Humboldt Bay Trail
The Humboldt Bay Trail is a network of paved paths connecting the communities around Humboldt Bay. Efforts are actively underway to complete a continuous 14-mile, non-motorized trail from central Arcata to the southern end of Eureka. This trail will increase road safety, provide a low-cost travel alternative, expand recreational opportunities, improve community livability, and promote active, healthy transportation. The trail is being constructed in phases by the cities of Eureka and Arcata and Humboldt County, with support from Caltrans, the North Coast Railroad Authority, California Coastal Conservancy, and many other entities. Construction funding is secured for the final four miles of the trail, a section called the “Humboldt Bay Trail South” Project, which extends from the Target store near Eureka Slough to the Bracut Industrial Park near Bayside Cutoff (construction of this segment is planned to begin in 2021).
Keep updated on regional trail progress and subscribe to the Humboldt Trails Council e-newsletter.
Partnerships For Trails
Three local agencies are currently leading the development of segments of the Humboldt Bay Trail:
Humboldt County was allocated funds in 2015 through the State Transportation Improvement Program to complete preliminary engineering, environmental studies, and permitting and to develop engineering plans and specifications for the Humboldt Bay Trail South project. Funding for right-of-way acquisition is being provided through the Humboldt County Association of Governments. In January 2019, funding for construction was awarded through the state's Active Transportation Program. The County is working to acquire right-of-way and permits, develop a plan for wetland mitigation, and complete the final design. The target date for beginning construction is 2021.
The Arcata City Trail extends from Sunset Avenue (near the Larson Park and the Arcata Skate Park) south around Arcata High School and along L Street to Samoa Boulevard, for a total length of 1.5 miles. Humboldt Bay Trail North has been completed. The project involved construction of approximately 3.0 miles of a Class I, ADA accessible, non-motorized multi-use trail, that runs from the terminus of the Arcata Rails with Trail at State Route 255, through the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. The trail continues south along the North Coast Railroad Authority’s railroad to the south of Bayside Cutoff along Humboldt Bay.
Photography by Aldaron Laird 3
Photography by Aldaron Laird 4
Photography by Aldaron Laird 2
Photography by Aldaron Laird 1
Humboldt Bay Trail Updates
Project Description Report and 60% Design Plans for Humboldt Bay Trail South
In September 2020, Humboldt County completed the Project Description Report and 60% design plans for the Humboldt Bay Trail South project, which would expand the Humboldt Bay Trail by 4.25 miles and complete the trail connection between Eureka and Arcata (see Project Documents below). The report discusses how the project proposes to integrate with the railroad and Highway 101 transportation corridor and how the project proposes to address flooding hazards and sea level rise along the Humboldt Bay shoreline. The report discusses the proposed removal of the northern group of eucalyptus trees along Highway 101 due to safety hazards to trail users. The report identifies the mitigation measures and environmental commitment conditions that will be incorporated into the project. These documents will be included in the applications for permits from the Coastal Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District, and will provide the basis for the lease agreement with the North Coast Railroad Authority.
State Allocates Funding for Completion of Humboldt Bay Trail
The project to complete the 4-mile gap in the Humboldt Bay Trail between Eureka and Arcata was approved for funding through the state’s 2019 Active Transportation Program.
The Active Transportation Program is a competitive grant program that funds bicycle and pedestrian improvements throughout California. Humboldt County’s “Humboldt Bay Trail South” project was tied for the fifth-highest score in the category of projects that competed on a statewide basis. The approved funding amount is $13.3 million.
Donate to the Humboldt Bay Trail Fund
The Humboldt Bay Trail Fund was established at the Humboldt Area Foundation to provide a mechanism for private donors to assist in the continued development of the Humboldt Bay Trail by focusing on the critical need for trail maintenance funds. The fund will give priority to on-going emergency trail maintenance with emphasis on supporting volunteer efforts. Make an online donation!
KCET – Connecting Communities on the Humboldt Bay Trail
The latest episode of KCET’s California Coastal Trail series highlights the Humboldt Bay Trail and the broad community support for completing the trail. Check out this inspiring segment Opens a New Window. .
California Environmental Quality Act Document Adopted
On July 31, 2018, Humboldt County Board of Supervisors adopted the proposed initial study and mitigated negative declaration prepared for the Humboldt Bay Trail South project in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Humboldt County Public Works prepared the Initial Study and Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration Opens a New Window. to analyze potentially significant environmental impacts and identify appropriate mitigation measures.
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Project Description Report (Sept. 9, 2020)
- Figure 1
- Figure 2
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- Figure 4
- Attachment 1 – Engineering Plans
- Attachment 2 – Photographs
- Attachment 3 – Environmental Commitment Record
- Attachment 4 – Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Plan
- Attachment 5 – Resolution 18-79
- Attachment 6 – CEQA Comment Evaluation
- Attachment 7 – Tree Risk Assessment
- Attachment 8 – Bird Use Monitoring Report
- Attachment 9 – Hazard Scenario Figures
- Attachment 10 – Draft Wetland Mitigation MOU
Geotechnical Report (Crawford & Associates, June 2019)
Tree Risk Assessment - Report (Dryad, Oct. 8, 2018)
Tree Risk Assessment - Attachments (Dryad, Oct. 8, 2018)
Tree Risk Assessment - Scope of Work (Dryad, Aug. 24, 2018)
Comment Evaluation Memo (July 16, 2018)
Visual Resource Impact Assessment (March 2018)
Biological Assessment (February 2018)
Public Meeting Presentation (February 2018)
CEQA Notice of Intent (February 2018)
- Figure 2: Proposed Trail Alignment and Key Components (Feb 2018)
- Appendix G: Trail Alignment Figures (Feb 2018)