The Nice Trip in Seward, Alaska

By Chanok - 10:15 AM

Hiking is definitely not my favorite sport, but it sounded very interesting to visit the abandoned Word War II sites especially here in Alaska. I've never known about any World War II battles that took place in Alaska, however I found a number of places when I Google about it.

Caines Head State Recreation Area was a historic World War II fort that is known for its scenic trails. It was the transportation center during the war. But in order to accomplish this adventure I have to do something I don’t like much—hiking.

This 6,000 acre recreation site can be accessed by boat or foot from Lowell Point Seward. The three mile coastal trail from Lowell Point to North beach can be hiked at low tide only. With a lot of camping and rain gears we decided to take a boat. We took the boat from Miller’s Landing to Derby Cove beach then walked about 600 yards in rain to the cabin.

We examined surrounding area nearby on the first day. It had a small waterfall just a few yards next to cabin. We climbed up about three hundred yards to explore more and saw a roughly fifteen-foot tall waterfall. Our friends’ kids had made their own fridge by placing a piece of wood in the creek to create a small dam, and placed their drinks in the cold water. The cabin was tucked into groups of spruce and hemlock trees within the rain forest.

When we went out to see the beach it was low tide. I noticed the rocks were really flat and had grey to dark color, as did the ocean. There were several boats out there trying to catch silver, but we didn't because we still have some reds in our freezer.

The next day we explored the historical site’s abandoned buildings. We took off from our cabin fully outfitted in rain gear along with backpacks for lunch and water. It was a rainy and foggy day with temperature about mid-50s. We hiked across the hill headed south to the entrance of Fort McGilvray trail. After 20 minutes of hiking in rain on a muddy trail we reached the North beach.

The north beach was a wider open area with a closer look at Glacier and mountains. There were some people camping, a group of kayaks, and fishermen along the beach. From here we could see the ruined Army pier which was built in 1941. It survived the 1964 Good Friday earthquake and tsunami but the land dropped five feet. We spent some time taking photos before hitting the trail.

It’s about a 5 miles round trip hike from here up to Fort McGilvray which was sat on 650 foot rocky cliff. Along the trail we could see some abandoned underground army buildings and artifacts all over the place.

The main building at the end of the trail was too dark inside to take photos, but luckily I had a flashlight so I could wonder around. There were approximately twenty rooms in the maze of underground passages in the T shape building. The other two entrances had the old military stronghold guns. The width roughly was 16 feet diameter. Later search, I learned that it was a 6-inch gun battery designed to sink enemy ships.

There were stunning view as it overlooked the bay and mountains which was worth a million dollars to me who had never hiked this far!

It had been raining most of the time we were there, but it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. I enjoyed being surrounded by nature, appreciated what our Army did for this beautiful land, and fulfilled with the energy for my design work again. Like I mentioned earlier, hiking is not my preferable activity but I have to admit this was one of my favorite trips.


About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more.

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