Bishop’s Beach Park
- Harlequin duck
- Bald eagle
- Herring gull
- Northwestern crow
- Blue mussel
- Burrowing anemone
This sand-and-mud beach, swept by Kachemak Bay’s 25-foot tides, extends from the end of a residential street in old Homer to the mouth of Beluga Slough. It can be thick with migrating shorebirds and waterfowl in early May. Herring gulls and northwestern crows pick through the flotsam stranded by tides. Bald eagles soar overhead and call from tall trees on the shore. As the tide recedes, watch for the squirting jets of water from clams clearing their siphons. Rocky outcrops trap pools of water and form anchors for beds of blue mussels and barnacles. You may find jellyfish trapped in these tidepools, along with plankton, crabs and tiny shrimp-like amphipods. Burrowing anemones pucker the sand in places, visible as half-dollar-size disks almost flush with the surface.
This beach features rocky, sandy and muddy intertidal and sub-tidal zones, inhabited by remarkably tough animals that have evolved to spend part of each day submerged and part exposed. Different intertidal habitats attract different animals: rocky areas offer structure for anchoring and shelter from currents, while sand and mud shelter burrowing animals such as clams.
Bishop’s Beach is popular among local residents for tide-pooling, dog walking and gathering coal. It’s the beginning of a coastal hiking route that continues 15 miles northwest to Anchor Point.
Visit on a day when the tide will drop to minus 1 foot or below. Begin exploring at least a half hour before low tide. More extensive tidepools can be found in the rocks to the west by Coal Point.
Wear rubber boots and dress for wind. Consult a tidebook for times and stay aware. The returning tide may rise faster than you expect.
From the Sterling Highway in Homer, turn south on Main Street toward the bay. Go left on East Bunnell Avenue, then go right on Beluga Avenue until it dead-ends at the park.