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Homestead Trail - South

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Moderate difficulty because of muddy/wet areas in places in the lower stretch. From the Roger’s Loop trailhead, the trail winds uphill through a combination of forest, meadows, and muskeg from 800’ to 1155’. Boardwalks are being reestablished through the muskegs.

Follow the colorful blue and green Homestead Trail signs, as those will guide you along the hiking trail options, as opposed to the wooden Nordic Ski trail signs, those trails are very wet and can be impassable in the summer. There are several loop options, with signs at those intersections.

After a ½ mile walk on a wide, often muddy trail, the trail turns left (north) onto a stretch of boardwalk that winds you through a bog, abundant with wildflowers all summer.   The trail heads up where you will have a choice of going west or east on a big loop. Most hikers will go up one side of the loop and back down the other.

The top (north side) of the loop brings you into an open meadow.   From the bottom of the big open meadow, follow the trail north up to Reuben’s Bench, the high point at 1000 ft, with a huge view of Kachemak Bay and the Kenai Mountains. Perfect place for lunch!

From Reuben’s bench you can continue west along Mandes Meander which takes you back to bottom of meadow, below Reuben’s Bench. Approximately 1 mile loop.

To hike to the Diamond Ridge/Rucksack Trailhead parking or the North side of Homestead Trail, go east (right) from the open meadow continuing east and wind your way up to Diamond Ridge Rd. Distance 1 mile. 

The trail is approximately 2.25 miles from Roger’s Loop trailhead to Diamond Ridge Trailhead.  The most popular route is a 3-mile round trip hike to Reuben’s bench from Roger’s Loop trailhead.  

You can add 4.5 miles by hiking the North Section of Homestead Trail on the northside of Diamond Ridge Road.  Homestead North trail ends at the Reservoir.

Elevation Gain: 355 ft.
Rogers Loop trailhead: 800 ft.
Diamond Ridge Rucksack trailhead: 1155 ft.

Rogers Loop trailhead: Roger's Loop Road; one mile northwest of town off the Sterling Highway
Diamond Ridge Rucksack trailhead: Rucksack Drive intersection with Diamond Ridge Road

Level of Difficulty/Grade:  Easy/moderate. Climbs gradually. Easy to find, in fair condition. Trail signs at regular points along the way.  Be sure to note them as there are many trail intersections.  Make sure and follow summer trail signs.  Avoid winter trails.  Some muddy spots.  Bears are uncommon, but be bear aware.

Special Features:

  • Good birding and wildflower varieties abound.
  •  Possible wildlife sightings include moose, black bear, spruce hens, and porcupines.
  • Reuben Call Memorial Bench

Trail Management Agency:  Alaska Division of Forestry (DNR) land managed by Homer Soil and Water Conservation with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) being developed with Homer Trails Alliance for trail maintenance. There are also MOUs with private landowners.