Some would rather avoid it, but climbing to the top of Fort Seward puts cyclists in range of the town’s prettiest beaches – along Chilkat Inlet. You won’t regret the extra work required.
Start on a mountain bike at the cruise ship dock on Beach Road, and pedal straight up Portage Street to historic Fort Seward, dating to 1904. Attractions along the Fort Seward Drive loop include a self-guided tour through Fort Seward Sculpture Garden, totem carving at Alaska Indian Arts, and drinks and lunch at Port Chilkoot Distillery, and Fireweed Restaurant. (Fort walking tour brochures are available at Haines Visitor’s Center, Second Avenue and Willard Street.) Follow Tower Road across Mud Bay Road, down Cemetery Hill and onto a gravel path leading to beach and dunes. To make a longer, loop ride, turn sharply to the right at the bottom of the hill onto gravelly River Road (which becomes a scenic trail) to a dead-end parking lot on Sawmill Creek Road. Pedal past a cemetery and ballparks to connect with Haines Highway, turn right and go one mile to complete the loop.