By Amanda Nelson
Start your day with the complimentary breakfast included with your stay at The Redwood Fortuna Riverwalk Hotel. A 20 minute drive on Highway 101 South will take you to the Northern entrance of the 31 mile scenic drive known as Avenue of the Giants! You will find many interesting places to stop, hike, shop or just take pictures. On the way south or back north, take the Scotia exit.
As the charming community of Scotia transitions from a company owned town to a community of privately owned homes, taking a short drive down Main Street will still make you feel like you stepped back in time. Many of the houses were built more than 100 years ago, and built to stand the test of time. Eventually, over the next four to five years, all of the houses in Scotia (all 270!) will be sold into private ownership.
Unfortunately there is no longer an opportunity to take self-guided tours of the sawmill, and the Scotia Museum has been at least temporarily closed. The search is also on to find a new manager for the historic Scotia Inn, which has been temporarily closed as well.
Fireman’s Park, adjacent to the Wild & Scenic Eel River, features a picnic area in a grove of towering redwood trees. You can grab some snacks for a picnic during a quick stop at Hoby’s Market in Scotia, or you can order sandwiches, homemade salads, and more at the deli there. From Fireman’s Park, there is walking access to the Eel River with opportunities for a refreshing swim during the warm summer months, or a calming walk on the rocky river bar.
Perhaps the best kept secret in all of Humboldt County is the Scotia fisheries exhibit, owned and operated by Humboldt Redwood Company. Free, self-guided tours are available Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. See live fish species at various age stages, including Chinook salmon, Rainbow trout, and steelhead. This is an activity the entire family will enjoy. Guided school tours can also be arranged by calling Humboldt Redwood Company at (707) 764-4492.
Back in Fortuna try dinner at Eel River Brewery, whose beer is brewed in the Town of Scotia! Inside the Taproom and Grill the old meets the new as you enjoy great food and beer and get a feel for the history of Humboldt County. The focal point the 30-foot long bar made entirely from recovered historic Redwood and Douglas Fir. The bar serves all of our year-round beers in addition to Eel River seasonals and specialties. Grab a barstool or a table and let us share with you the things that make Eel River Brewing Company great!
Return to your room at The Redwood. Good thing it’s pretty much in the same parking lot as the Brewery! Be safe and come see us again soon!