Yesterday Maddie, Erika, Selma and I got to enjoy the lush greenery of the Watermelon Trail as we hiked to Greer Road out East End. The conditions were near perfect and relatively dry. If you set out to do this trail, wear waterproof hiking shoes if you have them (otherwise regular tennis shoes will do) and bring at least 32-oz of water and a lunch. There is plenty of water for your pooch.
Bears, moose, and wolves are plentiful in this area so be sure to plan accordingly. Bear spray and flares are necessities. Carrying a large trash bag in your pocket is another great option taught to us by the talented outdoorswoman and artist extraordinaire Kathy Sarns Irwin of Free Spirit Bike Jerseys. Quickly fill it with air and flap it above your head to make yourself appear large and loud in the event of a bear sighting
Park at the Snowmad parking lot approximately 2.5 miles out Ohlson Mountain Road on the right and begin hiking on the Watermelon Trailhead (the trail to the left in this parking lot). When you come to forks in the trail, always take a right. At the last place where the trail splits, there is a yellow newspaper box. Go straight at this junction as the trail to the right goes to someone's private cabin.
This hike is approximately 15-miles and takes about 5 hours at a leisurely pace with a couple lunch/snack/baby-nursing breaks.
We shuttled one car out to Greer Road before beginning. Another option is to be picked up on Hutler Road (an approximately 13-mile hike) or, of course, to do an out-and-back of any distance.
As we began hiking, we had a great view of the rolling hills towards the bay on our right and Ohlson Mountain to our left.
The greenery of the landscape was almost unbelievable for this time of year.
The wildflowers and baby cones just poking out were adorable. It's a little cooler up in the hills, so if you are looking to do some springtime foraging for fiddleheads, spruce tips, nettles, or morels, this is your kinda place.
About 6 miles into the hike, we got that first breathtaking view of Kachemak Bay, and it just kept getting better as we went.
There are a few creeks to cross, but the trail is generally well-maintained with bridges or log crossings except in a couple places where you will get muddy and/or wet.
At about mile 13, we were spit out on Hutler Road, which we followed for about 1.5 miles before taking a short trail that connected us to Greer Road where we concluded the hike, grateful as always for good friends and the amazing world we live in.