Headwaters Tours Open from May 15 to November 15
The Headwaters Forest is one of the largest old growth redwoods preserves comprised of 7,472 acres of old and second growth redwood and fir forest. Headwaters forest hiking opportunities are limited to two separate trails. One located in Fortuna called the Salmon Pass Trail and and the other hiking trail entrance near Eureka California through the Elk River Trail. The Headwaters forest was acquired in 1999 and the old growth preserve section has about 5 square miles of old growth.
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Headwaters Forest Hiking Trail - Elk River Trail
The Elk River Trail (11 miles round trip) is accessed though Eureka and starts along an old logging road that follows the Elk river through the remains of Falk an old logging town at about the 1 mile point and continues on for about 3 miles with only moderate terrain difficulty. Then a single track trail ascends through second growth redwoods to a about a half mile loop through old growth redwoods at the edge of the Headwaters forest preserve. This section is moderate to strenuous hiking. Public access to the trailhead is through Elk River road 6 miles southeast of Eureka. The first mile of the trail is paved and accesible for those with limited mobilty. This hiking trail is open year round. Pets are allowed for the first 3 miles of the trail.
Headwaters Forest Hiking Trail -Salmon Pass Trail
The Salmon Creek Hiking Trail (3 miles round trip from the trailhead) is accessed through Newburg road in Fortuna. These hikes are guided and a reservation is required. Reservations can be made by calling the Arcata Field Office or requested on this site. The difficulty of this hike is moderate, not easy. There are significant sections of uphill hiking. This 3 mile round trip is a free guided hike thanks to volunteers and rangers from the BLM Arcata field office. Call 707-825-2300 to make reservations or sign up for a group here. Guided hikes are generally available (weather dependent) from June through November of each year. GET MORE INFO HERE!