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Ward Lake Nature Walk in Ketchikan Alaska


A walk around Ward Lake is very refreshing. The one mile long nature trail was developed by the Forest Service. It is the area’s easiest hike on mostly level ground. There are signs along the trail identifying trees species and information on animals in the area. Ward Lake is on the Ward Lake Road, which starts on North Tongass Highway about 5 miles north of the city limits.

Just past the Ward Lake parking area, in a smaller parking area you will find the Perseverance Lake Trail head. Perseverance Trail is a three mile long trail that is mostly board walk, built and maintained by the Forest Service. It winds through muskeg and forest to a small lake nestled at the base of mountains.

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Ward Lake, Ketchikan


I chose this photo because it reminds me of when Ole and I first met. I was living South and Ole was up here commercial fishing. He sent me an airline ticket to fly up to Ketchikan. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the trout were jumping. Ole took me to Ward Lake for a little trout fishing up by the old swinging bridge around dusk. Standing in my “down south” slippery boats, Ole tells me to stay here and watch for bears. Immediately I say…whoa, whoa, whoa, BEARS!?!?!?!? He said awe we should be fine. He wades across the river bed and started catching a few trout. When all if a sudden a black mama bear and two cubs came out of nowhere right behind Ole. I had never seen a bear before and couldn’t speak, all I could do is point past Ole. He saw the bears coming at him, and to this day I’ve never seen him run so fast! He left the trout for the bears and we ran. We got back to the car and he tells me that was a close one!


We walk around the lake quite a bit and love the beauty of it. We’ve had many a picnic there too.

Last year we had our second close encounter with bears. We were walking around the lake and got to the bridge. There were yellow signs that said “caution, aggressive mama bear and two cubs seen the day before”. Half way around the lake, we stood at the bridge and soaked in the beauty. We looked at each other and said, do we turn back or continue on? We decided to go forward. Scared and each and every turn we would run into the bears, we started singing and making noise, we walked all the way back to the car.

Have you ever had a close encounter with a bear? I’d love to hear about it.

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