Caines Head State Recreation Area
Caines Head State Recreation Area was the site of a World War II military base, Fort McGilvray, and the old command post still stands atop a massive 650-foot headland. There are dramatic views of Resurrection Bay and the surrounding country.
The 4.5-mile Coastal Trail leads to the old fort from Lowell Point State Recreation Site, three miles south of Seward. Parts of the trail follow the shoreline and can only be hiked at low tide; be sure to check the tide charts before heading out.
Take a flashlight to explore the maze of underground passages and rooms at Fort McGilvray. Also here are ammunition magazines and firing platforms for the six-inch guns that guarded Seward.
This area makes a fine overnight trip, and a walk-in campground complete with three-sided shelter is available at Tonsina Point, a mile in. Caines Head is very popular with sea kayakers who paddle here from Seward to hang out with the sea otters and seals.
Also within the park are often-booked hike-in public use cabins ($65) at Derby Cove and Callisto Canyon.
Thumb Cove State Marine Park
Thumb Cove State Marine Park is on the east side of Resurrection Bay, seven miles from Seward, and accessibly only by boat. The park includes a long sandy beach, forested uplands, and the waters of Thumb Cove. Porcupine Glacier towers behind.
Thumb Cove is a favorite stop for recreational boaters, and camping is popular along its beaches. Two cozy cabins are in the park, each sleeping up to eight people for $65 per night. Get there by water taxi from Miller’s Landing.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition