One of the newest trails in Sitka, this beautiful hike follows a creek, passes several waterfalls, and takes you through old-growth forest. It’s quite popular, and you’ll find the Herring Cove parking area crowded on the weekends. It’s also great for families, despite being a little steep at points, thanks to fun trail features and fishing platforms at a lake stocked with grayling.
The trail—made from gravel, rock steps, and boardwalk—follows a creek and features views of beautiful waterfalls, including one that’s the creek’s source. Turn left when you come to the trail around the lake, and turn right at the yellow cedar bridge to get to an open meadow area with spectacular mountain vistas. Keep going to get back to the lake shore, and take the lake stepping stones to get to the beaver dam bridge and a bench in a stand of Heritage old-growth spruce. At this point you’ll need to turn around and retrace your step, as a 2011 windstorm has made the trail impassable. Remember to turn left after the yellow cedar bridge to go out the way you came in. If you turn right, the trail will take you to a different trailhead at the Sawmill Creek Campground on Blue Lake Road. If you choose to come out this way, you can walk down the gravel Blue Lake Road and back along Sawmill Creek road to Herring Cove. The six-mile loop takes about 2 ½–3½ hours