Parks & Trails
Parks and Campgrounds
Campgrounds at Big Lagoon, Clam Beach, Samoa, Swimmers Delight (Van Duzen), and A.W. Way reopened on Friday, July 10, 2020, for first-come, first-serve camping. Campground capacity has been reduced by closing certain campsites to increase spacing and facilitate social distancing. Camping is limited to a maximum of eight people and two vehicles per camp site. Restrooms will be thoroughly cleaned a minimum of twice per day. Shower facilities remain closed. Firewood sales are available at Big Lagoon, Clam Beach, and Swimmers Delight. Campground operations may need to be adjusted, including closure, on short notice due to changes in COVID-19 transmission trends and guidance from the Humboldt County Health Officer and Emergency Operations Center.
Visitors are expected to wear facial coverings (masks) inside restrooms. In addition, visitors should wear facial coverings outside in situations where more than six feet of separation from other people cannot be maintained. Visitors are encouraged to wash hands frequently and avoid high-touch surfaces.
Humboldt County Parks developed a Reopening Plan based on the guidance document released by the California Department of Public Health and CAL/OSHA on June 5. The purpose of this Reopening Plan is to support a safe, clean environment for County staff and the public within the campgrounds managed by Humboldt County Parks. The Reopening Plan is intended to protect the health and safety of all staff and implement prevention practices to minimize risks of COVID-19 transmission, while providing individual household units the opportunity to have an enjoyable outdoor camping experience and improve their well-being and mental health. The Reopening Plan was approved by the Humboldt County Emergency Operation Center on July 9, 2020.
The Pamplin Grove group campground at Van Duzen County Park will remain closed through July 31 and possibly longer. According to the June 5 State guidance, facilities and open spaces intended for gatherings and group functions should remain closed. All reservations through July 31 are cancelled and reservation fees are being refunded.
All parks and trails operated by Humboldt County are open for day use, except for Freshwater Park. Day use hours are posted at each park. Parking areas are open but may be subject to vehicle limits (especially at Swimmers Delight). Restrooms are open and being cleaned regularly. Picnic tables and picnic areas remain closed.
Freshwater Park is expected to be closed through July 31 and possibly longer. The seasonal dam will not be installed this summer. If the State releases guidance on re-opening playgrounds, then a timeline for re-opening the playground at Freshwater Park will be developed.
Public Health and Safety
If you choose to visit Humboldt County Parks, please take steps to protect yourself and others:
- Wear a facial covering.
- Keep the minimum recommended social distance of six feet or more between yourself and other visitors.
- Be courteous and warn other users of your presence with your voice to ensure proper distance. Step off trails to allow others to pass.
- Practice personal hygiene — wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and avoid high-touch surfaces.
- Don’t leave trash. Take everything out with you to protect other visitors and park workers.
- If you are ill or have cold or flu symptoms, please stay home.
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 (1) providing recreational opportunities which are highly accessible to the public and (2) 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.
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)