Several good trails are near the Forest Service campground at Ward Lake, eight miles north of downtown via Revilla Road. The 1.3-mile Ward Lake Nature Trail is an easy loop with interpretive signs and good summertime fishing for steelhead and salmon.
Ward Creek Trail starts across from the day-use area and follows the creek 2.5 miles to Last Chance Campground. It’s built to be wheelchair accessible, with a couple of short spur paths leading to platforms over this beautiful creek.
Perseverance Trail climbs two miles to Perseverance Lake following a “stairway-to-heaven” boardwalk, passing through several muskegs along the way. Beyond this, you can take the Minerva Mountain Trail all the way to Carlanna Lake. Contact the Forest Service for details on the latter since this is a newly built trail.
Settler’s Cove State Recreation Site, 16 miles north of Ketchikan , has a one-mile trail through the rain forest, with a pretty waterfall and spawning pink salmon in midsummer. Offshore is Back Island, home to the U.S. Navy’s Southeast Alaska Acoustic Measurement Facility, where submarines are tested to help them operate silently. The subs themselves are rarely seen.