Fort Abercrombie State Historic Park

The former defensive position for the North Atlantic during World War II, the secret radar station has been transformed into a beautiful campground, with interpretive trails showing the bunkers housing the military facilities.  While most of them have disappeared, it is still possible to tour a few of the concrete buildings.  This area is by far the best camping on the Kodiak Road system.  The campground is immaculate and comfortable.  The hiking trails are a lot of fun to explore, taking walkers around a lake right next to the Bay.  Some of the campsites are right next to cliffs that provide magnificent views of the bay and crystal clear waters below.

From the ferry terminal, head up Center Street and turn right on Renzanov.  Head out of town 3.7 miles.  The brown state park signs will direct you to a right turn into Fort Abercrombie.

There are 13 campsites altogether, but only five of them have drive-up parking.  One of these sites is occupied by the campground host.  The remaining sites require campers to unload and pack gear over a short hike.  For example, we stayed in spot number four.  Spot number seven is just 20 feet away further into the woods behind campsite number four.  During the weekdays we were the only one in the campground and only once during a weekend were all the spots filled.  The fee to camp here is $10 per night.

Each campsite features a fire ring and picnic table.  The ground is excellent for pitching a tent, and has large level areas with dirt that holds stakes well.  Also, the trees were helpful for stringing an extra level of water protection above.  This is quite necessary as Kodiak is an extremely wet environment.  There are good toilets in the campground and all-you-can-pump water.  The campground host sells firewood at a buck a piece, but we found that wherever we went there was plenty of driftwood, so we loaded the back of our vehicle with a few sticks for that nightís campfire.  There is plenty of kindling lying around the forest floor of the campground.

Be sure to visit the rangerís station while at the campground.  They provide many free brochures and maps, and they are excellent sources of information.  We recommend picking up a brochure and walking the interpretive trails.  Also, the rangerís station can provide you with tide information and from time to time offer guided tide pool walks by a naturalist who can help campers find all sorts of sea life living in the intertidal zone.  There is also an area dedicated to displaying the wildflowers of the Kodiak Archipelago.

There were more hikes on the islands that Claimjumper and I had time to try.  The local Audubon Society and the local bicycle ship both offer good trail guides.  We recommend purchasing these at the Fort Abercrombie Ranger Station, where one can find the cheapest price for these pamphlets.

Last visited: June 2002

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