Parks & Trails
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.
Take the Murray or School Road due west.
Take the Clam Beach exit off Hwy 101. Look for 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.
The Annie & Mary Rail-trail is a conceptual trail that would run from
Arcata to Korbel, through the City of Blue Lake. The trail would follow
the Arcata and Mad River rail line historical corridor.
The Annie & Mary trail would be 6.8 miles in length from where it would leave Arcata to its potential terminus in Korbel. The rail line is owned by the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA), which hopes to someday restore service to Korbel. In the meanwhile a group of citizens from Blue Lake, Arcata and the surrounding areas have joined together to form the Friends of the Annie & Mary Rail-trail; the goal of the Friends is to support the development of the historical corridor into a multi use non motorized vehicular rail-trail through outreach and fundraising.