Looking for info on our Surrounding redwood Forests? www.visitredwoods.com has you covered!
While you’re out there, you might notice that Eureka and it’s close environs are immeasurably picturesque and even grand. Take Sequoia Park for example. A stunning grove of ancient redwoods right here in town, a glorious remnant of the local forest that stretched north and south and reached to the edge of the bay. Right next-door is the Eureka Zoo, California’s oldest zoo. You’ll see otters romp and play underwater in their aquarium, andwalk through an aviary of native and exotic birds that find you as curious as you do them. There isn’t a more relaxed and charming place to visit with family and friends than Sequoia Park and the Eureka zoo.
North Jetty & Bay
If you are looking for a little more action, drive out to the North Jetty of Humboldt Bay. On a calm day you can walk to the end of the jetty jutting out into the broad Pacific. Surrounded by ocean with the bay to your back, yet on terra firma, it’s calmly surreal out there. On a stormy, high-surf advisory day, be content with your perch safe on the dunes while you watch an ocean attempt to take down a continent. Any time of the year, Eureka’s north jetty is a splendid outing and worth a visit.
Want to get up close and personal with the bay? Rent a kayak and paddle the shoreline or circumnavigate Indian Island or as the local Wiyot tribe knows it as Duluwat Island. The island is the site of the Wiyot Massacre of 1860, perhaps the darkest moment in our area’s history, when settlers fell upon Wiyot tribal members during their World Renewal Ceremony. Today, the island is sacred ground for the Wiyot tribe for good reason. Besides it’s historical legacy the island features one of the more significant snowy and great egret rookeries in California, yet another avaian feature of a bay is renown for it’s wide variety of bird life, from shorebirds to bald eagles. We celebrate Godwit days in April, with field trips, lectures, and workshops that bring birders from everywhere. Black Brant, a delicately beautiful sea goose, makes the bay one of their rare stops on their migration from the Yukon and Kuskokwim river deltas to Baja. Resting and feeding on the bay’s abundant eel grass, black brant are a welcome addition in the late fall. A delicious table-bird Brant are prized by local water fowlers who carry on a tradition going back to the late 1800’s of decoy carving and harvesting the birds along the bay’s dramatic south spit.
Aleutian Canada Geese
Speaking of geese, then too in late winter are the huge flocks of Aleutian Canada geese that use the pastures around Humboldt Bay to stage for their return to breeding grounds in the far north. Once listed as endangered with as few as eight hundred individuals, due to the introduction of foxes into their nesting grounds, some forty years later their numbers now range between one hundred and fifty and two hundred thousand birds. From late winter to early spring ‘clouds’ of Aleutians descending from altitude in lazy circles, coupled with the sharp, persistent calls to their brethren on the ground, is a mesmerizing display of extraordinary grace. We swear, if you are on mushrooms or acid witnessing this you’ll hop the fence and run out in the field, arms flapping, attempting to become one with them. If you’re straight, you’ll probably stay put, but the impulse will be the same.
Here is a great exercise in patience and close observation. While watching Aleutians working a pasture from on high pick out a group of five or six birds and follow them with your eyes. Don’t take your eyes off of them. Stay with them as they glide on outstretched wings around and around and down and down. Track their gradual decent until finally, they drop their feet and brake with a few wing beats before touching down. This might take five minutes. It might take ten. You’ve got the time. You’re in Humboldt County after all. Do it! Your body will relax. Your mind will still. Bear witness to Aleutians along roadsides, in the Mad, Eel, Loleta, and Ferndale bottoms, late January through mid-April.
Bay Trail & Bay
Did you bring your bike? Ride or walk Eureka’s Bay trail south from the Elk River estuary through Old Town and on to the Eureka Slough and points north. You’ll ride along the bay catching glimpses of our industrial past and 21st century future.
Climb aboard the Madaket and enjoy a relaxing voyage along the shores of Humboldt Bay. The M.V. Madaket, built in 1910, is the last survivor of seven original ferries that transported families and mill workers around Humboldt Bay for decades. Today it sits as the oldest passenger motor vessel in continuous service in the entire United States. Between May and October, you can hop on board for a tour and learn about local history, industries, activities, points of interest and wildlife.
There are a number of trips to choose from. The 75-minute narrated cruise takes you along the shores of the bay and Eureka’s waterfront while you learn a bit about the area you’re visiting. A one-hour cocktail cruise will show you the sights and sounds of the bay while you enjoy a drink from the smallest licensed bar in California. You can privately charter the boat for up to 44 of your friends for a birthday, anniversary or other special event. The M.V. Madaket is run by the friendly people at Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum, which is located in Samoa. The museum focuses on the boating history of the bay. - 101 things to do in Humboldt
Samoa Beach is the long strand of beach on the ocean side of the Samoa Peninsula near Eureka. The small community of Samoa with its historic Samoa Cookhouse Restaurant is nearby on the peninsula. The beach here stretches continuously south to Samoa Dunes Recreation Area at the North Jetty and entrance to Humboldt Bay. This strand continues north to Manila Beach and the sandy shoreline seems endless after that. This is a great beachcombing destination with driftwood and other items washing onshore.
Kayak Humboldt Bay
This tour is a paddle through time in one of California’s most pristine wetland ecologies. After a quick lesson and some outfitting in a double or single kayak, you’ll paddle over to Indian Island, the ancestral home of the Wiyot people. Your Humboats guide will take you past ancient shell mounds and archaeological sites which today are part of the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
The tidal currents carry you along to the world famous egret rookery; a windswept grove of Cypress trees. The rookery is occupied spring through summer by American bald eagles, Great blue herons and Snowy egrets. It’s a sight not to be missed.Besides Bigfoot, seals are the largest critter in Humboldt Bay. They can be seen all along the tour and in large groups during the pupping season.
Amazing bird watching...
The return trip brings us along the Victorian era waterfront of Eureka, where you’ll hear tales of the gold rush and learn the history of logging Redwoods in Humboldt County. Kayaking past the ruins of this bygone industry, you get a sense of the spirit and fortitude of the people who came to settle this wild and rugged coast.
Tours depart daily May-Oct, from our location at the Woodley Island Marina. Cost: $55 per person ($45 13-under). Guides, outfitting, and instruction included. Call ahead to reserve or sign up here online. Directions
Aquatic Adventures With Humboldt Aquatic Center
Come explore the many waterways that Humboldt County has to offer. Kayak or stand-up-paddleboard on Humboldt Bay. Canoe the Mad River Slough. Go sailing out in Big Lagoon. Or discover the North Coast by raft. No matter how you choose to experience Humboldt, an adventure with Center Activities and our Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, will provide a safe and enjoyable experience lead by our skilled and knowledgeable guides.
Our group activites are offered at great prices and get you on on the water, enjoying nature and making new friends. We are happy to help plan your custom trip.
Check out their upcoming calendar.