The tour starts with a great narrated tour of Ketchikan talking about the history, the people, and culture of the area. This is a great nature walk through the rain forest and down to the Eagle Creek estuary. You walk on well maintained trails (easy walking) through the rainforest and meadow areas. A naturalist talks about the plants, birds, insects, and wildlife. Then down on to board walks over the tidal estuary. Here you will see large collection of mature and juvenile bald eagles. During the salmon runs, bears and eagles feed on salmon returning to the hatchery in the estuary. At the end of the trail, you tour the restored sawmill, once used to cut lumber for Ketchikan.
Back at the visitor’s center, you can visit the Raptor Center to see rescue animals (eagles, owls, hawks), and a totem pole carver continuing age-old skills. He was working on a 7 foot red cedar Orca totem (2 months for the whale and 3 months for the pole).
ShoreEx Tip: You are going to the rainforest. Ketchikan gets 15-20 days of rain a month (7-14 inches of rain a month). Expect rain. The facility provides ponchos that are sturdy enough to survive the walk and keep you dry (but definitely not heavy duty reuse).
ShoreEx Tip: This is a bear area. You are not allowed to carry any food, mints, gum, hand sanitizer (basically anything that smells) on the trails. The guides provide group tubs to collect any food as soon as you exit the bus and return it to you at the end of the trail. Don’t carry it with you. Don’t try to hide it.
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Norwegian Cruise Line