Kachemak Bay & State Park
Once you’ve made it to Homer, the best is yet to come!
Look across Kachemak Bay and you’ll see Kachemak Bay State Park, the gem of the state park system. This is Alaska’s first state park and one of the biggest. Kachemak Bay State Park covers over 400,000 acres and has more than 80 miles of trails.
There’s something for everyone. Hiking, camping, kayaking, wildlife viewing: let your inner adventurer or photographer run wild. Trails range from an easy 3-mile day hike from Glacier Spit to the Grewingk Glacier Lake, to a more athletic hike along Grace Ridge with sweeping views of Kachemak Bay and across lower Cook Inlet.
Backpackers enjoy the hike from Humpy Creek across the Portlock Glacier Plateau to Emerald Lake and on up the Blue Ice Trail to touch the glacier.
If kayaking is your thing, paddle along the shores of Kachemak Bay State Park and view sea otters up close and personal, watch bald eagles catch their morning meal, or listen to the kittiwakes and murres at the Gull Island rookery.
China Poot Bay
A fertile combination of tidal flats and channels makes this bay a cornucopia of sea life. Tide pools provide perfect viewing of sea stars, mussels, urchins and sea anemones. Waterfowl thrive on the tidal flats. A trailhead at the head of the bay leads you to the Coalition Trail and Halibut Cove Lagoon Trail. As with all the bays along Kachemak Bay, this bay is affected by the tides. There are many sand and mud bars.
Eldred Passage has magnificent views and wildlife. Access to Sadie Knob, Grace Ridge and Tutka Lake Trails.
This is a secluded cove located at the head of the Bay. Enjoy clamming and kayaking.
The field station for the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies makes Peterson Bay home as do several oyster farms.
Halibut Cove Lagoon
The lagoon is home to many sea mammals including harbor porpoises, harbor seals, sea otters and land otters. This is a tidal lagoon and the tides are extreme. Although the waters are placid, the channel feeding the lagoon can be very dramatic when the tide rages in and out. If you are kayaking this channel, it is recommended that you have white water and cold water experience. The ranger station is located at the head of the lagoon and offers a public dock and public use cabins.
Wildlife abounds in this fjord - like bay with steep mountain sides. Sadie Peak is the highest point. Look for mountain goats grazing and keep your eye out for sea otters. This bay is very deep and there is little tidal current. Check your weather. Occasionally the “Sadie Eighties” blow in the summer creating severe wind gusts.
Tutka Bay is the longest bay on Kachemak Bay. Bordered by high, steep mountains, you get a real sense of remote Alaska here. Trails lead to the top of Grace Ridge and up to Tutka Lake. This scenic bay is a great place for the more experienced kayaker to explore.
Water taxis or float planes are the means of transportation to these areas off the road system. A water taxi can transport you and your kayak, or guided kayaking trips are available for most of these locations.
There are more than 15 campgrounds, five public use cabins, and private yurts and cabins in the park that can be reserved through the state parks office or online at the Alaska State Park website. Book early, they are very popular.
For general park information go to http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/kbay/kbayl.htm.
For information about cabins go to http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/cabins/kenai.htm. You can contact Alaska State Parks at 907-262-5581.