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I love getting outdoors in Homer, especially on gorgeous, bluebird days. So let's talk about some fun walks and hikes in Homer! Here are four of my favorites, located in downtown Homer or a short drive away. If I am in town and want a shorter but invigorating walk I choose either the Reber Trail or the Ray Clapp Trail. If I'm not in town, I will sometimes take a quick drive from Cozy Cove to either Crossman Ridge or Eveline State Recreational Park. Each of these trails has its benefits! Whether you're walking, snowshoeing, or even cross-country skiing, here's a guide to some lovely outdoor adventure around Cozy Cove Inn.

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival

Every spring around the second week in May when birds are migrating north, Homer hosts the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. It can be so fun to set a goal on how many birds you can find and plan the different ways to go about it. Birders love it. Even for the newbie it can be a spectacular event. There are hikes, walks, whistling, boating, and biking along with excellent prepared lectures. Choose which events interest you the most and sign up before those slots are filled. Bring the kids as there are family events and opportunities to participate in the Junior Birder program. The wonderful guides share their passion for birds. You’ll learn a lot from them as well as from the keynote speaker. During previous springs, I used to travel almost 40 hours west of Homer by boat to our fishing grounds. We would see all kinds of birds along the shorelines and out in the ocean. I was always fascinated with the way the puffins fly. Seeing the birds and other wildlife on the water is definitely excellent. If you’re visiting for the Shorebird Festival, or are coming at another time to see all our Homer birds, I certainly hope you’ll stay at Cozy Cove Inn. Maybe you’ll even pick out your favorite bird.

Reservoir Hike Loop

Make sure you have some good waterproof boots on for this hike, as the ground can be wet in places. Walk up the driveway and turn right. Cross Skyline and continue down the road. This will lead to power lines that go down to the reservoir. Moose can sometimes be in this area, but as long as you keep your distance and don’t aggravate them you’ll be fine. You want to turn left before you get too close to the reservoir onto an overgrown path that leads to a road. Then follow that road, making a left, which takes you back to Skyline. You can also turn right to go to the reservoir but will need to backtrack to complete the loop. Once at Skyline, cross the street and turn right. When you reach the power lines, make a left and follow the path under them. This will take you to the same path that the two hikes above used for accessing the shorter meadow walk, or you can continue on for the other hike. I love these walks right outside Cozy Cove Inn’s doors and I hope you will too! Enjoy!

One-Hour Meadow Walk Loop

Follow the same route for the shorter meadow walk, but do not veer left into the meadow. Instead continue straight down. You will cross a little bog and then head uphill. Look for a post on your left and then follow that path through, walking for a few minutes around logs and such. You will see a house to the right after a bit. Continue to navigate your way following the little path which takes you up to a little road in Tulin Terrace (the estate next to Crestview Estate). Stay on that road until you get to a street and take a right. In a bit you’ll see a gorgeous view of the Homer spit along with Kachemak Bay and the beautiful Chugach Mountains. Once you’ve taken in that sight, turn around and continue down the road until you hit Skyline Drive. Make a left and the road will lead you back to Cozy Cove.

Short Meadow Walk Loop

Want to walk around the meadowed area surrounding Cozy Cove? Here’s how: Take off right from the deck of Cozy Cove and go down to that old outhouse. Right by the outhouse you’ll see an an overgrowth path, which leads you to the power lines. Or, go up the driveway and turn left onto Cozy Cove Drive and make another left onto the first street you come to, following that until you get to the power lines. Once to the power lines, go right, staying on that trail until you see the path veering to the left. Follow it down (I love all the wildflowers you’ll see here in the summer). You will notice how one path takes you to the left so you can walk in the meadow. You will be able to see a big house, which you will be walking in front of as you enjoy the meadow. Soon you will see Cozy Cove Inn. Continue to follow the path, which will bring you right back to your accommodations. When I had my collie we use to do this walk most days. It is about a 30-minute walk, give or take a few depending on if you pick wildflowers.

Ray Clapp Trail

The Ray Clapp Trail is in Stream Hill Park. From Cozy Cove Inn, take East End Rd. out for about three fourths a mile and look for the Stream Hill Park sign on your left. Once there, you can park your car on the left. Once you’re over the footbridge, you’ve begun the Ray Clapp trail. Take it up. When you get a bit higher there are two options. You can veer off the little path to the left which takes you up higher, or you can go straight which will lead you to the road that runs through Stream Hill Park. I like stopping at the top of the road for the views or photos. Then I walk down the road admiring the beauty.

Reber Trail

The Ray Clapp Trail is in Stream Hill Park. From Cozy Cove Inn, take East End Rd. out for about three fourths a mile and look for the Stream Hill Park sign on your left. Once there, you can park your car on the left. Once you’re over the footbridge, you’ve begun the Ray Clapp trail. Take it up. When you get a bit higher there are two options. You can veer off the little path to the left which takes you up higher, or you can go straight which will lead you to the road that runs through Stream Hill Park. I like stopping at the top of the road for the views or photos. Then I walk down the road admiring the beauty.

Crossman Ridge

Though not a formal hike listed, Crossman Ridge is a great place to get into nature just a quick drive from Cozy Cove Inn. Crossman Ridge is accessible from the reservoir, which is close to Cozy Cove Inn. Just make a left onto Skyline Drive from Cozy Cove Drive and drive for approximately one fourth a mile before you make a right down to the reservoir. Once across the bridge, park your car. Then head up the road on foot. I usually go all the way up, then take a left, and walk for a while longer along the trail. It is so beautiful up there. Great for biking too. In a future blog I’ll share a wonderful mountain biking loop starting at the Inn using Crossman Ridge.

Eveline State Recreation Site

Eveline State Recreation Site is about 11 miles out East End Road. I have a tendency go out that direction on gorgeous bluebird days as the Chugiak mountain range gets closer and closer, bringing beautiful sights. After driving for about 11 miles, look for the Eveline sign and then make a left. Follow the road and park once you see the trailhead sign. There are a lot of little pathways there, perfect for a pick-your-length hike It’s also a great place for cross country skiing, as it meets up with the McNeil Canyon ski area and hiking trails. I’ll be sharing a ski blog trail in the future, so look forward to more on that. Quick note about moose: moose like to hang around on all these trails. Don’t worry, they’re harmless and won’t give you any difficulty if you leave them alone and give them space. It’s especially fun when they have their babies with them. Once I saw a mommy moose in labor right in the middle of the Ray Clapp trail. I decided to leave her in peace and turned around. It is nice watching those little ones grow as I’m sure they still hang around that area. I find the trails in Homer not nearly as exerting as the ones in Kachemak Bay State Park, but they certainly are awesome. We are very fortunate to have such nice hikes and walks here in Homer to strengthen our hearts and fill us with joy.
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