|An old, abandoned cabin along the Homestead Trail, framed by pushki and fireweed|
|Wood chips and plastic trail retainers |
on the Homestead Trail
The trail winds through different types of areas: boggy hummocks, thick forest and then out onto an alpine meadow.
It is only about a mile up to the bench. When we first moved to Alaska, we never even got to the meadow and bench; the kids were younger and we were more timid. Now the jaunt up to the bench seems like a quick little hike.
This trail is also the snowshoe trail in the winter, and I hike it more often on snowshoes than I do in the summer. There is a loop so it wouldn't have to be an out-and-back hike, both for the summer and winter (though they follow different paths in each season).
|The trail up the meadow--final climb to the bench|
|View of the Kenai Mountains looking towards Homer and Kachemak Bay|
|View towards Seldovia and Cook Inlet|
Our family is not much for sitting around admiring views. Usually when we're out and about we've got a goal and we're very focused. This trail has been an exception for us at times. We've had snowball fights, explored off the trail, picked berries and of course, sat at the bench. We end up having quality conversations sitting on the bench overlooking the area, swinging our legs, and eating a picnic. Last year I hiked up there with the kids the day before school started, so it was on my mind to do it again this year since school starts Tuesday and we get into our highly intense school-year life of work, sports, school and berry-picking/harvesting. The clouds lifted and the rain stopped and it was actually a humid 60 degrees. It was just what I'd wanted--a very nice hike with family!