I'm about to trash this trail and I do it with a heavy heart. I feel bad because I know that the Park is doing the best they can with limited resources. All trail work is being done with volunteers and it is a major uphill battle with all the dead spruce due to the the spruce bark beetle infestation. I need to be honest for visitors, but for residents, let this be a call to us to make our state government give more to our parks. With oil at $60+ a barrel, now is the time to upgrade!
Last year, I did the Grewingk Valley and had a great time. This year, I was very excited to check out the trails south of Halibut Cove. My first day on the Wosnesenski River Trail was not a treat, a endless overgrown trail with very little view. This trail is more of the same. What should be the reward, China Poot Lake, is barely visible and the few campsites that are available are not my ideal spots; no view with limited space to set up camp and relax.
I would recommend this area only with the intention of staying at either the cabin on the Lake or the one at Halibut Cove. Both offer great views and this would be more about hanging out in a cabin with good friends then with hiking. However, it may seem worthwhile to brave the trails to check out the Poot Peak Trails for views of the Glaciers. You don't have to take the spur to the summit.
As stated above, the park is only accessible by water taxi. Due to the extremes in tides in the area, the "driver" will determine when he can drop and pick you up depending on where and when you want to go.
Be prepared that if adverse weather conditions occur, the driver may not be able to pick you up at the designated time. You may even have to stay over one more night. Make sure you pack extra food, etc. There are designated campsites on the beach if need be.
Obviously, you need to pay attention when on this trail. If you feel you went off trail, head back 10 or 20 feet and try again; you can usually pick it right back up. There was bear scat everywhere! Make sure you hang up your food, don't eat near camp, and make lots of noise on the trail.
Devil's club and cow parsnip are all over the the trail as well. Better to wear long pants and if you're short, you may want a long sleeve shirt as well.
The City of Homer is one of the best towns in Alaska. I absolutely love this place. I would highly recommend spending a few days here before or after your backpacking trip. If fishing, whale and other marine life watching, or road tripping is on your itinerary, make Homer the place to do it. More information can be found here.