occasionally trumpeter swans, populate the area. Bald eagles and black bears are plentiful during salmon runs. Contact the Petersburg Ranger District for Petersburg Lake Cabin information and cabin permit applications.

History: Local residents began clearing the Petersburg Creek Trail in 1923 and completed a total of nine miles by 1926. A Civilian Conservation Corps crew reconstructed the trail and built several three-sided shelters along its length in 1933 and 1934 using only native materials and hand tools. Many early trappers and prospectors used the trail and shelters during their expeditions.

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