Finding Your Path in the Sun
When It's Time To Take A Hike
The Homer area features a variety of trails appropriate
for any level of hiker. From the beaches to the hills, hikers have the
opportunity to view the surrounding areas firsthand. Kachemak Bay State
Park offers trails that lead to glaciers and secluded campsites, while
the Homer area features many exciting and educational paths. All these
trails share a sampling of nature that is unmatched in beauty. Hikers
are encouraged to use caution and safety at all times.
This guide may help you in choosing a trail that suits your level of ability and time limits. Alaska Road and Recreation Maps publishes an excellent map of the Kachemak Bay region that depicts all of the following trails. This can be purchased at businesses in Homer and is essential for avid hikers.
Homestead Trail: (est. 6.7
Continuing across Diamond Ridge Road, the trail drops
down into Bridge Creek Drainage passing through both meadow and forest
areas. The trail crosses Bridge Creek and takes hikers up to the Crossman
Ridge Road. This road follows Crossman Ridge through lush forest and
then drops down to the Bridge Creek Reservoir, the endpoint of the trail.
If you wish to start from this end, the trailhead is located 3/4 miles
east of the West Hill intersection.
Maps of the trail are available at both of the trail
head signs and give information about plant and animal life along the
Bishop's Beach Hike: (Variable
To get to the beach, turn toward the ocean on Main Street
from the Sterling Hwy. Turn left at Bunnell Avenue and right at Beluga
Avenue where you'll find parking next to the beach and a covered picnic
area. From here hikers can walk either east or west down the beach.
At about seven miles due west you'll come to Diamond Creek and up to the Sterling Highway about four miles from Homer. A short walk to the east will bring you to the Beluga Slough, which may prevent you from hiking any further. It is possible to pass during extremely low tides, but is not recommended.
This can be an enjoyable and educational hike that will appeal to small children and adults alike. However, the incoming tide can be hazardous to those who travel very far down the beach. Therefore hikers should keep an eye on the rising water and the distance you have traveled. Before leaving check the tide table on page 4 of the Homer Tribune or pick up a free tide book at local businesses. It is also recommended that you bring an identification book or manual for information about your findings.
Kachemak Bay State Park
The Kachemak Bay State comprises 300,000 acres a is
one of the largest coastal parks in the United States. The park's trail
system is situated around Halibut Cove and the Halibut Cove Lagoon.
There are trails catering to all levels of hikers and campsites for
those who wish to stay overnight. A public-use cabin is available to
rent near Halibut Cove lagoon and is situated on the bluff above the
floating dock. Call 1-800-770-2257, (907) 262-5581 or (907) 235-7024
for reservations or more information. The Southern District Ranger Station
is about four miles west of Homer on the Sterling Highway and has maps,
brochures and information on hiking trails in the Kachemak State Park.
Call 235-7024 or write Kachemak Bay State Park, P.O. Box 3248, Homer,
AK 99603. However these trails are generally not maintained and may
be hidden or wet in places. River crossings are also possible so plan
your hike keeping previous and current weather in mind.
Homer offers multiple water taxi services that will take you across the Kachemak Bay and pick you up at a prearranged time. A map is highly recommended for any hiking done on this system, as is the appropriate clothing and footwear. Difficulty ratings are taken from the Alaska State Parks Brochure.
Grewink Glacier Trail: (3.5
This trail connects with the other trails in the system
via the Saddle Trail (1 mile/Moderate) which leads hikers through a
notch, or "saddle" in the surrounding hills.
China Poot Lake Trail: (2.5
miles/Easy to Moderate)
The China Poot Lake Trail also accesses Wosnesenski
Trail (2 miles/Easy to Moderate) and Poot Peak Trail (1.5 miles/Difficult).
Wosnesenski Trail follows the shore of lakes and accesses good camping
spots. It ends at the Wosnesenski River which flows west to Neptune
Bay. The Poot Peak Trail is a steep climb up Poot Peak trail and can
be treacherous and slick. However, once hikers have climbed above the
timberline they have views of both Wosnesenski Glacier and Kachemak
The China Poot Lake Trail also forks into the Lagoon
Lagoon Trail: (5.5 miles/Moderate
Branching off at the Lagoon Trail, both the Alpine Ridge Trail (2 miles/Difficult) and the Goat Rope
Spur Trail (.5 miles/Difficult)
Seldovia Otterbahn Trail: (1.15
The trail offers a look at the city as well as beautiful
scenery of the lower Cook Inlet area. Points of interest include the
Boat Knee Trees (explained on the trail map) and the Limestone Quarry.
Numerous plants and animals are also present for the observant hiker.
The bluff section and Quarry areas, while offering particularly good
viewing points, involve some dangerous footing and hikers should proceed
However this trail is a wonderful hike through the Seldovia
area as well as a cross-country ski trail for the winter months.
Climbers Conquer Poot Peak- A Personal Account
This guide brought to you by The
Homer Tribune. Publisher: Jane M. Pascall. Voice (907)235-3714,
Fax (907)235-3716 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org,
601 E. Pioneer Ave., Suite 109, Homer, AK 99603.