Ben Walters Park
- Threespine stickleback
- Trumpeter swan
- Nesting ducks
- Red-necked grebe
- Emerald dragonfly
A short walk leads from parking lot beneath mature trees to a boardwalk across a bog adjacent to Beluga Lake with its rich bird life. Moose trails lace the dense forest on dry land. Sparrows, flycatchers and chickadees flicker through the branches. The forest transitions quickly to marsh, where emerald dragonflies swoop past in summer, sometimes landing to rest on the planks. The boardwalk ends at a floating dock. Look into the shallow water for threespine sticklebacks, diving beetles and dragonfly larvae. Scan the grasses rising from the water for emerging dragonflies. In less than an hour they can transition from swimming larvae to agile fliers. During spring migration, this vantage offers views of geese, ducks and other waterfowl. During summer evenings, red-necked grebes, trumpeter swans and ducks may paddle close.
A dense, dim forest with Lutz spruce, black spruce and birch bounds the trailhead. Willow and alder grow along edges. A bog and marsh begins within a few yards and leads to a freshwater lake.
Check in with local birders for tips and sightings at www.birdinghomeralaska.org.
Take the Sterling Highway south through Homer to the stoplight at Lake Street. Turn left, then take the first right—Ben Walters Lane. The city park is to the east, tucked behind a fast food restaurant.