Refuge Cove State Recreation Site is a sliver of land lining part of an edge of a neighborhood and is a popular beach picnicking destination with the locals. The site comes complete with pit toilets, sheltered and unsheltered picnic tables with fire grates, and a quarter-mile trail accompanied by interpretive signs that address the local natural history.
But when the sun or stars are out, nothing beats this beach, which is this site’s main attraction. A healthy strip of sandy beach stretches between the canopy of shoreline pines and the rocky outcroppings further out when the tide drops. With a 180-degree view here, directly ahead and across the narrows are the mountains of Gravina Island. To the left the ocean squeezes down to the Tongass Narrows between Ketchikan and our international airport. And to the right, you can see the narrows opening up to the humpbacks of distant mountains. Large deadwood logs have come to rest here at the top of the beach and provide great back-resting opportunities or places to sit.
This is a fun place to bring the family and sunbathe, swim, beachcomb, or toss a ball around. On clear nights, this is a great place for a beach fire and stargazing. Overall, a wonderful stop on your way in or out of town.