Fun Times on Prince of Wales Island
No matter what your main reason for coming to Prince of Wales Island might be, there are a lot of fun activities going on in the various communities throughout the island. There are several fishing derbies going on from May through mid August for the fisherman who likes a bit of good natured competition. There are fishing derbies for kids too! In Naukati Bay, in May, there is the renowned Mudd Bogg Motor Race which has been shown on television a time or two as a very exciting race to watch, or, for those willing to brave the muck, to participate in. For the fitness minded there are several fun runs held as well as the Prince of Wales Island International Marathon. Held in May, people come from near and far to run or walk this certified race along our island’s Alaska Scenic Byway past the many decorated aid stations stocked with snacks and beverages and cheering folks to help you along, passing beautiful waterfalls, rushing rivers, muskegs, mountain pass, lake, and spanning 26 miles to the finish line in the community of Craig. There are prizes, great food and a celebration concluding this exciting event. There are many celebrations and festivals throughout the island from early spring through fall including the Sunnahae Arts Festival with arts and crafts shown by some wonderfully talented island folks. There is also the “Out in the Rain” program which organizes outdoor activities for all skill levels and interests. Learn how to gather wild greens or mushrooms, go kayaking, snowshoeing, hiking, learn to use a GPS to find hidden caches all over the island, explore caves, go mountain biking or participate in a culture tour. Check the POW Island Guide for dates, times and phone numbers….. http://www.princeofwalescoc.org . We also provide the guide to our cabin guests. While you’re here, check out the new Farmer’s Market that travels to each community and has booths containing vegetables, crafts and prepared food items you may not find anywhere else you go. Try some spruce tip syrup, pickled beach asparagus, or bull kelp chutney for a delightful surprise to your taste buds!
There are beaches where you will find very old petroglyghs and fossils or you can take a chartered boat tour of the outer islands, watch whales, sea otters, sea lions and other land and sea creatures. To watch the breaching or bubble feeding whales is always a thrill! There are areas that are natural or provided stations for outstanding bear viewing. It is so moving to watch a mother bear teaching her cubs to fish or to swim! Just be cautious and bear aware, for your safety and the bear’s.
For a wonderful cultural experience, plan your visit during the time when one of the tribes is having their totem raising festival. There is dancing, singing, raising of the totem poles in the traditional way, more dancing and feasting and lots of beautiful arts and crafts…. You are guaranteed to come away from a totem raising awed and moved more than you can imagine.
There are many beautiful hiking trails that will take you through muskegs, across creeks, past waterfalls, to your reward of magnificent views of the mountains, ocean, lakes and alpine areas. Perhaps you will be fortunate enough to see some of our deer, bear, mink, martin, eagles, or the very elusive Alexander Archipelago Wolf, exclusive to our island. With the enormous variety of both resident and migratory birds, our island is an exciting wonderland for bird watchers as well. It can be mesmerizing watching a Kingfisher dive over and over snatching small fish from the water, or to observe the patience of a Blue Heron as he stands like a statue, the lightening fast strike as he plucks his dinner from the water. There are huge populations of Eagles, many varieties of pelagic birds, song birds and nocturnal birds.
There should be plenty to interest the botanist as well with the variety of mosses, berries, sea greens and interesting lichens and mushrooms. Join a group of people to go out and gather berries, beach greens and kelps, prepare and sample the days plunder for a delightful treat!
For those who love a bit of a mystery…..Prince of Wales Island is even a noted area for many sightings of the much debated Sasquatch or Big Foot. An interesting read with sighting locations is J. Robert Alley’s Raincoast Sasquatch.
The peace and serenity here is the perfect inspiration, too, for just relaxing with a book, doing some introspection, or allowing yourself to be inspired to do some artwork or a bit of writing.
One cannot be bored here…Prince of Wales Island is a wonderland for all who love the natural world!