McNeil Canyon is located on the Kenai Peninsula and trends south for about 2 miles (3.2 km) following the lower course of McNeil Creek to Kachemak Bay, about 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Homer, Alaska. The local name was first reported by William Healey Dall of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1895.
McNeil Creek drains a watershed of approximately 15,500 acres (6,273 ha). About 50% of the watershed is privately owned, with a mix of residential and undeveloped land. The Cook Inlet Region Inc., an Alaska Native corporation, owns a large undeveloped parcel in the headwaters covering about 34% of the entire watershed. The Kenai Peninsula Borough owns approximately 12% of the land, including the McNeil Canyon Elementary School property, a solid waste transfer site, and undeveloped areas in the lower reaches of the watershed. Alaska State Parks Division makes up about 4% of the ownership with a parcel that includes the Eveline Trail system.
There are three trail systems that start above the canyon in the upper watershed. The McNeil Ski Trails are on Kenai Peninsula Borough property and adjacent to many private landowners. The Wolf Ridge Ski Trail is maintained through a permit with Cook Inlet Region Inc. The Eveline State Recreation trails are on 80 acres (32 ha) with a developing network of scenic trails traversing mostly gentle terrain. In winter, the Eveline trail system is connected to the McNeil Canyon School trails. Read more here and here. Explore more of McNeil Canyon here: