While visiting Benbow KOA you are in the midst of the beautiful Redwoods and only minutes from the Avenue of Giants. There are many activities to do in the Benbow area and be sure to check out The Historic Benbow Inn.
Exit Hwy. 101 at Patrick's Point Drive, about 5 miles north of Trinidad, and you'll find a perfect day-use park (fee). Highlights include scenic walks on Rim Trail, Wedding Rock, Ceremonial Rock, a visitor center, picnic areas and Sumeg Village. This recreation of a traditional Yurok village includes houses, sweat lodge and a dance pit, as well as a redwood canoe and native plants.
Not many cities the size of Eureka have there own zoos! Sequoia Park and Zoo is a delightful attraction and is making regular upgrades and acquiring new animals. See the Children's Barnyard and petting zoo., the walk-in aviary, and the popular primates, not to mention over 70 acres of old-growth redwood forest to explore.
Once you see the lakes, ponds and lovely trails at the Arcata Marsh, you'll never believe it's also an innovative, low-tech wastewater treatment facility for the progressive City of Arcata. Outstanding birdwatching is to be had (guided walks on weekends). Start at the Interpretive Center (Samoa Blvd. to South G St.) or at Klopp Lake (Samoa Blvd. to I St.)
Nowhere is Eureka's Victorian heritage more evident than in Old Town, a meticulously preserved and restored district of unique shops, restaurants, galleries and museums. Many special events including the Arts Alive! art walk the first Saturday of each month, take place in Old Town. The Old Town/Downtown district includes theaters, pubs, antique shops, local coffee houses and the new Arkley Center for the Performing Arts. The Eureka Boardwalk is open for strolling and baywatching. Don't miss the iconic Carson Mansion.
A 31-mile scenic alternate to Hwy. 101, the Avenue of the Giants is the best bet for seeing he redwoods by car. Apart from the stately aisles of massive trees, the Avenue takes you past inviting trailheads and side roads, as well as quirky small towns with their roadside attractions. Must-sees along the Avenue include the Humboldt Redwoods State Park visitors center and Founders' Grove nature trail.
It's known as the Victorian Village, and for good reason: this bucolic farming town has barely changed for 150 years, and is loaded with beautifully preserved homes and shops. A stroll down Main Street is a step back in time - general store, ice cream parlor, blacksmith, etc. Besides shopping and dining there's plenty to do: visit the Ferndale Museum, the Kinetic Sculpture Museum, the gothic Ferndale Cemetery or wild Russ Park. Country roads radiate into peaceful farmlands. Exit Hwy. 101 at Fernbridge, cross over the Eel River and drive 5 miles to town.
Whether your bag is fishing, boating, beachcombing or birding, the Humboldt Lagoons are for you. These Lagoons are fed by springs, but get breached every winter so the water is brackish. The largest is Big Lagoon (six miles north of Trinidad), which has overnight camping (first-come basis) and rock collecting on Agate Beach, Kayak rentals are available.There is also a great hiking trail from Dry Lagoon to Stone Lagoon.
Situated in a lovingly-restored Carnegie Library building, the Morris Graves Museum of Art delivers a big-city art experience in a small town package. There are seven galleries, an outdoor sculpture garden and a performance rotunda, plus regular programs including young artists academy.
"River fun in the mountain sun" is how this community on the scenic Trinity River bills itself, and indeed a popular pastime is whitewater rafting. There's much more to do, including backcountry auto tours through Six Rivers National Forest, wine-tasting and farm stands and visiting the China Flat-Bigfoot Museum with the world's largest collection of Bigfoot artifacts. The Willow Creek area is in fact ground zero for Bigfoot sightings.
An important stop on the Pacific Flyway, the refuge serves up spectacular birding. The Aleutian Goose fly-off Feb. to March is legendary. Trails along the levees bring you close to the birding action. You can also launch your kayak or canoe at Hookton Slough.
The Arcata Plaza is a lively center of commerce and recreation. You'll find fantastic dining and unique shopping on the Plaza's borders. On May to October Saturdays, a wonderful Farmer's Market with live entertainment takes place. Sample the arts with Arts Arcata on the second Friday of each month. Find visitor information and fun shops in the Jacoby Storehouse on the plaza.
This 10-mile scenic alternative to Hwy. 101 takes just a few more minutes and avoids the steep grades of the park bypass. From the north, exit at Newton Drury/Elk Prairie. Stop at intriguing trailheads and wander among the giants. Near the Elk Prairie visitor center, stop and watch the magnificent Roosevelt Elk. Bring binoculars and don't get too close...these are WILD animals!!
Ever since there have been automobiles, people have wanted to drive them through holes cut in trees. Very well, if you must. The Shrine Drive-Thru Tree and Drive-Over Tree in Myers Flat, for a modest fee, will let you do it.
The Lost Coast is California's only coastal wilderness, where no development or major roads come near the ocean.
This wild and spectacular scenic drive is the closest you can come to the Lost Coast without a backpack. Leave from Victorian Ferndale on the Petrolia Rd. (the "Wildcat"). The road follows the coast for six miles near Cape Mendocino, then turns inland along the Mattole River. Keep going and you'll wind up in the back of Humboldt Redwoods State Park, whence you can return via Hwy. 101. Allow 3-4 hours for this adventure.
The "friendly city" is a great hub for visiting avenue of the Giants and the Eel River Valley towns of Ferndale and Loleta, and hosts several exciting events during the year. The River Lodge conference center offers heather gardens and a scenic walk along the river. On Main Street there's an interesting cluster of antique shops, while in Rohner Park you'll find the Fortuna Depot Museum and beautiful hiking trails through the redwoods.
Benbow Lake State Recreation Area is a favorite spot on the Eel River for swimming, boating and fishing. You're in the redwoods but don't be fooled - it gets warm! Just south, the trees and trails of Richardson Grove State Park beckon, along with good access to the Eel River for more summertime water play.
For over 100 hundred years the Samoa Cookhouse has been serving up good eats to hungry millworkers, lumberjacks and visitors. The fixed menu is served family-style on long, oilcloth-covered tables, and they will keep bringing food as long as you keep eating! Check out the museum of logging and cookhouse memorabilia. While you're there, visit the Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum next door.
A "Lost World" awaits you; follow a narrow canyon whose 50-foot plus walls are carpeted with luxuriant ferns and mosses. It's a primeval location used in the filming of Jurassic Park 2. Approx. 2 mile loop walk with seasonal bridges over Home Creek. Take Hwy. 101 to Davison Rd., 3 miles north of Orick. Follow unpaved road 6 miles to coast, 3 miles north to parking. Day-use fee, restrooms and beach.
Start at Woodley Island (Hwy. 101 to Hwy.255, over the first bridge). Watch fishing boats, see the Fisherman Memorial or Table Bluff Lighthouse, go kayaking or enjoy waterfront dining. Bay views can be enjoyed from the Eureka Boardwalk or on board the Madaket, a historic ferryboat offering a 75-minute narrated tour of Humboldt Bay.
These wide, sandy beaches are easy to access and offer all the beach recreation you are looking for. Take Hwy. 101 to the Clam Beach exit (12 miles north of Eureka) where you'll find ample parking. Walk and beachcomb, picnic and fly your kite. Take your dog (on the waveslope, under voice command) or bring your horse. To reach Moonstone Beach, exit Hwy. 101 at 6thSt./Westhaven, turn left under the highway, left and then right. Here you can scramble on boulders or explore tidepools.
Just 20 miles north of Eureka, the tiny, picture-perfect town of Trinidad perches on the coast. An official gateway to the California Coastal National Monument, Trinidad offers tidepooling at Trinidad State Beach, hiking on Trinidad Head and dining on the Trinidad Pier! You can shop for gifts and picnic supplies too. Check out the Memorial Lighthouse and the Humboldt State Marine Lab also.
Scotia is an authentic company town where everything from schools to shops was built by the Pacific Lumber Company for its workers. The Scotia Museum gives a glimpse of timber heritage, including logging locomotives and steam donkeys. The Scotia Aquarium displays wild salmon and steelhead and educates about habitat restoration.
Visitors are always welcome! Watch cheese making through tall windows, sample the many different kinds of cheese, then browse through the cheese factory store where you can also find many other locally produced food items as well as some of Humboldt's own varietal wines. Stay for a picnic in the gardens.
This spectacular redwood grove was dedicated to Lady Bird Johnson, former First Lady, upon the creation of Redwood National Park in 1968. A level path ushers you past huge trees, rhododendrons that bloom in May-June, and numerous other features of an ancient redwood forest - in a loop nature trail of about two miles. Take Bald Hills Road, just north of Orick, two miles to the parking lot, then cross over the footbridge to the trailhead where you'll find printed trail guides.
Legend of Bigfoot is impossible to miss heading north to or south from Garberville. The generous front "yard" is chock full of statues, carvings, and rustic knick knacks. Give the Corinthian Bells wind chimes a ring--they are incomparable windchimes. The inside has almost every redwood, north coast, Hwy 101, or Bigfoot souvenir you could possibly want.
Join the very knowledgable Sanctuary Forest team on themed guided hikes, each weekend from May to September! These hikes are both educational and fascinating, with themes such as 'Edible and Medicinal Plants' to 'Birds of the Lost Coast'. These guided hikes are FREE of charge, and take place in the majestic King Range Forest, just a few miles from the Benbow KOA.
Visit Sanctuary Forest's website at www.SanctuaryForest.org for complete hike themes and schedules.