Monday, August 19, 2013

Homestead Summer Trail

An old, abandoned cabin along the Homestead Trail, framed by pushki and fireweed
This is a great, short hike with a bench for resting, a picnic and great conversation at the summit.  The view is delightful and always a treat, though the clouds were hanging low early in the day and we weren't sure we were going to get a view today.

Wood chips and plastic trail retainers
on the Homestead Trail
The Roger's Loop trailhead starts when you're near the overlook coming into Homer.  The trail starts with grass, dips into some boggy areas with plastic trail retainers (whatever they're called--see the picture), then on to boardwalks through the wettest areas and as the trail begins to climb, it whittles down to a single dirt track.  Yesterday the dirt was actually a slippery wet muddy trail instead since it has been a rainy week.

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!

No comments: