An Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist releases arctice char into Stormy Lake in 2013 near Nikiski. The char were the last fish to be reintroduced after several agencies treated the lake with a fish-killing poison to eradicate invasive northern pike. The lake is still recovering, but some fishing opportunity is available.

An Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist releases arctice char into Stormy Lake in 2013 near Nikiski. The char were the last fish to be reintroduced after several agencies treated the lake with a fish-killing poison to eradicate invasive northern pike. The lake is still recovering, but some fishing opportunity is available.

Nikiski

Also known as North Kenai or Nikishka, the hub of Nikiski is near Mile 26.5 of the Kenai Spur Highway. The town offers recreational opportunities both indoors and out, being home to both the North Peninsula Recreation Center — a facility containing a community center, skating rink, gym, indoor pool, and waterslide — and to popular campsites and beaches. As if these attractions weren’t enough, Nikiski also is home to J.D. Megchelsen, who in 2011 set a state record by growing a 1,287-pound pumpkin.

The Kenai Spur highway ends in the woods north of Nikisi, near the parking lot of Captain Cook State Recreation Area. Named after the British sea captain who explored the Inlet in 1778, this recreation area includes a day trail, campground, beach access, and canoe entry into Stormy Lake. From the beach, look west across Cook Inlet on a clear day for views of the Chigmit Mountains, and north for a glimpse of Mount Susitna or — on especially clear days — even Mount McKinley.

If you visit Nikski during the long days of June, you may have the opportunity to take part in Nikiski Days, a solstice festival whose slogan promises “Family Fun in the Midnight Sun,” including food, music, and games.

Click here for more information on Captain Cook State Recreation Area and the North Peninsula Recreation Center for a family activity.

A swimmer rides down the 136-foot water slide at the Nikiski Pool. The pool is open for summer hours from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday from June 1 through Sept. 1.

A swimmer rides down the 136-foot water slide at the Nikiski Pool. The pool is open for summer hours from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday from June 1 through Sept. 1.

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