This is one of the easiest trails we hiked on in Sitka. The trailhead is about 3-4 miles from town on the left side. There is a free and a decent size paved parking area. The signs for the trail are on the left. The trail starts by climbing gently and gradually among tall trees on the gravel wide section crossing the wooden bridges. From the bridge to the Thimbleberry Lake there is not much elevation changed but it is still a pleasant walk.
The day we hiked there we did not see any other hikers but once we got on the less maintained trail from Timbleberry Lake and headed to Heart Lake we met many people with kids and dogs, on foot and bikes going both ways. This became very popular tail. There was one steeper section with a bench to sit and have a look at the path below. Once we got to the top of this section we heard loud barking of dogs. After few minutes we hiked down to the lake while dogs continued barking. We got to the lake and barking dogs were still there. The Heart Lake is in a lovely setting. Four dogs were running and barking. Two other dogs arrived and six dogs, encouraged by their owners, barked as loud as I never heard before. Dogs were happy running freely without leashes, chasing each other and sticks owners threw to them. It is always fun to see dogs under control on trails but noise these six dogs were making diminished our peaceful visit we planned to Heart Lake.
I would go back to this trail for a quick and easy evening or early morning walk to Heart Lake. However, a thought of listening to ear piercing barks echoing on the lake makes me rethink a whole idea of revisiting this trail. Still I feel this is an attractive trail. I wish there were rules in regard to dogs being under control while in areas where other visitors want to enjoy peace and beautiful surroundings. I need to add that we hiked on many trails in Sitka and we saw dogs often but this was only one place where dogs encouraged by owners never stopped barking. We left after about 15 minutes.
If you own or manage Heart Lake Trail, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.