Parks & Trails
Parks and Campgrounds
All parks and trails operated by Humboldt County are open for day use. Day use hours are posted at each park. Parking areas are open but may be subject to vehicle limits (especially at Swimmers Delight). Day-use fees ($5 per vehicle per day) are required at A.W. Way, Big Lagoon, Freshwater, and Van Duzen County Parks.
An annual pass to Humboldt County Parks covers day-use fees and provides a $5 discount for camping fees. The cost of an annual pass is $45 ($35 for seniors age 62 and older, people with disabilities, and military veterans). Passes are written for 12 months from the date of purchase.
Methods for purchasing an annual pass:
- Visit the Humboldt County Public Works office (1106 Second Street, Eureka, CA, 95501) during business hours (8:00 am to noon and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm).
- Mail a check and written request to the Public Works office (1106 Second Street, Eureka, CA, 95501). The request should indicate “County Parks annual pass” and include your name, address, and phone number.
- Visit the gate house at Freshwater Park or Swimmers Delight (Van Duzen County Park) during the summer when the gate house is staffed.
The Freshwater Park playground, creek access, and volleyball court are open. Freshwater Park's seasonal dam is typically installed to provide a summer swimming area from late-June to early September. There may be summers when the dam cannot be installed due to drought conditions and low water flows. In addition, dam installation may need to be delayed until juvenile coho salmon have out-migrated. In addition to the swimming area, Freshwater Park amenities include an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible playground, accessible routes to the volleyball court, picnic areas, and other locations throughout the park, and creek access.
The gazebo area at Freshwater Park will be open for group reservations from April 1 through November 30, 2024. People seeking to make a reservation for the gazebo area at Freshwater Park can call 707-445-7651.
Single Site Campgrounds
Campgrounds at Big Lagoon, Clam Beach, Samoa, Swimmers Delight (Van Duzen), and A.W. Way are open. Currently County Parks does not accept reservation for single site campgrounds. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The camping fee is $30 per night.
Pamplin Grove Group Campground
The Pamplin Grove group campground at Van Duzen County Park will be available for reservations from May 1 through October 30, 2024. Due to the high demand for Pamplin Grove reservations, Humboldt County Parks administers an annual reservation process starting at 8:00 AM on the first business day of the year. People seeking to make a reservation at Pamplin Grove for 2024 can call 707-445-7651, starting at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, January 2, 2024. Calls are logged in the order they are received, and staff work down the list to coordinate the callers to make reservations based on the available dates. The payment deadline will be established at the time of booking. The maximum stay is seven days. Humboldt County Parks reserves the right to close portions of the Grove or cancel reservations due to high winds, wildfire, flooding, threats of falling limbs or trees, or other reasons.
The Humboldt County Parks and Trails system features 17 park units (nearly 950 acres) and the five-mile-long Hammond Trail in McKinleyville. County Parks include ten beach parks, five parks with river access, five boat ramps, and five campgrounds.
Parks and Trails staff operate and maintain recreational facilities and manage the land for public safety and resource protection and conservation. Humboldt County’s park and trail policies place an emphasis on providing recreational opportunities which are highly accessible to the public and protecting park resources from incompatible uses. County parks and trails are managed to provide multiple recreational opportunities for people of all income levels and physical abilities. Parks contribute to the quality of life and public health for county residents and provide opportunities for high-quality recreation experiences.
Parks and Trails staff maintain park facility infrastructure including restrooms, water and wastewater systems, showers, campsites, caretaker residences, boat ramps, parking areas, playground equipment, a seasonal dam, signs and fences, and various amenities. Staff is also participating in planning efforts to consider development of regional trails and community forests. Park and trail maintenance also relies on various volunteer groups such as the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program, CAL-FIRE, California Conservation Corps, Probation Department Juvenile Assigned Work Service, Boy Scouts, Hammond Volunteer Trail Stewards, and other community organizations for clean-up activities and other special projects.
- County Parks
- McKay Community Forest
- Hammond Trail
- Humboldt Bay Trail
- Annie & Mary Trail
- Arcata Bottom Bike Route
Humboldt County's parks are located along the Pacific Ocean and the Eel, Van Duzen, Mattole, and Mad rivers. County parks offer camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, boating, beachcombing, and clamming for the enjoyment of County residents and visitors.
Specific Information on Humboldt County Parks and Facilities
On August 21, 2014, Humboldt County purchased 1,000 acres of forestland southeast of Eureka to establish a community forest. The property was acquired from Green Diamond Resource Company in collaboration with The Trust for Public Land, with funding from the California Natural Resources Agency, State Coastal Conservancy, and California Wildlife Conservation Board. The community forest will be managed for multiple purposes including public access and recreation, timber harvest, and watershed and resource conservation.
More details about this project are provided on the McKay Community Forest web page.
The Hammond Trail is a 5-plus mile hiking/biking/equestrian segment of the California Coastal Trail. Managed by Humboldt County Parks, it stretches from the Arcata Bottoms northward to Clam Beach County Park in McKinleyville.
Access the Trail from the south in Arcata
Take Hwy 101 to Giuntoli Lane exit 2 miles north of Arcata, and go west on Janes Road. Follow signs to Mad River Beach, park at the pedestrian bridge.
Access the Trail from McKinleyville
Take the Murray or School Road exit off of Highway 101 and head due west.
Access the Trail from the North
Take the Clam Beach exit off of Highway 101. Look for the trail.
The Humboldt Bay Trail is envisioned as a network of trails providing non-motorized access for transportation and recreational use throughout the Humboldt Bay region. The current focus is on developing a continuous trail from central Arcata to south Eureka over the next several years for a total length of approximately 13 miles. The Humboldt Bay Trail is being developed as a collaborative effort between the Humboldt County Association of Governments, Humboldt County, City of Arcata, City of Eureka, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), State Coastal Conservancy, North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA), and a variety of other agencies and organizations. The Project webpage provides a detailed overview.
Feasibility Study (RCAA 2003)
(Streamline Planning 2014)
(Streamline Planning 2016)
Preliminary Trail Alignment – Railroad Avenue in Blue Lake (March 2018)
Overview Map – Blue Lake to Glendale (January 2018)
Preliminary Trail Alignment – Blue Lake to Glendale (January 2018)
Presentation at NCRA Meeting (January 9, 2019)
Arcata Bottom History and Rural Beauty
This bike route has been developed by Caltrans, in partnership with Humboldt County.
Beginning around 1892, farmers discovered that the area west of Arcata was an excellent place to raise hay and dairy cows. Reclamation of the marshlands led to the establishment of a large number of family-owned dairy farms and small creameries. The area became known as Arcata Bottom. Though the dairy industry here declined after World War II, Arcata Bottom changed little. You will still find the land dotted with barns, farm buildings, homes, and school houses dating back over a hundred years. Roads, fences, fields, and levees remain much as they were then.
Directions: Start your ride at the small Hammond Bridge parking lot. To find Hammond Bridge, take the Giuntoli Lane/Janes Road Exit from Highway 101 north of Arcata. Turn left and cross over the highway. Stay on Giuntoli Lane through the traffic circle. Just after the traffic circle, turn right on Heindon Road, left on Miller Lane, and right on Mad River Road. Continue on Mad River Road for approximately 1.7miles to Hammond Bridge parking lot.
Bike Route Options
Short Loop: The Arcata Bottom Bike Route will take you back along Mad River Road, turn right on Lanphere Road, left on Seidel Road, and right on Foster Road. From Foster Road you have the shorter option of circling back to Hammond Bridge via a left on Polaris Road, left on Bay School Road, left on Dolly Varden Road, left back onto Foster Road, right on Seidel Road, and left on Mad River Road leading you back to the Hammond Trail parking lot. This roundtrip ride is approximately 9.6 miles.
Long Loop: Continue west along Foster Road, turn left on Jackson Ranch Road. Follow Jackson Ranch Road, crossing Highway 255, and turn left on to Old Samoa Road to the wetland restoration area. This roundtrip ride is approximately 15.4 miles.
Link to online map here: https://farwestern.com/maps/arcata
Geo-referenced PDF map
1106 2nd St.
Eureka, CA 95501
Group Reservations (Pamplin Grove, Freshwater Park):
Special Event Permits: