Most of Sitka is on Baranof Island, but some families prefer to come to Japonski Island to take family walks with their kids.
Japonski Island houses the Rocky Gutierrez Airport, the U.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), Mt. Edgecumbe High School, University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus and Sealing Cove Harbor. The island also has close access to the Sitka Channel shore, doesn’t have any bears and most of the roads have very little traffic. So some families cross the O’Connell Bridge to use Japonski Island for their family walks or to teach their children how to ride a bike.
During the 2010 summer, SEARHC Health Promotion college intern Hillary Martin measured several common walks around Japonski Island so SEARHC patients and employees could know how far they were walking on their lunch hour or as part of their injury rehabilitation program. She marked five different routes on a map of the island, with a key so people could know distance of each route. Click the link below if you would like access to the same map.