Beaver Lake Trail
Length (one way): 0.8 mile
One Way Trip Time: 40 minutes
Trail Begins: Sawmill Creek Recreation Area.
Trail Ends: Beaver Lake
Recommended Season: All year
USGS Maps: Sitka A-4
Elevation Gain: 250 feet
Trail Rating: Moderate. Popular trail well suited to family outings. Tread in fair condition overall. Steep in beginning, then mostly level. Cleared and brushed, 1987. Bears may be present.
Access: The trail is 5 miles east of Sitka (as the crow flies). At mile 5.5 on Sawmill Creek Road across from the pulp mill turn left onto the uphill trending gravel road. Go 1.5 miles to the Sawmill Creek campground. The trail begins across the bridge over Sawmill Creek on the south side of the open area.
Special Features: Good vistas of nearby rugged mountains. Lovely walk over muskegs, along marshes and through stunted forests. Beaver Lake has been stocked periodically with grayling between 1986 and 1991.
Description: The marked trailhead is on the south side of a small clearing in the alder just southwest of the bridge. The trail is quite steep for the first quarter mile with an elevation gain of about 200 feet spread over several switchbacks. Here the trail runs through an open forest of hemlock, Sitka spruce and yellow cedar. After the steep climb, the planked boardwalk portion of the trail begins as it breaks out into muskeg and stunted forests. The last eighth mile of boardwalk runs through open forest and parallels the Beaver Lake outlet stream and associated marshes. The trail continues to several fishing platforms along the southern edge of the lake.