Petersburg ’s main attraction is its gorgeous harbor and spectacular setting. The sharply pointed peak visible behind Petersburg is Devil’s Thumb, a 9,077-foot mountain 30 miles away on the U.S.-Canada border.
Built in 1912, the large Sons of Norway Hall (907/772-4575) stands on pilings over scenic Hammer Slough and is adorned with traditional Norwegian rosemaling designs. Next to Sons of Norway is the surprisingly small Valhalla, a replica of the original Viking boat. It was built in 1976 and sailed in the parade of ships at the bicentennial celebration in New York Harbor. A memorial to fishers lost at sea stands next to the Sons of Norway Hall.
Walk up the wooden street along Hammer Slough to see old homes hanging over this tidal creek. The boat harbors usually have several Steller sea lions cruising around.
Patti-Wagon Tours (907/772-4837) leads tours of the Trident Seafoods plant with a ride along Wrangell Narrows .
The Petersburg Visitors Information Center (corner of 1st St. and Fram St., 907/772-4636 or 866/484-4700 message only, www.petersburg.org , Sun. noon–4 p.m., Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. May–Sept., Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Oct.–Apr.) has a helpful staff, lots of brochures, plus details on local attractions and Tongass National Forest  recreation.
Clausen Memorial Museum (2nd St. and Fram St., 907/772-3598, www.clausenmuseum.net , Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. May–early Sept., call for winter hours, $3, children under 13 free) has exhibits on commercial fishing—including the world’s largest king salmon (a 126-pound monster) and chum salmon (36 pounds)—plus the Cape Decision lighthouse lens, a 200-year-old Tlingit dugout canoe, a bentwood box, and other historical exhibits. Outside is The Fisk, a fishy sculpture and fountain by Carson Boysen.
A good place to watch for the American national bird is Eagle’s Roost Park, north of the Petersburg Fisheries cannery. Upward of 30 eagles can be seen along here when the tide is low. Whales, seals, and sea lions are frequent sights in Frederick Sound near Sandy Beach Park north of town. Covered picnic tables and a playground add to the allure, and by late summer, pink salmon spawn in the tiny creek that flows through the park. Hike to the west side of Sandy Beach Park to discover ancient petroglyphs on the rocks. Icebergs from LeConte Glacier  are common along the north side of Frederick Sound and sometimes drift across to Petersburg , especially in winter.
South of town the main road is paved for 18 miles, with a gravel road continuing another 16 miles to the southeast end of Mitkof Island. From this point you have excellent views of the nearby mouth of the Stikine River  and the white-capped peaks of the Coast Range. Canoeists and kayakers (with transportation) may want to start their trip up the Stikine from here rather than at Wrangell .
Approximately eight miles out is a small turnoff to Falls Creek, a pleasant picnic spot. Stop here to look at the fish ladder, built in 1959 and used by coho and pink salmon as well as steelhead.
Located 15 miles south of town, the Blind River Rapids Trail is an easy half-mile boardwalk that leads through the muskeg to a three-sided shelter overlooking the saltwater rapids. Bring your fishing pole. The trail loops back through the muskeg for a total distance of nearly one mile.
A trumpeter swan observatory is set up on Blind Slough 16 miles south of Petersburg. A dozen or so of these majestic birds overwinter here, and other waterfowl abound during spring and fall migrations.
The state-run Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery (907/772-4772), 18 miles south of Petersburg , produces king and coho salmon. The kings return in June–July, while the coho come back to spawn mid-August–September. Blind Slough flows away from the hatchery and is a great place to explore by canoe or kayak. The water gets swimmably warm by midsummer, and picnic tables sit among the trees.
The Forest Service’s Ohmer Creek Campground is three miles farther down the road. Also popular for swimming is Man Made Hole, an old quarry at Mile 20, with a picnic shelter and fishing.