For detailed trail maps, click on a trail system name
A good way to know where you are on the ski trails is to use a phone app that uses OpenStreetMap data as a background map. All of the KNSC ski trails are in OpenStreetMap. However, this only works when you have cell service.
When you do not have service, you need a map stored locally, on your phone. Below is a link to a detailed shaded-relief + topographical map in Google Earth format (.kmz) of all the trails from the Caribou Hills to Diamond Creek. It is suitable for use on Google Earth (but unfortunately only on a laptop or desktop- it crashes on phones due to its size) or in some specialized GPS phone apps. It works great imported into LocusMap on Android. We have not found a good app for using it on an iPhone. Below is a thumbnail of the map showing the area around Wolf Ridge and Eveline SRS, on the McNeil trail system. Snowmads trails are in orange, KNSC ski trails in yellow. Download it by clicking on the map or using the link below it.
For trails that cross Kenai Peninsula Borough land:
Driving Directions to Trailheads:
KNSC WINTER AND SUMMER TRAILS
Kachemak Nordic Ski Club trails are a “works in progress” and there may be changes from year-to-year depending upon snow conditions and landowner wishes. Maps are for reference only and groomed trails may vary from the printed version. KNSC trails are on a mixture of private and public land. If you are on private land, please respect the owners and stay on the trails. Skiers are responsible to be in control at all times.
KNSC has built and maintains over 80 km of winter ski trails in the Homer area. Trails are located in three areas: Baycrest, Lookout Mountain, and McNeil/Eveline. There is also a Marathon Connector Trail that connects Baycrest and Lookout Mountain during part of the season when snow depth allows.
The Lookout Mountain system is our competitive venue suitable for school team practice, races and a variety of other scheduled events. Due to the heavy use and challenging hills, dogs are not allowed on any of the trails. The upper Baycrest Trails are on private property and no dogs are allowed there either. Lower Baycrest and the McNeil/Eveline/Wolf Ridge systems are on generally gentler terrain, and one dog per skier is allowed if there is not an event in progress. Please keep your dog under control and be mindful of the possibility of fast approaching skiers, especially near blind corners at the bottom of downhill sections. Skiers must clean up after their dogs. Dogs must be on a leash on McNeil Canyon Elementary School Property.
In the summer, The Homestead Hiking Trail goes from the Roger’s Loop Trailhead to the Rucksack Trailhead on Diamond Ridge Road. The Homer Soil and Water Conservation District and volunteers maintain it for summer use. There is also an Arboretum and Nature Trail in the Demonstration Forest near the Rogers Loop Trailhead. At Eveline State Recreation Site there are summer trails and a picnic area. Part of the 1.5 mile loop is wheelchair accessible.
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN RECREATION AREA TRAILS – NO DOGS (13.5 km)
Located at Mile 2 Ohlson Mountain Road, the Lookout Mountain Trails include a 2 km flat section of trail on hayfields perfect for beginners, the Junior Nordic program, and instructional clinics. The system also includes 7 km of trails on challenging terrain, designed for competitive skiing, and meets International Ski Federation standards for competition.
When conditions permit, two additional loops are groomed, a 5 km loop across private property (Milli’s Loop), off of the challenging portion of the system, and a longer trail heading off the west end of the hayfields and continuing 17.9 km to the Upper Baycrest trails with significant elevation gains and losses (The Marathon Connector Trail- see below). Well-behaved dogs are allowed only on Milli’s Loop. Since Milli’s Loop is almost exclusively accessed from the Lookout system, this effectively means that the dogs on it are almost always the dogs of the landowners whose land the trail traverses.
The trails at Lookout are primarily on public land covered by an agreement with the Kenai Peninsula Borough and permitted through the Federal Aviation Administration. The hayfields trail is on Alaska Department of Natural Resources land. Other trails are adjacent to private property and the Kachemak Ski Club Rope Tow. Milli’s Loop crosses private land. Please respect the privacy of the landowners and stay on the trail.
There are two large parking lots, outhouses, a timing shed, fire pit, and a large maintenance building, where a trail cam records conditions hourly between 9 AM and 5 PM. The mowed trails are often the first in Homer ready for skiing.
The ski trails at the Lookout Mt. Recreation Area are designated as NO DOGS ALLOWED in the winter.
MCNEIL – EVELINE – WOLF RIDGE TRAILS – (26.2 km)
McNeil Trails (~13 km)
The trailhead startsat the McNeil Canyon Elementary School, located at mile 12 East End Road, please park in the lower lot. One dog per well-trained skier is allowed on these trails. Dogs must be on a leash on McNeil Canyon Elementary School Property. Please control your dogs and clean up after them. The McNeil trails are covered by a Community Trails Agreement with the Kenai Peninsula Borough. They are also adjacent to many private landowners.
A trail cam, on the maintenance shed, on a side trail, records conditions hourly between 9 AM and 5 PM. In winter, the McNeil trails are connected to the trails at Eveline State Recreation Area and to the Wolf Ridge trails on Cook Inlet Region, Inc. lands. The McNeil trails are for winter use only due to the very wet summer conditions there.
A popular trail at McNeil is a 5-km loop to an overlook that has great views of mountains, glaciers, and Kachemak Bay. On the 5-km loop, there are cut-off trails at 2 km and 3 km. An extra 2.8 km extension loop dives down a fun run from the overlook with a corresponding long climb back up.
School loops intersect the main trail 0.24 km from the McNeil trailhead. To the left is a 0.4 km trail that loops past the maintenance shed and returns to the trailhead; and to the right is a pair of 0.5 km loops to the west and east of the school, connected by a 0.2 km trail north of the school, behind the playground. These loops are fun for kids because they have cool hills.
A short 1-2km loop off of the shed loop circles through a “christmas tree farm” and circulates through the neighborhood.
A 2.5km trail named Big Dipper Flats connects the 5km McNeil loop with the Wolf Ridge System. It is a flat winding trail through spruce between the McNeil trails and the powerline. Big Dipper Flats is mostly on Kenai Borough land, but crosses onto CIRI land near the junction with the Wolf Ridge system.
After the school loops, and about 0.4 km from the trailhead, but before the small road crossing, there are two more choices on the right. The first is a 1.6 km trail that connects to the trails at Eveline State Recreation Site. The second heads up to Wolf Ridge.
EVELINE STATE RECREATION SITE – (4 km)
Trailhead parking is located 1.5 miles past McNeil Canyon Elementary School, off Alpine Meadows Drive. The 80-acre SRS boasts a developing network of scenic trails traversing mostly gentle terrain. In winter, the Eveline system is connected to the McNeil Canyon School system by a 1.6 km trail at the SW corner of the perimeter loop; and to the Wolf Ridge system with a 0.5 km trail at the NW corner of the perimeter loop. The 2 km Alpine Meadows Loop around the perimeter provides scenic views of rolling hills, Kachemak Bay, the Kenai Mountains and some of the very best views of Doroshin and Portlock Glaciers you will find anywhere. An outhouse and picnic tables are available. A separate signed snowshoe trail and a small sledding hill are being developed. Snowshoers and dogs are welcome, However, please do not walk on the groomed ski trails, and be aware of fast approaching skiers, especially on hills and around blind corners.
Eveline SRS is part of the Alaska State Parks system, but is managed by KNSC. It is adjacent to private land, so please do not venture off the trails without permission from the neighbors. Sections are maintained for spectacular wildflower hiking in the summer. Also in the summer, a short loop to the viewing platform and picnic table has been developed as a wheelchair accessible trail.
WOLF RIDGE TRAILS ~ 10 KM
The second right from thae parking at the McNeil Elementary School is immediately after the first. That trail ascends 1.3 km north to connect to Wolf Ridge. Wolf Ridge has upper loops and a lower, flat loop with fun skiing through a fen straddling the divide between McNeil Creek and the Anchor Rover. The lower loop can be accessed from the Eveline SRS system, or from the upper loop. A 0.5-km connector trail at the southeastern corner of the lower fen loop hooks into the Eveline system. The upper loop climbs and descends through open meadows with hills and curves and offers views of the Kenai Mountains that are well worth the climb.
The Wolf Ridge trail is maintained through a year-to-year permit with Cook Inlet Region Inc. A condition of the permit requires users to pack out their dog waste. A short portion of the Wolf Ridge Trail are shared with snowmachines and dog teams- and other users. This shared portion is along the short connector through the willows between the powerline and the lower loop in the fen to the east. The Wolf Ridge trail system is maintained once the CIRI has approved the permit.
BAYCREST WINTER TRAIL SYSTEM (24.2 km)
The Baycrest Winter Trail System includes approximately 30 km of groomed ski trails in the Diamond Creek watershed between Diamond Ridge and the Sterling Highway. The system can be generally divided into two parts, Upper Baycrest and Lower Baycrest and can be accessed from three separate trailheads with parking and neighborhood access points with no parking. The main loops have a high priority for grooming, but the connecting trails and neighborhood access trails are groomed as time allows. A snowshoe trail follows part of the Homestead Hiking trail. Baycrest directions are given counter clockwise, but there is no specified direction of travel. Baycrest trails are two-way and skiers must use caution on hills and corners.
UPPER BAYCREST TRAILS – SUNSET * NO DOGS PLEASE * (4.9 km)
The Upper Baycrest Ski Trails include the Sunset Loop, Midway, Serpentine, and the Farside. The trails shown on the map: Awesome, Perkins Plunge, and the Powerline are no longer groomed. KNSC has designated parking spaces at the KESA fire station of Diamond Ridge Rd. Please only park in designated spaces, or KNSC could lose it’s parking privileges. Overflow parking can park at Camp Homer across the street. Follow signs to parking area. Sunset Loop and upper portions of The Far Side are designated as NO DOGS PLEASE – SKIING ONLY trails. These trails are all on private property. Please stay on the trails. Do not ski across the open hillsides or venture into the gullies without permission from the owners.
LOWER BAYCREST TRAILS (19.4 km)
The Lower Baycrest Trails can be accessed from two trailheads with parking. The Baycrest Sterling Highway/DOT Trailhead is located just west of the Homer DOT maintenance facility near the top of Baycrest Hill. The Baycrest Roger’s Loop Trailhead is located at the entrance to the State of Alaska Homer Demonstration Forest on Roger’s Loop Road. The Lower Baycrest Trails include the main loops of RAVEN’S WAY, HOMESTEAD, DEMONSTRATION FOREST AND HEADWATERS HIGHWAY. There are numerous interconnecting trails. These trails are open to well mannered dogs.
In recent years, grooming on these lower trails has been infrequent due to scant snow cover and they have become popular for hiking in the winter. However, during the all-to-infrequent times when the trails are groomed for skiing, please refrain from walking on the groomed ski trails!
More detailed information about the basic Lower Baycrest loops is included below.
RAVEN’S WAY LOOP – 5 KM
The Raven’s Way Loop is accessed from the Baycrest Sterling Highway/DOT Trailhead and large parking lot. From the trailhead this loop exits the muskeg stadium to the west along the Woodcutter’s Trail. If you choose you can take the Dibble Creek Trail for a great downhill run instead. Turn right to follow the muskeg which make this trail an ideal choice for beginners or those looking to practice their skating or classical technique. Continue along Diamond Creek to an area below the Homer Garbage Transfer site. There is a chance to see lots of eagles and ravens in this area. Turn left to cross Diamond Creek and left again at the next intersection. The trail again meanders through open spruce forest and muskegs. One medium hill provides a little change of pace before the trail turns right to return to the stadium and trailhead. Most of the main loop is on the Diamond Creek Homer City Park property.
HOMESTEAD SKI LOOP – 5 KM
From the Baycrest Roger’s Loop Trailhead, the Homestead Ski Loop heads east over gently rolling terrain until it crosses Diamond Creek. From there the trail climbs steadily to an open meadow on Pitzman’s Hill. A short downhill gives a brief respite before another climb up to the intersection with Master Blaster. The trail continues west skirting the edge of the forest until it comes to a four way intersection. A small bench here invites skiers to take a break and enjoy the view of Cook Inlet, Mt. Augustine and Mt. Illiamna volcanoes. A long downhill run to Diamond Creek is a fun payback for the uphill climbs. A left behind the bailing facility then a right with a short uphill brings you back to the Roger’s Loop trailhead. The top of the Homestead Loop is on private property. Please stay on the trail while on private property.
DEMONSTRATION FOREST LOOP – 2.5 KM
The Demonstration Forest Loop also starts at the Baycrest Roger’s Loop Trailhead and meanders through the heart of the State of Alaska Homer Demonstration Forest. A few gentle ups and down in the woods add interest to this easy, mostly level trail. The 1 K Cutoff and Thru the Woods connector trails join this loop in a large muskeg about two thirds of the way around the trail. Cross Diamond Creek and a short climb takes you back to the Roger’s Loop Road trailhead. Stop by to read the signs describing THE DIAMOND CREEK PROJECT.
HEADWATERS HIGHWAY TRAIL – 6 KM
The Headwaters Highway is a challenging trail with names like Killer Hill, Stitzmark Hill and The Grand Canyon plus lots of tight turns. From the Baycrest Roger’s Loop Trailhead, follow the Homestead Ski Loop until a four-corner intersection with the 1 K Cutoff. Turning right at the intersection, this trail follows an old seismograph line up and down the hills. The Headwaters Cutoff provides an alternate route for those not wishing to venture into the Grand Canyon. In spite of the names, this really is a fun trail through the woods, which connects to the Homestead Ski Loop at Pitzman’s Hill. Heading down hill to the Demonstration Forest Loop and then returning to the Baycrest Roger’s Loop Trailhead completes approximately 6 km. This trail can also be accessed from Mountain Park and Eagle View neighborhoods. No parking is available at neighborhood access points, which are on private property. Remember to stay on the designated trails when you are on private property.
THE PERIMETER – 15 KM
By skiing the outer most portions of the Upper and Lower Baycrest trail system, it is possible to put together a 16 km loop of interesting, challenging, scenic skiing.
OTHER FUN CONNECTING TRAILS
MASTER BLASTER – This is an up and down, tight cornered romp through the woods.
COLLEGE AVENUE – A wonderful, gentle downhill glide through open meadows with a short section of woods.
ROBERT AND ROBERTA’S TRAILS – These trails are on private property but open to all skiers and snowshoers. They provide a way to avoid the Grand Canyon with open meadows and narrow trails through sections of young spruce and also provide neighborhood access for Eagle View and Mountain Park subdivisions.
1K CUTOFF – This is a short easy connector between the Homestead and the Demonstration Forest Loops.
SERPENTINE – The Serpentine connects Upper Baycrest with the Homestead Loop. It has challenging, steep, turning curves suitable for advanced skiers.
BAYCREST ROGERS LOOP MARKED SNOWSHOE TRAIL – 5 KM
When conditions allow, there is a marked snowshoe trail. It begins and ends at the Roger’s Loop Trailhead. The trail follows the summer Homestead Hiking Trail and goes up to the Ruben Call Bench where there are spectacular views. This trail needs significant snow before brush is covered and signs can be placed in the snow.
THE MARATHON CONNECTOR TRAIL – 17.9 KM
The Marathon Connector Trail is a moderately-well groomed backcountry traverse between the Lookout Mountain Trails and the Baycrest Trails. Be ready for steep descents and long climbs and very steep gullies. Many portions of the trail corss private land, so please be respectful, and stay on the trail!
From Lookout, the preferred direction for a through ski, the trail leaves from the west end of the Spruce Loop. It descends about 450′ in elevation over a little more than 2 km to Twitter Creek. The trail then climbs about 300′ over about 3 km to Crossman Ridge, which it traverses for about 2 km. The trail then descends about 640′ over about 6 km to Bridge Creek. It climbs a little over 500′ out of Bridge Creek for about 5.5 km to Diamond Ridge Road, where it meets with Sunset Loop, about a half-km east of the parking behind the Fire Station. If you are not skiing all the way through, two steep gullies on the climb from Twitter Creek to Crossman Ridge at around km 3.3 might make a good turn-around point. One of the gullies is appropriately named: “The Wall”.
From Baycrest start at the Sunset Loop Trailhead, parking behind the fire station in the designated spaces. The Fire Station is located at mile 2.1 Diamond Ridge Road. From the trail head, ski east on the Sunset Loop. After you cross two driveways watch for the trail turning north across Diamond Ridge Road. From Sunset Loop, the trail drops a little over 500′ in elevation over about 5.4 km on its way down to Bridge Creek, then it climbs almost 650′ over 7 km to Crossman Ridge, then drops another 300′ to Twitter Creek before climbing 450′ to the Lookout Mountain Trail system. The steepest gully on the trail, named Milktoast, is at around km 4.2 from Sunset Loop. It might make a good turn-around point of you are not skiing all the way to Lookout. The descent to Milktoast is broken by some hill climbing, so the climb back up is not too monotonous. The final descent to Bridge Creek is very steep, with a sharp curve at the valley bottom.
The Marathon Connector is arguably one of the most scenic trails in the state. Expansive views of Cook Inlet, Kachemak Bay, the Kenai Mountains and Glaciers, Mt. Augustine, Mt. Illiamna, Mt. Redoubt, Mt. Spurr, and even Denali (?) on a clear day make for a spectacular tour on a blue-bird sunshine day (Think March). The Connector Trail is groomed for the Kachemak Bay Marathon Ski Race and Tour, the trail is maintained in late February and early March during years when the snow depth is sufficient.