Scenic Drives and Hikes
Head back out the Sterling Highway and take a right on West Hill Road; just after the pavement ends, go right at the fork (a left puts you on Diamond Ridge Rd., which drops you back down to the Sterling) onto Skyline Drive. You climb along a high ridge among expensive homes and B&Bs until you see the famous view of the Spit, the bay, and the march of mountains on the southern coast, all framed by fireweed late in the summer.
Continue on Skyline Drive to the turnoff for East Hill Road, which takes you steeply downhill to Homer, or continue out East Skyline Drive 1.5 miles to Carl E. Wynn Nature Center (907/235-6667, www.akcoastalstudies.org). Here you’ll find nature trails and a learning center (Sat.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.–8 p.m. mid-June–early Sept.). Guided walks are $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 for youths under 18, or $20 for families.
Keep going out on East Skyline Drive and turn left on remote Ohlson Mountain Road (gravel) until it ends at Ohlson Peak (1,513 feet). Return to town via East Hill Road, which meets East End Road on—you guessed it—the east side of town.
Pioneer Avenue through town turns into East End Road, which also has beautiful homes and great views of the Spit and the bay. Nine miles out are the down-home Fritz Creek General Store (great lunches) and the Homestead Restaurant (wonderful dinners), along with increasingly jaw-dropping views of the Kachemak Bay and the glaciers.
The Kilcher Homestead Living Museum (907/235-88713, www.kilcheronline.com) is a 600-acre homestead established by one of Homer’s homesteading families. Tours are available. (Singer Jewel Kilcher is the best-known member of this talented family.)
The road ends 20 miles from town, but you can walk down a steep dirt road from here to the shore and past the Russian Old Believer village of Kachemak Selo along the beach at the head of Kachemak Bay. Not many folks get this far from Homer, but those who do are well rewarded for the effort.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition