Blind-River-Rapids-Trail
Hiking, US

Blind River Rapids Trail

Blind-River-Rapids-Trail

This short boardwalk trail leads to one of the most popular fishing spots in all of Southeast Alaska.Length (one way): 0.25 mile
Rating: Easiest
USGS Map: Petersburg C-3

Access: The Blind River Rapids trailhead is 15 miles south of Petersburg on the Mitkof Highway.

Description: The boardwalk begins at a paved parking area just off the highway and stretches through muskeg to the rapids of Blind Slough. At the end of the trail, a small day-use shelter sits just above the high tide level of the slough. There is a barrier-free outhouse in the corner of the parking area.

Attractions: Blind River Rapids has long been the most popular place on Mitkof Island to watch and fish for king and silver salmon during their migrations. King salmon return to the river in June and July, and silver salmon return in September. Steelhead also run up the slough in April and May.

History: Early European explorers thought the slough connected Wrangell Narrows with Sumner Strait and so called it Blind Passage. In 1891, U.S. Navy Commander H. E. Nichols officially named the waterway Blind River.

In 1927, the Forest Service built a 5-mile trail along the slough from Blind Point to the city powerhouse then located where Crystal Lake Hatchery is today. City powerhouse employees and anglers used the trail for over 20 years. The extension of the Mitkof Highway to Blind Slough in 1953 made the slough and powerhouse accessible by road and the trail became obsolete. However, the area remained popular with anglers, hunters, and hikers, so the Forest Service constructed the plank trail from the highway to the rapids in 1965.

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