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Walk, Hike, & Bike Around Homer & Kachemak Bay

Homer, Alaska offers a plethora of outdoor activities that let you experience its stunning natural beauty. From scenic trails to serene beaches, there's something for everyone. For detailed maps and more information on hiking in Homer, check out page 32 in the 2024 Chamber of Commerce Visit Homer Guide. Enjoy the wildlife but be vigilant in keeping a wide birth from moose, especially mamas with babies. While bear encounters are extremely unlikely, it is always prudent to be prepared. Ask Lila to borrow bear spray to keep you safe on your hike!


Trail Descriptions


Homer Area Trails

  • Pratt Museum Forest Trail - 0.4 mi (Easy)

    • Conveniently located right across Bartlett from the Pioneer Inn, behind the Pratt Museum & Park, the trail is open year-round and beautiful to visit anytime. The museum often provides educational recreation opportunities for visitors and residents, especially families and children.

  • Reber Trail

    • It is about a 1.5-mile walk from the Pioneer Inn to the top of Reber Road, where the trail/road intersects with West Hill. The trail boasts a gorgeous mountain, ocean, and Spit view. Turn right out of the driveway. Turn right on Bartlett, then turn left on Fairview. Continue on after the apartment buildings to the base of the trail (the road now continues on to West Hill road). Please leash your dog while in the neighborhood. He/she may be off-leash on the trail as long as under voice control.


  • Beluga Slough Trail - 0.6 mi (Easy)

    • This 1.2-mile loop trail in Homer is great for hiking and walking and is wheelchair accessible. Depending on the time of year, you may see sandhill cranes, seagulls, and mottled sandpipers. You’ll also enjoy wildflowers such as fireweed and lupine and many water grasses.

  • Homer Spit Trail - 4.3 mi (Easy)

    • Start at the base of the Homer Spit for this 4.3-mile paved trail to the tip of the Spit. Along the way, you will pass the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon (the fishing hole), the Homer Boat Harbor, and many boardwalk shops. This trail is perfect for walking or biking.


  • Calvin & Coyle Trail - 1.2 mi (Easy)

    • An approximately 1.2-mile loop with flat terrain through woods and meadows. A platform overlooking the Beluga Wetlands is a hot spot for bird watching. Watch for moose. Parking is available at the end of Mariner Drive.

  • Homer Bike Trail - 5 mi (Easy)

    • The broad paved path starts at the corner of Lake Street and East End Road. Approximately 5 miles with flat terrain, perfect for walking or biking. Shops, coffee stands, and eateries are along the way. Consider renting a bike from Cyclelogical for this trail or the bike path along East End Road.


  • Diamond Creek Trail - 4.2 mi (Moderate)

    • Popular for birding, hiking, and running, this trail takes you through tall grass meadows and alder forests before dropping to the Cook Inlet beach. The trail's upper half is primarily switchbacks with a crushed-rock surface, with some areas of clay that can be slick if wet. Keep an eye out for eagles, sea otters, other sea birds, and even whales! Remember to check tides; rising tides can trap you against the bluffs. The trail may be closed due to trail conditions.

  • Baycrest Trail/Homestead Trail Loop - 3.6 mi (Moderate)

    • Roger’s Loop to Diamond Ridge Road, roughly 7 miles round trip. Trailheads can be accessed on both Roger’s Loop and Diamond Ridge Road. Hike through woods, grassy fields, and some hills or, in the winter, cross-country ski amazing groomed trails.


  • Wynn Nature Center Lutz/Fireweed & Dogwood Trails Loop - 1.4 mi (Easy)

    • This loop is popular for birding, hiking, and walking. It offers thick fauna, wildflowers, wildlife viewing, and bird watching. Keep an eye out for moose. Guided and unguided hikes are available. Handicapped accessible boardwalk and trail for the visually impaired.


  • McNeil Canyon Loop - 4.6 mi (Moderate)

    • This loop trail out of East End Road in Homer begins at McNeil Canyon Elementary School and is popular in the winter for cross-country skiing. Depending on the time of the year, it can be muddy and boggy in parts, but the views are breathtaking.

  • Eveline State Recreation / Alpine Meadow Trail - 1.4 mi (Easy)

    • This trail is surrounded by beautiful grasses, wildflowers, and a partial forest. You also can enjoy a view of two glaciers. The drive out East End is stunning and gives a different perspective of the Homer area.



Exploring the Reservoir and Ohlson Mountain


The Reservoir

Head up East Hill and turn left on Skyline for a beautiful overlook of the reservoir. This serene spot is perfect for an evening visit when you're likely to spot swans and possibly even bears. The reservoir is an excellent place for kids to fish for trout or paddle around on stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) or kayaks.

Highlights:

  • Wildlife: Swans, bears (evening sightings)

  • Activities: Trout fishing, SUPs, kayaking


Ohlson Mountain

For another scenic adventure, turn right at the top of East Hill and head towards Ohlson Mountain. This area offers stunning wildflowers in summer and fall, making it a paradise for nature lovers. In the winter, it transforms into a great spot for skiing. Throughout the year, you can also spot cranes and moose.

Highlights:

  • Flora: Beautiful wildflowers in summer/fall

  • Activities: Skiing in winter

  • Wildlife: Cranes, moose


Both the reservoir and Ohlson Mountain provide unique opportunities to connect with nature, whether you're enjoying water activities, hiking among wildflowers, or skiing down snowy slopes.



Kachemak Bay State Park Trails


The trailheads at Kachemak Bay State Park are only accessible by water taxi from Homer. For a smooth and timely trip, book your water taxi in advance:


Trails in Homer and Kachemak Bay State Park range from family-friendly to difficult and occasionally impassable. For current trail conditions, visit Alaska State Trails. When accessing trailheads from the water, look for a triangular orange sign with a black "T" on it marking the location of the trailhead.



Coordinate with your chosen service to ensure timely drop-off and pick-up, aligning with your hiking schedule.



Gear Essentials


  • Footwear: Trail-running shoes or lightweight hiking boots.

  • Clothing: Moisture-wicking layers, windbreaker, and rain gear.

  • Hydration: At least 2 liters of water, possibly more depending on weather conditions.

  • Nutrition: High-energy snacks like energy bars, nuts, and dried fruit.

  • Safety: Bear spray, a whistle, and a small first aid kit.



Popular Trails in Kachemak Bay State Park


  • Humpy Creek Trailhead - 5.2 mi (Easy to Moderate)

    • Great trail to a beautiful salmon stream. Practice bear awareness as black bears frequent the mouth of Humpy Creek when the salmon are spawning (July and August).

  • Glacier Lake Trail - 3.2 mi (Easy)

    • This easy trail takes you to Grewingk Glacier Lake—very little elevation gain. Enjoy spectacular views and the sound of the glacier calving.

  • Saddle Trail - 1 mi (Moderate)

    • This trail offers multiple switchbacks up and over a forested ridge. Many hikers take the Grewingk Glacier Lake Trail and return via the Saddle Trail to Halibut Cove for a water taxi pickup.

  • Alpine Ridge Trail - 2.5 mi (Moderate to Difficult)

    • Follow a ridge through spruce and alder to alpine tundra for awe-inspiring views. Once you climb above the tree line and are in the alpine, the trail disappears.

  • Coalition Trail - 5.5 mi (Moderate)

    • This trail connects China Poot Bay with Halibut Cove Lagoon and China Poot Lake Trail. The trail climbs over a low ridge, offering scenic views.

  • Poot Peak Trail - 4.6 mi (Very Difficult)

    • The steep, slick, unmaintained route climbs rapidly. Only climbers with rock climbing training should continue beyond the “Lower Summit.”

  • Wosnesenski River Trail - 11.3 mi (Somewhat Difficult)

    • This route winds through forests, meadows, and bogs, up and over a low ridge, and into the Wosnesenski River Valley. Enjoy sweeping vistas and a spectacular 600’ waterfall.

  • Sadie Knob Trail - 6.3 mi (Moderate, Difficult in Places)

    • This trail accesses an alpine ridge between Sadie Cove and Kachemak Bay. Enjoy superb and expansive 360° views of Kachemak Bay.

  • Grace Ridge Trail - 8.2 mi (Moderate to Difficult)

    • This trail follows an old road dense with alders and climbs through old-growth Sitka spruce into stunning alpine. Enjoy dramatic views of Eldred Passage, Sadie Peak, Cook Inlet volcanoes, and beyond.


Enjoy your hiking adventures in and around Homer and Kachemak Bay!

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