Southeast Alaska Birding Trail Klawock

Balls Lake

Bald eagles are seen year round at this site.

Balls Lake is near the center of Prince of Wales Island and is a nice place to explore freshwater lakes and see old growth forest. The site has easy access, a nice stream, wetlands and a good mix of wetland, open and forested habitats. Watch for eiders and other waterfowl in the lake and listen to songbirds in the forest. Bald eagles are seen year round at this site. 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.

The site has trails, picnic area, campground and outhouses managed by the Tongass National Forest. A boardwalk and natural tread trail encircles Balls Lake. The natural tread trail portion does have wet sections and rubber boots are the recommended footwear. Otherwise, visitors can take an easier section by staying on the elevated boardwalk trail and connecting to Control Creek. There is a Forest Service public use cabin available about 2 miles from this site at Control Lake that is available by reservation.


From Klawock travel 16.1 miles on State Highway 929/Boundary Rd; turn right (heading east) on Thorne Bay Road and travel approximately 2 miles east of Control Lake Junction.

Bald Eagle.
Bald Eagle. Photo: John Hyde

Trail Information:

  • A flat 2¼-mile trail, with some boardwalk planks and stairs, loops around the lake through National Forest. There is also a ½ mile long accessible boardwalk interpretative trail at Balls Lake

Birding Resources:

Bird Species Checklist:

Other Resources:

How you can help, right now