Take a trip to a native village. They are each unique. Island Air flys to all the villages, some do not have runways, so you may get to experience a water landing in a float plane. This is a picture of Three Saints Church in Old Harbor.
Kodiak has it's own Saint, St Herman. Cannonized by the Orthodox Church in 1970s. Each year on his feast there is a pilgrimage to his home sight in Monk's Lagoon on Spruce Island with services and a meal. August 7-9
I took a Deer and sea duck hunt guided by a Tim Booch, owner of Aleutan Island Guide Service. We fly in by sea plane to Shuyak island. The accomadation were a rustic but very comfortable Park cabin. My deer hunt was sucessful.
Since development began on Near Island across the Channel in the last quarter-century, most of town's attention has centered on the enlarged harbor (St Herman's). Otherwise there are few buildings on the island other than the Fisheries Research Center, which unlike anything in Kodiak details the separate species of fish that are vital to the island's economy and recreation. The center includes a cylindrical tank where living specimens of most (if not all) of Kodiak's marine harvest share tight quarters, and a rectangular tank where visitors can touch and even hold certain other species.
If the hustle and bustle of Kodiak absolutely demands a peaceful retreat, the Northend Park on Near Island is a perfect solution. Few parts of the Kodiak area are more heavily forested than the "north end" of this natural retreat, just a stone's throw from Kodiak. Studded at almost every point with Sitka spruce, the park offers a few beaches and several walking paths, which are great for exercising the dog or just to relax or picnic. (N.B. No camping allowed.)
Another popular water spot with Kodiak residents is Lake Gertrude at the Fort Abercrombie State Park, an old WWII battery of sorts left in something of its original state by the Navy Department. The lake is roughly 1,000 feet long and a few hundred feet wide, and heavily forested on every perimeter except the one facing the sea (about 200 feet beyond the customary access point). Fish are stocked in the lake and sea gulls freshen up here before heading out into the surf, but these are generally not a bother. If you can tolerate the cold temperature of the water (mid to upper 50s F in summer), Lake Gertrude is a nice spot to relax.
With no space on the immediate waterfront to enjoy the ocean, Kodiak residents usually flock to a number of nearby coves and bays, where beaches are often of fine "sand." Actually these are composed of volcanic dust with other components, but their smooth feel comes close enough to qualify. Residents have a large variety of swimming holes to choose from, but one of the better stretches of "white sand" beach is around the Monashka Bay area, a gorgeous sight in its own right.
Pasagshak Bay and its eponymous river coincide at Pasagshak State Recreation area, an hour's drive from town and the farthest you can get away from Kodiak on the island's unpaved highway system. The area is fairly primitive, having a bathroom hut, a few picnic tables and almost no shelter. Within its 25 acres are only 20 camping sites, but these are not marked. In fact, with the nearby houses frowning in the distance, Pasagshak scarcely seems to qualify for state park status. A popular place for fishing, the area also undergoes the twice-daily migration of the island's buffalo herd, an importance fact to remember when pitching your tent.
The construction of St Herman's harbor on Near Island helped relieve congestion at Kodiak's St Paul's harbor. With more room to manuever, some of the town's larger vessels are at anchor here instead of the original harbor. The tight spaces at St Paul's mean fewer instances of fishermen tending to the day's catch, but at St Herman's there is more elbow room. You can observe locals cleaning halibut or look for bald eagles soaring over the bay or even watch the Steller's sea lions on the floats and jetties (whenever they happen to be sunning themselves).
St Paul's Harbor is at the heart of Kodiak life, so the fishermen and vessels here all have a story to tell. Commercial craft are frequently well away from the harbor, going as far out as the Bering Sea, but those in and around the docks are generally helpful folk, happy to discuss catches and techniques and other tricks of the private and commercial fishery. Besides the boats, the harbor also sees its share of sea lion, crab and puffin traffic.
Many people come to Kodiak every year to try and find a job in the fishing industry. Many do and many don't. The guaranteed Big Money isn't there anymore. So that's why I titled this tip fishing in the fog!! But it is still possible to find a job and make good money.....just many leave town broke!!
There are a few trails and a small road that is one Sometimes Island. In July and August there are some great spots for picking Salmon Berries!! It is a delious berry that is sort of like a Raspberry. The day we chose to go on our hike it ended up being quite a bit colder than we planned on! My wife was frozen!
Sometimes Island has it's name just because of that! Sometimes it's an island and sometimes it's not. It depends on the tide. So if you don't want to swim back or get stuck on the island for a few hours keep an eye on the tide. You can see in the photo that the tide is coming in. We only went for about a 45 minute hike around the island as we wanted to make sure we didn't have to spend the night on the island. It is located to the left about 9 miles from downtown Kodiak. There great views of Kashevaroff Mountain in the background.
If you aren't prepared to take a half day trip, if you are looking for something a bit shorter, spend an hour and a half and drive the Anton Larsen Road. There are many stops along the way worth braving some light rain for, and you might even see bear stool! (Scratch that- you will see some.. just make sure to wash your tires.)
Along the way you will encounter the Bear Valley Golf setup the (now defuct) Coast Guard Winter Skiing and Recreation Center, a few housing settlements/ranches, a newly built Dock and a plethora of wildlife. Watch for bears: please.
The FishTec center is a state of the art facility specializing in Fisheries Technology research for the state of Alaska. It is an outreach center for the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Tours available.