Humboldt Bay Trail

Overview

The Humboldt Bay Trail is a network of paved, multi-use paths connecting the communities around Humboldt Bay and providing excellent opportunities for recreation and active transportation.

The City of Arcata provides four miles of trail along the northern portion of Humboldt Bay and through the city to Larson Park at Foster Ave. The Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular access point.

The City of Eureka provides nearly seven miles of trail along its Eureka Waterfront Trail, including a recent extension along the Elk River estuary. Popular access points include:

  • Tooby Rd. parking area
  • Elk River Park & Ride (west end of Herrick Avenue)
  • Hilfiker Lane parking area
  • Truesdale St. parking area
  • Del Norte St. parking area
  • Eureka Boardwalk at the Foot of C St.
  • Halvorsen Park under the Samoa Bridge
  • Target Store near the Eureka Slough Bridge
  • Tydd St. in Myrtletown

The Humboldt Bay Trail is a component of the regional Great Redwood Trail and the state-wide California Coastal Trail. The Humboldt Bay Area Bike Map is an excellent on-line mapping resource for identifying existing segments of the Humboldt Bay Trail and other regional bike facilities and trails.

Scenes from the Trail

Humboldt Bay Trail South

Construction of the “Humboldt Bay Trail South” project between Eureka and Arcata along the Humboldt Bay shoreline began in July 2023 and is scheduled to be completed in October 2024. The construction contractor is McCullough Construction with construction management services provided by Ghirardelli Associates and engineering support provided by GHD, Inc.

The majority of the trail will be situated along the Humboldt Bay shoreline between the railroad and Highway 101, while a one-mile portion will be placed on top of the levee around the Brainard Mill site. The project will create an alternative to vehicular travel between Eureka and Arcata and will enable tremendous views and up-close experiences of Humboldt Bay. The project includes urgent repairs to portions of the shoreline armoring along the railroad prism. In addition, the ground elevation of a one-mile segment of the railroad corridor between Brainard and Bracut will be raised to a minimum elevation of 11.5 feet (relative to the NAVD88 datum) to improve protection from flooding and sea level rise (see the Project Description Report for details). 

Funding for construction is provided by the California Transportation Commission (Active Transportation Program), State Coastal Conservancy, and Caltrans District 1.

Timeline

November 1, 2023: Suspension of ground-disturbing activities for the wet season.

August 21, 2023: Story in Eureka Times-Standard (“Humboldt Bay Trail connection adding some resiliency to sea level rise.”)

August 12-13, 2023: Removal of northern section of Eucalyptus trees.

July 17, 2023: Construction activities began.

June 1, 2023: Last day of the California Conservation Corps performing vegetation clearing.

May 17, 2023: Ground-breaking event.

April 4, 2023: The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors awarded the construction contract to McCullough Construction.

February 13, 2023: The California Conservation Corps began vegetation removal activities.

January 30, 2023: The Humboldt County Public Works Department issued an Invitation to Bid for the construction contract.

January 24, 2023: The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors accepted the construction plans and approved putting the project out for bids from construction contractors.

December 2, 2022: The Great Redwood Trail Agency (successor to the North Coast Railroad Authority) issued a Notice to Proceed letter with respect to the lease agreement for the project.

October 13, 2022: The California Transportation Commission approved construction funding under the Active Transportation Program. The Active Transportation Program is a competitive grant program that funds bicycle and pedestrian improvements throughout California.

April 7, 2022: The California Coastal Commission approved the coastal development permit.

September 9, 2020: The Project Description 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.

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 to analyze potentially significant environmental impacts and identify appropriate mitigation measures.

Map of Projects in Development (Click on the image below for a larger view)

Humboldt Bay Trail Overview

Getting Involved

Stay Informed

Receive updates on regional trail progress by subscribing to the Humboldt Trails Council e-newsletter.

Volunteer

The Volunteer Trail Stewards program of the Humboldt Trails Council coordinates volunteers to provide support to public agencies and land trusts with building and maintaining trails.

Donate

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. Allocations from the fund are made by the Humboldt Bay Trail Fund Committee. Donations can be made through the Humboldt Area Foundation donation page.

Videos

Project Documents

Technical Memorandum on Tidal Channel Relocation (March 2, 2021)

Project Description Report (Sept. 9, 2020)

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)

CEQA Notice of Determination (July 31, 2018)

Humboldt County Resolution 18-79 (July 31, 2018)

Comment Evaluation Memo (July 16, 2018)

NEPA Determination Form (July 13, 2018)

(June 2018)

Historical Resource Evaluation Report (April 2018)

Visual Resource Impact Assessment (March 2018)

Biological Assessment (February 2018)

Public Meeting Presentation (February 2018)

CEQA Notice of Intent (February 2018)

CEQA environmental document – Initial Study and Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration (February 2018)

CEQA environmental document – Initial Study and Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration [TEXT ONLY] (February 2018)

Historical Resources / Cultural Resources CEQA Memo (January 2018)

Humboldt Bay Trail South Initial Site Assessment (November 2017)

Basis of Design Report for Trail Width – Humboldt Bay Trail: Eureka-to-Arcata Segment (March 2016)

Humboldt Bay Trail South  (August 2014)  

Humboldt Bay Trail Network Project Update Brochure  (June 2014)

Humboldt Bay Trail South  (March 2014)

Highway 101 Corridor Improvement Project – Historic Resources Evaluation Report  (July 2004)

Humboldt Bay Trail Fund Founding Donors

Image Thank You 2017 Humboldt Bay Trail Supporters