Southwest Kenai Locations:

Carl E. Wynn Nature Center

Notable Species

  • Moose
  • Porcupine
  • Red squirrel
  • Alder flycatcher
  • Gray jay
  • Steller’s jay
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Boreal chickadee
  • Varied thrush
  • Orange-crowned warbler
  • Wilson’s warbler
  • Song sparrow

The Carl E. Wynn Nature Center offers a nature center and a network of well-maintained trails and wheelchair-accessible boardwalks in a 140-acre preserve on the top of a bluff 1,200 feet above Kachemak Bay. A self-guided nature trail helps you discover the forest and wetland habitats and the animals that call them home. Winter visitors can see snowshoe hares and moose. An area fenced to keep moose out (called an exclosure) demonstrates the impact of winter browsing on willows. Owls are most active in early spring.


The site is dominated by Lutz spruce, a hybrid between Sitka spruce of the coastal rainforest and white spruce of the boreal interior. A nature trail on the south side of the road leads to black cottonwoods. Stands of willows and alders rim subalpine meadows that feature wildflowers and berries in season. A creek bottom supports lush riparian growth, and an upland bog features peat moss and carnivorous sundew plants.

Viewing Tip

Call ahead to participate in a guided tour. Many programs are aimed at families with children. Once there, check in at the log cabin for up-to-date viewing news.

Helpful Hints

The trails are open year-round with a modest use fee requested. The center is staffed during summer from 10am to 6pm with guided tours at 10am and 2pm and a variety of weekly educational programs. Winter recreation begins in October.

Accessible Trails

The center has an 800-foot wheelchair accessible boardwalk and an interpretive trail for the visually impaired.

Getting There

In Homer, take East End Road about .5 miles to East Hill Road (across from Paul Banks School). Turn up East Hill Road and follow the long, steep, windy road until it reaches East Skyline Drive near the top of the bluff. Bear right (east) and drive 1.5 miles. The entrance to the nature center is on the north side of the road.


Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies or 907-235-6667