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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Prince of Wales Island Wildlife Viewing
Balls Lake

photo of Balls Lake area wildlife Balls Lake is near the center of Prince of Wales Island. Watch for waterfowl swimming in the lake. Listen for the melodies of forest songbirds in the spring. The forest around the lake provides habitat for Sitka black-tailed deer and black bears. Bald eagles are seen all year. A flat 2¼-mile trail, with some boardwalk planks and stairs, loops around the lake.


Lakeside plants often emerge earlier than other plants in the early spring, and attract hungry Sitka black-tailed deer and black bears.


  • Beaver
  • Black Bear
  • Eiders
  • River Otter
  • Sitka black-tailed deer


Spend the night at the Eagle's Nest campground for the chance to look for wildlife in the late evening and early morning, when activity is highest.


  • Hiking Trails
  • Picnic Facilities
  • Restrooms
  • Wheelchair Accessible


The Eagle’s Nest campground at Balls Lake is one of the island’s few maintained camping areas.

Plan to spend at least: 2 - 4 hours

Best Months

█ Best Month

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • Best Month May
  • Best Month June
  • Best Month July
  • Best Month August
  • Best Month September
  • October
  • November
  • December


Balls Lake is 17 miles west of Thorne Bay on paved FH 42, near the junction with FH 9 that leads to Klawock.


USDA Forest Service, Thorne Bay Ranger District - (907) 828-3304 or Prince of Wales Island Chamber of Commerce - (907) 755-2626 or

Additional Information

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