Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park in Kodiak, Alaska is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon on the island. It has a great mixture of military history, magnificent views, bird viewing, camping, and many trails. As such, I highly recommend it for anyone looking for hiking trails on Kodiak Island.
Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park Orientation
We started our trip with a visit to the Fort Abercrombie Ranger Station. Inside, we picked up a map and talked to a ranger who ended up being one of the nicest people we met on the island. He shared the military history of the park, provided us with a map, and gave us trail suggestions. Do not miss this stop at the park!
Military History of Fort Abercrombie
Kodiak Island has a US military history dating back to the late 1800’s. During World War II Fort Abercrombie became a focal point after Japanese attacks on several islands in the western Aleutians. Eventually, gun mounts. Eventually, several gun batteries and bunkers were built, including the generator house pictured below. You can visit the remains of them today.
One of the most popular areas of the park, Miller Point is home to the 8-inch guns. You can see the barrel and specially designed mounts that allowed the guns to turn 360 degrees. This area also has stunning vistas, so be sure to bring your camera!
Kodiak Military History Museum
The Fort is also home to the Kodiak Military History Museum, which is open to the public. Sadly, the museum (pictured below) was not open when we visited. Check the museum website for their limited hours before visiting.
A Scenic Hiking Trail Loop
After talking to the ranger, we decided to create our own loop hike based on what we wanted to see. Our goal was to see the lake, the isthmus, puffins, and some of the military relics. With these highlights in mind, we began our hike by walking from Miller Point to the edge of Lake Gertrude. We then followed the lake-edge trail heading southwest until it intersected with two other trails. We followed the trail closest to the lake again (heading northeast) until it intersected with the trail to Piedmont Point. At the intersection, we followed the trail closest to the cliffs to Piedmont Point. After watching the puffins, we headed northwest along the coastal trail to the isthmus before heading back to the parking lot.
Lake Gertrude Loop
For our afternoon hike, we decided to circle Lake Gertrude. We started near Miller Point and walked southwest/south along the lake. The trail in this section is ADA accessible and has several wooden benches for resting. At the southern point of Lake Gertrude, there is even a log single log bridge to cross a small stream. While we opted for the log crossing, there is always the sturdy trail. We then followed the another trail (not ADA accessible) north along the eastern side of Lake Gertrude.
Piedmont Point Area
As the daylight never ends in Alaska, we had plenty of light to take the connector trail towards Piedmont Point.I am so glad we took the detour to Piedmont Point and recommend it to others. Similar to Miller Point, it featured the remains of several military posts. Also, this area had a ton of puffins. They were so cute … and nearly impossible to catch on a point-and-shoot camera, lol.
North End of Lake Gertrude
From the Piedmont Point area, we took the coastal trail back towards Miller Point. The isthmus between the ocean and Lake Gertrude was a cool place to explore. The scenery and landscape make it one of my favorite photography locations within the park.