Ward Lake At a Glance

Ward Lake Recreation Area


Ward Lake provides a variety of wildlife viewing opportunities. There is a 1.3 mile nature trail around the lake beginning at the picnic area. Deer are commonly seen in the area and occasionally a black bear has been known to wander through! Birdwatching is also excellent in the area. The Ward Lake Recreation Area provides a wide variety of developed recreation facilites.

Facilities, Activities and Species:

These symbols denote available facilities, permitted activities and species of interest. The species icons will lead you to a page about that species.

Viewing Information:

A window into the world of the temperate rainforest, the Ward Lake Recreation Area offers many wildlife watching opportunities. In addition to the commonly seen Sitka black-tailed deer, there is a beaver lodge on Ward Lake and beaver can often be spotted during the twilight hours.

Birdwatching along the nature trails is good, and observant bird watchers can hope to see kinglets, chickadees, thrushes, winter wrens and Townsend's warblers. In early spring, trumpeter swans, goldeneye, and bufflehead will visit the lake.

Across the road from Ward Lake is Perserverance Lake Trail. This trail winds about three miles through the forest and muskeg and ends at beautiful Perserverance Lake. This trail is slightly more difficult to hike, but offers additional opportunities for wildlife encounters.

Safety First:

Wild animals are unpredictable. To reduce disturbance to the animals and to promote safety for people, please use binoculars or telephoto lenses for viewing and/or photographing wildlife.

Walking off trails or cutting switchbacks can cause damage to the soils and vegetation. Also, the devil's club plant is covered with thorns and can cause painful sores. It is advisable to stay on established trails and walkways.

Be bear aware!


Ward Lake is located about six miles north of Ketchikan near Ward Cove. Go to the "how to get there" webpage for detailed directions.

Ownership & Management:

USDA Forest Service, Tongass National Forest; Ketchikan-Misty Ranger District (907) 225-2148

Closest Town:

Ketchikan, Alaska

wheelchair accessiblephoto opportunitieskeep your pets on a leash!interpretive informationrestroomsboardwalk hikingpicnic area


large carnivoresraptorssalmonsongbirdsbeaverdeerwaterfowl


Best Viewing Season:

viewing season - all year

Map of Ward Lake. This image will take you to directions to Ward Lake.

small map of Ward Lake