DOT&PF Designates New State Scenic Byway on Prince of Wales Island
(JUNEAU, Alaska) - The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) announces the designation of the Prince of Wales Island Road System as a state scenic byway.
Prince of Wales Island is located about 200 miles south of Juneau in Southeast Alaska and is accessible from Ketchikan by the Inter-Island Ferry Authority transiting along another scenic byway, the Alaska Marine Highways All American Road.
The island is 135 miles long, 45 miles wide and encompasses 2,577 square miles, twice as large as Rhode Island and slightly larger than the State of Delaware. About 6,000 people live on the island.
The island's communities include; Point Baker, Labouchere Bay, Port Protection, Whale Pass, Coffman Cove, Naukati, Thorne Bay, Klawock, Kasaan, Hollis, Craig and Hydaburg. There are four federally-recognized tribal governments on the island: Craig Community Association, Hydaburg Cooperative Association, Organized Village of Kasaan, and the Klawock Cooperative Association.
The island is considered unique because it features some of Southeast Alaska's best qualities such as a temperate rainforest, bountiful wildlife, native culture and historical artifacts.
"This designation covers 260 miles of mostly paved roads leading to the island's communities, all of which present a different Alaskan experience," said Commissioner Leo von Scheben, DOT&PF.
The island's roads included in the scenic byways designation are: Craig/Klawock Highway; Big Salt Lake Road; Thorne Bay Road; U.S. Forest Service Road 20; Ferry Terminal Spur, Hollis; Coffman Cove Road; Kasaan Highway; Hydaburg Highway; Sandy Beach Road; 12 Mile Arm Road and Port Saint Nicholas Road.
Prince of Wales has the most extensive road system in the Tongass National Forest, the nation's largest forest. Approximately 1,500 miles of roads, accessible from the scenic byway, offer unparalleled access to recreational opportunities in the forest.
Alaska's Scenic Byway designation provides resources to the byway communities to create unique travel experiences and enhance local quality of life through efforts to preserve, protect, interpret, and promote the qualities of the designated scenic byway.
The DOT&PF scenic byway website contains more information at Scenic Byways.