Photo Credit: Homestead Trail at Rogers Loop Rd

Homer Parks & Trails

Homer Side of Kachemak Bay Trails

On the Homer side of Kachemak Bay, several hikes will connect you with both land and sea wildlife. Trails into the hills above Homer bring you great exercise as well as the beauties of trees and flowers and the occasional encounter with wildlife such as moose and bear and smaller animals. Above the high school, an easy trail into the woods is a pleasant stroll into the wilds. A trail that starts behind the McDonald's restaurant on the east side of Lake Street takes you to Ben Walters Park, along the shore of the Beluga Slough. The Calvin Coyle Trail (which starts at the end of Mariner Drive which also accesses the Cottonwood Horse Park), leads to a wetlands observation deck as does a short trail just east of the airport. Both decks put you in likely wildlife encounters, including bears and moose. Uphill on Bartlett Street above the Pratt Museum, take a left on Fairview, then right on Campground Road to the Karen Hornaday Park for more great outdoors fun which includes a playground for children. The city campground is just above this park.

Strolling through town, mainly on Pioneer Avenue and by the High School, is like visiting an art gallery, mural walls and businesses adorned with art are on display.

Bishop's Beach, just below Old Town, and easily accessible, is a great place to wander in the the sand and watch for whales, seals, porpoises and other sea life.

Kachemak Bay State Park Trails

Across the bay from Homer, Kachemak Bay State Park tempts hikers to explore numerous easy and difficult trails.

There are over 25 miles of trails in the park, many accessed by boat only. They range from easy to difficult. Many climb over steep, rugged terrain and offer excellent views. Others wind through coastal forest and meadows. Many of the trails are passable but challenging. There are areas of exposed rocks, roots, wet boggy areas, downed trees or tall grass. Trails and trailheads are marked with orange triangle signs with a "T" in the center. All trailheads are accessed by boat or plane, and some of the hikes require crossing glacial streams.

One of the easiest hikes with some of the best views is the Grewingk Glacier Lake Trail. One of the most traveled trails in the park is the China Poot Lake Trail, where switchbacks lead you to a place called First Lake, an excellent spot to take a dip on a hot day. Another popular option is the 8.2 mile Grace Ridge Trail North Access, where views from the top include views of Eldred Passage, Sadie Peak, and Cook Inlet Volcanoes.

Trails in the park are maintained through the efforts of volunteers and volunteering is a great way to do a service to mother earth and fellow humans as well as enjoy the park.

Looking to stay in the state park longer? Book into Alaska's Loonsong Lake Wilderness Lodge, a private log chalet surrounded by more than a million acres of Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park. Only one booking at a time is accepted, two couples or a family have exclusive use. There are miles of lovely hiking trails, diverse enough to fill a week and match any appetite.

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Homer Hiking Trails

Homer Trails

Trails on the Homer side of Kachemak Bay

Difficulty: Easy

From the base of the Homer Spit, take this 4‑mile paved trail to the Nick Dudi­ak Fish­ing Lagoon. The trail is in excel­lent con­di­tion and is flat as a pan­cake for most of its length. The first mile of trail is along a broad estu­ary that is great for bird­ing. Once you pass the one-mile mark you’ll be rid­ing past fish­ing boats that are out of the water being worked on as well as a few shops.

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 6 miles

This is one of Home­r’s top hikes. It starts on top of Bay­crest Hill, cross­es Dia­mond Ridge Road, then fol­lows Cross­man Ridge to the Bridge Creek Reser­voir. Through­out, it rolls through forests, mead­ows and over streams. The area is excel­lent for bird­ing and catch­ing a glimpse at the occa­sion­al moose.

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 2 miles

One of the top trails on the Homer side of Kachemak Bay, Dia­mond Creek is a 2‑mile trail that takes you through for­est, alders, and tall grass mead­ows before descend­ing to the beach, where you’ll find small Alaskan sealife.

This 0.4‑mile-long trail, which begins with­in earshot of down­town Homer, plays host to a vari­ety of birds and plants. Wheel­chairs may have some trou­ble in the first few feet of soft grav­el, but once they reach the plas­tic board­walk they should find the going much eas­i­er — and maybe worth the trou­ble it took to dri­ve 4 hours from Anchorage.

Distance: 6 miles

The trail­head is locat­ed 34 miles east of the Sky­line Dri­ve inter­sec­tion. The trail fol­lows Cross­man Ridge Rd before going down to cross bridge creek. From here it climbs up to Dia­mond Ridge Road where there’s anoth­er trail­head. You can also access the Home­st­ed Trail from the Rogers Loop Rd Trailhead. 

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 2 miles

This is an easy two-mile trail through mead­ows and forests that’s great for hik­ing in the sum­mer and ski­ing dur­ing the win­ter. In sum­mer, the high­light is fields of wild­flow­ers, espe­cial­ly from June through August: Lupine, Wild Gera­ni­um, False Helle­bore, Monk’s Hood, Choco­late Lily, Fire­weed, and much more. 

Difficulty: Easy

This trail is an easy one-mile stroll to the east Bel­u­ga Slough view­ing platform.

The Raven’s Way Loop is accessed from the Ster­ling High­way. You will see the Trail­head and large park­ing lot. The trail mean­ders through open spruce and muskeg ter­rain and there it is a great chance to see lots of eagles and ravens.

Difficulty: Easy

Every­one wants to explore a tide­pool, don’t they? This is a must for the kids — even that lit­tle kid in those slight­ly more mature vis­i­tors. Here’s the per­fect spot. Bring a tow­el and let’s have an inter­tidal adventure.

Difficulty: Easy

This trail switch­backs up .38 miles to an over­look that offers stun­ning views of Kachemak Bay.

Difficulty: Moderate

This trail will take you 7.5 miles to Cari­bou Lake and is good for bik­ing, hik­ing, ATV’s, and win­ter skiing.

Difficulty: Easy

This is an unmarked dirt road that isn’t well main­tained but is good for bik­ing and hiking.

Difficulty: Easy

The Ray Clapp Trail is a nice short hike in Homer. It is locat­ed approx­i­mate­ly 1 mile out East End Road in the Stream Hill Park Sub­di­vi­sion. You can park your car or bicy­cle at the trail head which is marked with a lit­tle foot­bridge. It winds through the edge of an estate and is filled with love­ly mead­ows of wild­flow­ers along with beau­ti­ful birch and cot­ton­wood trees. 

Difficulty: Easy

Paved and flat, this three-mile long trail is great for in-town recreation.

Difficulty: Easy

Less than one mile through the woods, this is an easy, in-town hike.

Difficulty: Easy

This trail is a con­nec­tor between Pio­neer Ave and the Homer Bypass. It winds through the woods in town and a spur trail leads to the Homer Pub­lic Library.

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Kachemak Bay State Park Trails

Trails accessible by boat or plane across the Bay

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 3 miles

This trail, hands down, is one of the most pop­u­lar hikes in the Kachemak Bay State Park. It is one of the eas­i­est hikes in the park as the trail is well main­tained, and you can’t beat the view of the glac­i­er at the lake. For the first 1.5 miles, the trail mean­ders through mixed cot­ton­wood and Sit­ka spruce. These cot­ton­woods are some of the largest in the park so take time to appre­ci­ate their enor­mous size. After 1.5 miles, the trail proceeds  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 2 miles

Prob­a­bly the sec­ond most trav­eled trail in the park, this trail offers a great day hike for those spend­ing time in the lagoon. You can start hik­ing the trail from the ranger sta­tion or the trail­head in Hal­ibut Cove Lagoon. The trail tra­vers­es up numer­ous switch­backs to a place called First Lake. On a hot sum­mer day, a soak in this lake can’t be beat.

Although this can be a busy spot, it is a lot less con­gest­ed than the Homer Spit. Things to do here include: tak­ing small day hikes, pad­dling in the lagoon, camp­ing, stay­ing at one of the three near­by pub­lic use cab­ins, and the most pop­u­lar, fish­ing for Kings dur­ing the month of June.

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 8 miles Elevation Gain: 3184 feet

Access: Tut­ka Bay There are two trail­heads for Grace Ridge. One is at the north­ern end of Tut­ka Bay at Kayak Beach. The sec­ond is locat­ed in the south­ern end of the bay about two thirds of the way down on the north shore. Some folks nev­er hike the entire length of the trail, but rather hike from Kayak beach to the sum­mit of Grace ridge, and back to the beach. This is a wor­thy hike, but if you can hike from north to south com­plete­ly along…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 1 mile Elevation Gain: 391 feet

The trail­head is in Hal­ibut Cove In con­junc­tion with the Grew­ingk Glac­i­er Lake Trail, this is the most heav­i­ly trav­eled trail in the park. Usu­al­ly, peo­ple hike the Grew­ingk Glac­i­er Lake Trail, hang out at the lake and hike the Sad­dle Trail back to Hal­ibut Cove for their water taxi pickup. 

Difficulty: Moderate

Ele­va­tion Gain: 873 feet Dif­fi­cul­ty: Mod­er­ate Length: 2.8 miles Time: 1 1÷22 hours Going north from the Humpy Creek Trail­head, the trail will skirt along the edge of the high tide line through the grass. Fol­low orange trail ?T?s? along the beach until the trail enters into the woods. BEWARE: The trail sec­tion along the beach may be impass­able at times when the tide exceeds 17 or 18 feet. As the trail climbs into the woods it is stren­u­ous at…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 4 miles Elevation Gain: 2100 feet

There are two dif­fer­ent trails to reach the alpine area of Sadie Knob; from either the north or south trail­heads. Each has camp­sites you can use as a base camp for hik­ing. You can hike from trail­head to trail­head and nev­er go into the alpine if you choose. These are very well grad­ed trails and offer leisure­ly hike if one wants to smell the ros­es’ and do some bird watch­ing or flower iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. The junc­tion at the spur trail that takes…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate

For a longer day hike, add this pop­u­lar route to the Glac­i­er Lake Trail loop. You’ll pick up the trail head­ing south down the Sad­dle Trail, then climb a steep ridge above tree-line to alpine tun­dra, with great views of Kachemak Bay, Grew­ingk Glac­i­er, and the glacial val­ley. In August, you’ll find ripe blue­ber­ries. Retrace your steps and con­tin­ue down the Sad­dle Trail to the Hal­ibut Cove pick­up. It is 5 miles out and back, plus Glac­i­er Lake…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 5 miles

Going north from the Humpy Creek Trail­head, the trail will skirt along the edge of the high tide line through the grass. Fol­low the orange trail mark­ers along the beach until the trail enters into the woods. BEWARE: The trail sec­tion along the beach may be impass­able at times when the tide exceeds 17 or 18 feet. As the trail climbs into the woods it is stren­u­ous at times, but you are reward­ed with views back down into Humpy Creek drainage…  ...more

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 1 mile Elevation Gain: 1632 feet

Note: To get to the sum­mit you most get to the Sum­mit Junc­tion, and con­tin­ue the final .3 miles from there. The trail begins .5 miles beyond Chi­na Poot Lake. The ele­va­tion gain tells it all — 1632 feet in just over a mile! This trail does­n’t mess around. It is dif­fi­cult but can be fun. Right from the trail junc­tion, the trail will climb straight up, with no tra­vers­ing or switch­backs. The trail climbs over exposed tree roots, sev­er­al slick…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 5 miles

The Coali­tion Loop is a mod­er­ate­ly dif­fi­cult trail in Kachemak Bay State Park. It’s five and a half miles long with short steep climbs up to 400 feet, and it takes rough­ly three hours to hike the loop. Boat access to the trail is at the Chi­na Poot Bay trail­head dur­ing high tide. You can also join this trail at mile .2 and mile 1.8 of the Chi­na Poot Lake Trail. The trail itself con­nects Hal­ibut Cove Lagoon with Chi­na Poot Bay. It climbs…  ...more

Difficulty: Difficult

This trail winds along Hal­ibut Cove and pass­es though to Hal­ibut Creek delta, a wet bog­gy sec­tion. The riv­er can be ford­ed at low tide but may be dif­fi­cult to cross at oth­er times. The trail con­tin­ues on to lead you to Chi­na Poot Lake Trail, should you choose to go on. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 5 miles Elevation Gain: 1568 feet

Access: Get to the trail from Humpy Creek or the Grew­ingk Glac­i­er Trail. Descrip­tion of this trail is from access via Humpy Creek North Trail. Trail begins at 650 via the Humpy Creek North Trail. The trail gains ele­va­tion quick­ly for close to 2 miles and will even­tu­al­ly leave the dead and down for­est into alder fields. At this point you start to get great views north and south of Kachemak Bay. You will see the Homer Spit in all its glo­ry. At…  ...more

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 1 mile

This trail is short and steep through thick for­est that leads to incred­i­ble sce­nary. The trail­head can be reached via the high­est point of the Lagoon Trail, two miles from the ranger sta­tion. Rock cairns mark the trail to an open alpine ridge, where the trail gen­tly climbs to a sum­mit that has some of the finest views any­where of Kachemak country. 

Difficulty: Easy

This trail’s pur­pose is to pro­vide access to the Tut­ka Bay Lagoon Hatch­ery. Be sure to bring a kayak and the fam­i­ly to play in the lagoon for the day! 

Difficulty: Moderate

Hike 2 miles along the Chi­na Poot Lake Trail. The Moose Val­ley trail is one of the more unique trails in the park. It is one of the best hikes in the park because it can be com­bined with oth­er trails to make a very big loop. The hike is full of flow­ers, decid­u­ous trees, stands of cot­ton­woods and alpine lakes. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 11 miles

This easy trail winds along the banks of three lakes. There is a camp­ing area on the side of the trail. The trail climbs a sad­dle and drops down into the val­ley. It can be dan­ger­ous to cross the rivers, as they are glac­i­er-fed and you can­not see the bot­tom. The rivers are low­er dur­ing the begin­ning of the year, but they are also colder.

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 8 miles Elevation Gain: 3145 feet

This pop­u­lar trail begins at Kayak Beach Camp­site, acces­si­ble by water taxi, between Tut­ka Bay and Sadie Cove. Head up through spruce and alders, and stop at the alpine knob at 1,745 feet for great pho­to oppor­tu­ni­ties of Eldred Pas­sage, Sadie Peak, and Cook Inlet vol­ca­noes. Watch for moun­tain goats, black bears, and gold­en and bald eagles. 

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