Beaver Falls Karst Trail


Useful Information

Location: Prince of Wales Island, Tongass National Forest, southeast Alaska.
State highway 929 to Control Lake Junction, 925 for 15 miles, becomes Forest Road 2000. At mile 100.5 on Forest Service Road 2000. Signposted, parking lot at trailhead.
(56.144186, -133.232991)
Open: no restrictions.
[2022]
Fee: free.
[2022]
Classification: KarstKarst Trail
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=2.4 km.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Tongass National Forest, Federal Building, 648 Mission Street, Ketchikan, AK 99901-6591, Tel: +1-907-225-3101, Fax: +1-907-228-6215. E-mail: contact
USDA Forest Service, Thorne Bay Ranger District, 1312 Federal Way, PO Box 19001, Thorne Bay, AK 99919-0001, Tel: +1-907-828-3304, Fax: +1-907-828-3309.
District Ranger: Mark Pentecost, Tel: +1-907-826-3271. E-mail:
Deputy Ranger: Delilah Bingham, Tel: +1-907-828-3210. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History


Description

Beaver Falls Karst Trail is a trail showing numerous karst related geotopes like dolines, caves, loosing streams and karst spring on a 2.4 km long round course through the typical forest. The flora is unique to the saturated topography of muskegs and cathedral forests, the biggest trees are bog laurel and Labrador tea. Decaying plants build a layer of peat which holds water like a giant sponge. Quite exceptional are the ultra slow-growing shore pines. Trees which are only 70 cm high may be 150 years old, a sort of natural bonsai. Often karst is quite dry because the water vanishes underground, but in the wet coastal area it is still frequently covered by bogs. The bogs produce acidic water which in turn increases limestone solution thus speeding up karst development.

The trail also runs along namesake Beaver Falls one of the Island's many recreational gems. The waterfall is 12 m hig ans the water disappears inside a cave at the bottom. The cave is obviously inaccessible and prone to sudden flooding.