Sitka was probably the town I’d most like to live in that we visited on our southeastern Alaska cruise. There’s so much to do there and it is just beyond beautiful. We made it to Sitka National Historical Park on the day that we were there.
Sitka National Historical Park is the site where a battle between invading Russian traders and indigenous Kiks.ádi Tlingit took place, known as the Battle of Sitka. The park commemorates the history and culture of the Tlingit and Russian experiences that took place on the island.
The park’s most iconic features are the several totem poles strewn about the park. Walking around the park, one would think that they have been there since the Tlingits dominated the area, but that is not the case – as there once was a time not too long ago that these totem poles did not adorn the surrounding forest. Though one of the area’s most recognizable features, the totem poles were shipped here from different areas of southeast Alaska in order to draw people to the exhibit. Many of them have to be re-carved and re-painted because of being in the harsh outdoors, but they still hold cultural significance and tell of history.
The area of Sitka National Historical Park is very beautiful, with trails through the forest, along a stream, and against the rising and lowering tide. We saw many bald eagles while walking through the park, and there are great views of the town of Sitka from the beach.
The area was vivid and full of life despite the cultural hardships that took place here long ago, and to an extent, still take place among the Tlingit.
Sitka National Historical Park is a great place to visit to learn of southeast Alaska’s history and culture, along with being a relaxing trek through nature.
[All photos were taken in May 2014.]