Driving Directions to Trailheads:
The Baycrest Ski Trail system includes approximately 40 km of groomed 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 four neighborhood access points with no parking. Although the main loops have a high priority for grooming, the connecting trails and neighborhood access trails are groomed as time allows. Parts of these trails are available for summer hiking, but most are only maintained for winter use. No summer hiking is available on private property. The Homestead Hiking Trail is an all season trail that goes from the Roger’s Loop Road Trailhead to the Rucksack Road Trailhead on Diamond Ridge Road. A snowshoe trail follows this public trail in the winter. These directions are given with one direction in mind, but there is no rule governing the direction you ski. Once you know the trails, you may choose to ski the opposite direction, doubling the skiing challenges and opportunities.
UPPER BAYCREST TRAILS
The Upper Baycrest Trails include the Sunset Loop, Midway, Awesome and the Farside. These trails can be accessed from the parking lot at the Sunset Loop Trailhead, mile 2.1 Diamond Ridge Road. There is an outhouse at this trailhead. The 2.7 km Sunset Loop and the upper portions of The Far Side and Awesome are designated as No Dogs Please – Skiing Only trails. Midway and the lower portions of Awesome and The Farside are open to dogs when accessed by the Lower Baycrest portion of the trail system. These trails are all on private property. Skiers are requested to stay on the trails when on private property. Please do not ski across the open hillsides or venture into the gullies without permission from the owners. Neighbors can access the trails from Rucksack Avenue and Heather Avenue. No parking is available at these access points.
LOWER BAYCREST TRAILS
The Lower Baycrest Trails can be accessed from two trailheads with parking. The Sterling Highway-DOT Trailhead is located just west of the Homer DOT Maintenance facility near the top of Baycrest Hill. The Roger’s Loop Road Trailhead is located at the entrance to the State of Alaska Homer Demonstration Forest on Roger’s Loop Road. Roger’s Loop Road connects to the Sterling Highway at the top of Baycrest Hill, one end near the Homer Bailing Facility, the other end opposite the Bayview Motel. The Lower Baycrest Trails include the main loops of Raven’s Way, Homestead Ski, Demonstration Forest and Headwaters Highway. There are numerous other interconnecting trails.
RAVEN’S WAY LOOP – 4.3 KM
The Raven’s Way Loop is accessed from the Sterling Highway – DOT Trailhead and large parking lot. From the trailhead this loop exits the muskeg and stadium from the east end nearest the DOT yard. After crossing Maintenance Street, the trail meanders through open spruce and muskeg terrain. At the first intersection turn right to follow Raven’s Way along Diamond Creek to an intersection just behind the Homer Bailing facility. There is a chance to see lots of eagles and ravens in this area. Turn left to cross Diamond Creek then left again as the trail turns back west. Flat, open muskegs make this trail an ideal choice for beginners or those looking to practice their skating or classical technique. One medium length hill provides a little change of pace before the trail turns right for the return to the stadium and trailhead. There are intersections with other connecting trails so a map might be helpful for those on the trail for the first time. The beginning and end of the trail crosses private property so skiers should stay on the trail in this area. Most of the main loop is on the newly acquired Diamond Creek Homer City Park property.
HOMESTEAD SKI LOOP - 5 KM
From the 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 of Master Blaster and Awesome. 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 and the 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 Road trailhead. The top of the Homestead Ski Loop is on private property. Please stay on the trail once you are on private property.
DEMONSTRATION FOREST LOOP – 2.5 KM
The Demonstration Forest Loop also starts at the Roger’s Loop Road Trailhead and meanders through the heart of the State of Alaska Demonstration Forest. A few gentle ups and downs in the woods add interest to this easy, mostly level trail. The 1 km 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 to read the trailside sign describing THE DIAMOND CREEK PROJECT.
HEADWATERS HIGHWAY LOOP – 5 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 Roger’s Loop Road Trailhead, follow the Homestead Ski Loop until a four-corner intersection with the 1 km Cutoff. Turning right at the intersection, this trail follows an old seismograph line up and down the above mentioned 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 downhill to the Demonstration Forest Loop and then returning to the Roger’s Loop Road Trailhead completes the 5 km. This trail can also be accessed from Mountain Park Subdivision and Eagle View Subdivision neighborhood access points. No parking is available. Neighborhood access points cross private property. Please stay on the designated trails when you are on private property.
THE PERIMETER - 16 km
By skiing the outer most groomed portions of this trail system, the Perimeter, it is possible to put together a 16 km loop of interesting, challenging, scenic skiing. The Perimeter includes portions of the Homestead Ski Loop, the Muskeg, Robert and Roberta’s Trails, Headwaters Highway Loop, Master Blaster, Awesome, Sunset Loop, Far Side, Stuck Again, College Avenue, Raven’s Way Loop, and three trailheads.
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. 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.
1 KM CUTOFF - This is a short easy connector between the Homestead Ski Loop and the Demonstration Forest Loop.
STUCK AGAIN - A roller coaster ride connecting The Far Side with College Avenue. Open meadows with great views.
THE MARATHON TRAIL – 12 KM
This trail is accessed from the Sunset Loop Trailhead, mile 2.1 Diamond Ridge Road. Ski east on the Sunset Loop until you cross two driveways then watch for the trail turning north across Diamond Ridge Road. This 12 km trail (that skis like 15 due to its mega ups and downs) connects to the Lookout Mountain Ski Trail system out Ohlson Mountain Road. This point-to-point trail descends to Bridge Creek, climbs Crossman Ridge, descends to Twitter Creek and climbs to the Lookout Mountain Trail system and 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 sky-sunshine day (think March). Usually groomed for the Kachemak Marathon Ski, the trail is maintained in late February and early March. This trail is a works in progress with all season use a future goal.
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN TRAILS – 5 KM
Located at Mile 2 Ohlson Mountain Road, there are presently about 5 km of groomed trails. There is a parking lot. An outhouse is adjacent to the trails out on the trail system. The Lookout Mountain Trails receive the earliest snow in the area and are usually groomed in early December. A 3 km loop around the hayfields provides gentle terrain with numerous scenic backdrops. These trails are currently undergoing a two-year expansion. New trails are being added and upgraded in order to create a top-end competitive venue while also providing facilities and great trails for the recreational skier. These trails are designated as No Dogs Please trails. Neighborhood dogs are sometimes found traveling the trails, but all other dogs are requested to stay in the car. These trails are adjacent to private property and the Kachemak Ski Club Rope Tow. If you leave our trails, please respect private property.
MCNEIL CANYON TRAILS - 9 KM
These trails include one long loop with shorter connecting loops. The trails are located adjacent (to the left of) McNeil Canyon School, mile 12 East End Road. This system consists of a series of loops, the outside loop being 7.5 km with crossovers at the 2 km, 3 km and 5 km distances. At the 5 km Intersection there is a wonderful viewpoint of mountains, glaciers and Kachemak Bay. There is also a new 1 km sprint loop directly behind the school with access about 100 yards out the main trail on the right. A 3 km connector trail to Eveline State Recreation Site is found on the right a short distance beyond the Sprint Trail. Parking is in the school parking lot. Be sure to check the time the gate will be locked so you don’t have to leave your car overnight. Dogs are allowed on these trails if accompanied by well-trained owners. Please control your dogs and clean up after them. The trails are on Borough and School District property adjacent to many private landowners. If you venture off the trails, be sure you are not entering private property. These trails are maintained for winter use only.
EVELINE STATE RECREATION SITE - 8 KM
Located 1.5 miles past McNeil Canyon School off Alpine Meadows Drive, this 80-acre site boasts a developing network of scenic trails traversing mostly gentle terrain. The 3 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. Three crossover trails make a variety of easy loops available. Narrow trails make these best suited for classical skiing but some portions are wide enough for skating. A 3 km trail connects this trail system to the McNeil Canyon Trails. Parking, an outhouse and a picnic table are available. Snowshoers and well-mannered dogs are welcome. This is State property, but is adjacent to private land, so again, if you venture off the trails, be sure you are not imposing on the neighbor’s private property. Parts of the Eveline trails are available for spectacular wild flower hiking in the summer.