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For an enjoyable loop hike from town, follow Dolphin Street uphill from the center of town. At the intersection with 5th Street, a boardwalk path leads 900 feet through forested wetlands to the baseball fields, where a second boardwalk takes you to 12th Street and Haugen Drive. Turn left on Haugen and follow it past the airport to Sandy Beach Park, where picnickers can sit under log shelters and low tide reveals remnants of ancient fish traps and a number of petroglyphs. From here you can return to town via Sandy Beach Road or hike the beach when the tide is out. Along the way is the charming Outlook Park, a covered observatory with binoculars to scan for marine life. A pullout at Hungry Point provides views to the Coast Range and Frederick Sound. Across the road the half-mile Hungry Point Trail takes you back to the baseball fields—a great spot for panoramic views of the mountains—where you can return downtown on the nature boardwalk. Plan on an hour and a half for this walk.
Raven's Roost Cabin Hike. A 4.2-mile trail begins at the southern edge of the Petersburg airport's runway and winds 1,800 feet in elevation to Raven's Roost Cabin. Along the way you take in a panorama that reaches from the ice-bound Coast Range to the protected waters and forested islands of the Inside Passage far below. Get details on these and other hikes from the Petersburg Visitor Information Center or the Petersburg Ranger District. The two-story Forest Service cabin is available for rent ($35 per night). Petersburg Ranger District, 12 N. Nordic Dr., Petersburg, AK, 99833. 907/772–3871. www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/tongass/recarea/?recid=79036.
Whale Song Cruises. A great way to experience the Petersburg area from the water, these cruises take place aboard a custom-built, 29-foot aluminum boat suitable for 14 passengers. Choose from a half-day sightseeing trip to LeConte Bay to view the southernmost tidewater glacier in North America or a full-day whale-watching trip into Frederick Sound. Hot beverages and snacks are included. The captain, longtime local Ron Loesch, also runs the Petersburg Pilot, the town’s weekly newspaper. 207 N. Nordic Dr., Petersburg, AK, 99833. 907/772–9393. www.whalesongcruises.com. From $125 for glacier trip from $175 for whale watching.