Near Island Travel Guide

  • St Herman harbor, Near Island
    St Herman harbor, Near Island
    by mrclay2000
  • the Near Island Bridge (as seen from Kodiak)
    the Near Island Bridge (as seen from...
    by mrclay2000
  • curvier beaked whale
    curvier beaked whale
    by kaloz

Near Island Things to Do

  • Attached to the Sea

    St Herman harbor on Near Island was developed to increase the dock capacity around town. The growing fleet eventually outgrew St Paul harbor on Kodiak's edge. Now larger than St Paul harbor, St Herman's is a nice place to visit whether you are hoping to witness sea lions, crabs, or just the fleet of trawlers and long-liners at anchor. This...

  • Marine Wildlife: Up Close and Personal

    Puffins, a species of aquatic bird found throughout southern Alaska, is by its size tough to spot. On the other hand the giant Stellar (or Northern) sea lions that often bask in the sun on the jetties or docks of St Herman harbor are much easier to see. Good-natured skippers might be willing to get you a closer look, but otherwise, either swimming...

  • Fishery Industrial Technology Center

    This adjunct of the U. of Alaska Fairbanks is primarily a research center in a 20,000-sq foot facility. Designed to improve the value of the state's and island's vital commercial fishery (some 90% of all America salmon comes from the state), this facility is devoted to research, education and service. For the casual visitor, the center displays the...

  • Currier Beaked Whale

    As you enter the Kodiak Fisheries Research center you are greeted by the hanging display of a Currier Beaked Whale. It is a wonderfully restored skeleton. We get a lot of dead whales washing up on the beaches along Kodiak so the scientists have plenty of specimens to study.

  • Tons of explainations and information!

    Just about anything you want to know or learn about the Alaska fisheries you can find the answers for here at the research center. There are many displays and you can also talk with the scientists that work at the center. It is all very informational! Our local schools also do field trips here and the kids just love it!

  • The Migration of the Salmon

    On this board you can push a button and lights up the areas of the sea that the certain kind of Salmon migrate through. For this one I had pushed the Red Salmon button so you can see how far out to sea they go before returning back here to spawn.

  • Close up of the touch tank

    In the touch tank there are Sea Anenomes, Star Fish, Sand Sole, various small crabs, mollusks,Sea Cucumbers and other slimy creatures from the sea.

  • Touch tank explainations

    When you are at the touch tank there is a laminated book there explaining all of the creatures in the touch tank its a great place for young and old alike. I learned a couple things today too when we went.

  • Check out the touch tank

    Inside the Kodiak Fisheries Research Center you will find a "Touch Tank". This is where you touch and feel the prickly and slimy creatures from the sea! I put my hand on one of the Sea Anenomes and it felt sticky! LOL I pulled my hand out fast as I though it bit me..My son was rolling with laughter. It didn't bite me though it was just a rough...

  • Check out the Aquarium at the Fish...

    Inside the Kodiak Fisheries Research Center there is a big aquarium with lot's of local sea creatures and fish. This is one of the Red Salmon that is swimming in there. He is lucky to be there and not in one of the rivers that I fish on!! LOL

  • Bald Eagles in the winter and spring

    Near Island is a great place for spotting Bald Eagles in January to April. They hang out in the trees and are watching for fish scraps from passing boats or watching for small animals such as squirells. Somedays you can see more that 100 of these huge birds along the channel!! I've tried getting a good shot of them swooping down and catching a...

  • Sunrise through the channel.

    There are some great sunrises to be seen in the months of Sept through March from the the Near Island Channel. You will have to be there early though. As the good colors only last for about 10 minutes then the show is over. If you're lucky there will be great cloud formations for the best sunrises! In the other months it isn't dark enough to have...

  • Wild Flowers in summer

    In the summer months there are several wild flowers making wonderful color around the island. They even grow in between the rocks where you wouldn't expect them to grow. The different Lupines are my favorite!! The are called "Fireweed" locally as the fields appear to be on fire during the Full bloom!

  • Really cool Sculpture

    If you take the far trail from northend park, you will end up at the Fish Tech Center, also accessable from the road. I don't know what goes on there, it is run by the college, but they have a really cool salmon sculpture.

  • Dog Bay

    A Parking lot for boats. Boats come in all sizes and colors, and they are great to look at, even better to charter and go fishing.


Near Island Transportation

  • Charter This

    For those of you who can afford the charter route, many of Kodiak's sea and float plane charters are either headquartered on Near Island or only parked there. For the casual visitor, the seaplanes are just another aspect of island life, along with the docks and local parks. For the diehard island visitor though, the seaplane is the general way one...

  • Trident Basin And the Float planes

    You can hire float planes from a couple different operations in Trident Basin. This is the spot that most of the flyout fishing trips and Bear viewing flights leave from. As you come over the bridge take your first left and go to the end of the road and you will find it. It is about 1 mile from the bridge.

  • Fred Zharoff Memorial Bridge

    The only access to near island is by boat or to take the Fred Zharoff Memorial Bridge. Fred Zharoff was one of our local politicians that passed away in the 90's and the bridge was renamed after him. Before that it was named for the local Fire Dog that fell off the bridge in a freak accident. I've forgotten th dogs name already.


Near Island Local Customs

  • Marine Harvesters

    As a community sitting on the Gulf of Alaska, residents in Kodiak and Near Island tend to gather a great deal of their food from the ocean. A stroll through the harbors will easily hear advice, stories and other tidbits on commercial and private fishing, and for boat-owners and their friends, a shared harvest of halibut, king crab, shrimp and other...

  • Fireworks..4th of July and New Years Eve

    Here in Kodiak we have 2 fireworks celebrations per year. The 4th of July and New Years Eve. The fireworks are set off from the Rock pit along the water front. They can be seen from Near Island and also many spots around downtown Kodiak. The bridge is cut off from access 30 minutes before the expected start times of the fireworks which is usually...

  • Picking Salmon Berries in July and...

    Bring a big bucket or several big buckets and pick to your hearts (Or stomachs) content!! Salmon Berries I believe are only found in the northern latitudes especially here in Alaska! In July and August it doesn't take long at all to fill your buckets up. As long as your not eating as you pick which I usually do. LOL There are many popular areas for...


Near Island Warnings and Dangers

  • Do not feed the Stellar Sea Lions

    You may see people feeding them but I recommend to not do it! It is illegal and it makes the sea lions dependant on humans for food and they get lazy to find fish on their own. There are big fines for feeding them although this is not strictly enforced.

  • Be careful going down the ramps

    Your are welcome to walk along any of the docks and talk to the fisherman take photos of the boats but be careful not to slip walking down the ramp. There are grips on one side of the ramp but the metal side can be slippery when wet. Also kids under 12 have to have an Adult with them.

  • Tidal Wave Area!!

    Kodiak and Near Island were hit by a tidal wave after the Good Friday Earthquake of 1964. This is a real danger. Get to high ground. I don't know if you should cross the bridge, but there is higher ground on the other side. Meet at my house, it is above the "safe" zone.


Near Island Off The Beaten Path

  • Northend Park

    As the name implies, this park has walking trails through some of thick non-native spruce that encrusts the better part of Near Island. Walks are simple and non-technical and culminate in some of the nice beaches just minutes from town. This park and its walkways are prominently listed by the visitor center under "100 Things to Do on Kodiak...

  • View from Pillar Mountain

    If you hike or drive (there is a road) up Pillar mountain and you choose a clear day you can have some great views of Near Island and the surrounding smaller islands too. You can see the bridge going from Kodiak Island to Near Island. Just to the left of the bridge in those Spruce trees is where the North End Park trails are located.

  • Views back over the channel

    If you walk along the trails at the Northend Park you can get some great views. This one is back over the channel where you can see the canneries along the water front and you can also see some of the oldest houses in Kodiak.


Near Island Favorites

  • Capital Improvements

    The bridge linking Kodiak township with Near Island was and is still a controversial landmark. The link eases travel between the two sites, and there is a primitive road system on the smaller island. Pet owners will find dispensers on the bridge for doggie-doo-doo bags. Visitors can watch incoming vessels and the occasional killer whale (in the...

  • St Hermans Harbor from Pillar Mountain

    Here you can see the boats in St Hermans Harbor on Near Island. This shot is taken from the top of Pillar Mountain. IN the summer time the boat harboar can be quite empty as the fishing boats will be out to sea fishing. But in the winter time there are lots of boats to be seen in the harbor.

  • North End Park hiking trails

    These trails probably won't satisfy the toughest back country hiker but if you would like a leisurely stroll through a Spruce Forest and have wonderful views of the the channel and sea you'll enjoy yourself. This is a popular series of trails that families with pets go on so you probably won't be alone. The trail head is located right at the end of...


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