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). Restrooms are open and being cleaned regularly. Picnic tables are available at some parks but have been spaced to support social distancing. Day-use fees are required at A.W. Way, Big Lagoon, Freshwater, and Van Duzen County Parks.
The Freshwater Park playground, creek access, and volleyball court are open. The seasonal dam will not be installed on Freshwater Creek this summer because the fish ladder needs to be redesigned and reconstructed and the environmental permits need to be renewed.
The gazebo area at Freshwater Park will be open for group reservations from June 25 through September 30, 2021. Humboldt County Parks will start taking reservations by phone on Tuesday, June 22, at 8:00 AM. People seeking to make a reservation for the gazebo area at Freshwater Park can call 707-445-7651 starting at 8:00 am on June 22. Calls will be answered in the order they are received. If the reservation specialist is busy, callers will be added to a list and call-backs will occur in order. The payment deadline will be established at the time of booking. Groups will need to sign an Agreement that includes a commitment to follow the applicable COVID-19 health and safety guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health.
Single Site Campgrounds
Campgrounds at Big Lagoon, Clam Beach, Samoa, Swimmers Delight (Van Duzen), and A.W. Way are open. Campground capacities are reduced to support social distancing. The shower facilities will be closed until County Parks staff receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Pamplin Grove Group Campground
The Pamplin Grove group campground at Van Duzen County Park will be open for reservations from June 25 through September 30, 2021. Humboldt County Parks will start taking reservations by phone on Tuesday, June 22, at 8:00 AM. People seeking to make a reservation at Pamplin Grove can call 707-445-7651 starting at 8:00 am on June 22. Calls will be answered in the order they are received. If the reservation specialist is busy, callers will be added to a list and call-backs will occur in order. The payment deadline will be established at the time of booking. The maximum stay is seven days. A 24-hour gap after each reservation will be incorporated into the schedule to allow time for cleaning and preparation. Groups will need to sign an Agreement that includes a commitment to follow the applicable COVID-19 health and safety guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health. The maximum group size, if any, will depend on the California Department of Public Health guidance in effect at the time. Humboldt County Parks expects that the State of California will update its guidance for outdoor recreation on or around June 15, 2021.
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.
- 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