Hikers traverse a trail on Horse Mountain. Photo: Humboldt Trails Council.


Humboldt County boasts hundreds of miles of scenic trails. By our count, there are well over 250 miles of walkable and bikeable trails here in Humboldt – and that’s only counting trails managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, California State Parks, local municipalities and the county. 

If you frequent any of those trails — or are excited about new ones — you’ll want to attend the 2024 Humboldt Trails Summit at the Sequoia Conference Center in Eureka this Saturday. 

Map of the proposed path of the Great Redwood Trail. Click to enlarge.

This year’s summit will highlight ongoing and upcoming trail projects across the region. Senate President pro tempore Mike McGuire and Elaine Hogan, Executive Director of the Great Redwood Trail Agency, will provide an update on the Great Redwood Trail, a state-led initiative to transform the old rail line between Humboldt Bay and San Francisco Bay into a 300-mile multi-use trail. 

The Great Redwood Trail Agency released its 586-page Draft Master Plan for the ambitious rail-to-trail project at the beginning of last month. The plan serves as a guiding document to address trail-related issues, including design components, operations and maintenance, habit restoration, funding opportunities, and management. The Master Plan covers Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties; the southern portion of the trail will be planned and constructed by the Sonoma-Marin Area Transit (SMART).

“The Master Plan is a huge document, but it is really vital for the public to give their input,” Karen Underwood, a board member with the Humboldt Trails Council, told the Outpost. “Some of these planners don’t necessarily live in Humboldt County, and we’re the ones who know about our local conditions and our communities, right? This is our opportunity to share that information because if you don’t give it to them, whatever you get is, well, what you’re gonna get.”

Members of the public have until Monday, June 3 to submit their written comments on the draft plan. Online comments can be submitted at this link or emailed to info@greatredwoodtrailplan.org.

Local officials will provide updates on various other trail projects, including Humboldt Bay Trail South, a long-planned project to connect the Eureka Waterfront Trail to the southern end of Humboldt Bay Trail North, near the Bracut Industrial Park. 

Hank Seemann, Humboldt County’s deputy director of environmental services, said the county is on track to complete the highly anticipated project by the end of October. Eventually, the county hopes to extend the Humboldt Bay Trail all the way to College of the Redwoods.

“This segment is a regional priority for enhancing active transportation and recreation opportunities along the coast, especially for the communities of Humboldt Hill, King Salmon, and Fields Landing, and for serving the students and staff of College of the Redwoods,” Seemann wrote in an email to the Outpost. The county is developing a planning study, in coordination with the Great Redwood Trail Agency, to evaluate existing conditions and analyze constraints along the existing railroad corridor, he said.

“All this information will support applying for funding for the next phase of project development (detailed engineering, environmental review and permitting, and any additional right-of-way),” Seemann continued. “Once that phase is complete, then funding would be pursued for the construction phase. At this point, it’s uncertain whether Humboldt County or the Great Redwood Trail Agency would lead the next phases. There will need to be a financial plan and capacity to take on the additional management and maintenance responsibilities.”

Local officials will also provide updates on Eureka’s Bay-to-Zoo Trail, the Eel River Trail in Rio Dell and the Annie and Mary Trail Connectivity Project between Arcata and Blue Lake. 

Carol Vander Meer, projects coordinator for the Redwood Community Action Agency (RCAA), encouraged members of the public to come with questions. Members of the public are asked to send trail-related questions in advance to trailssummit@humtrails.org

“There’ll be an opportunity for one-on-one conversations with different trail-supporting organizations, as well as a chance to hear presentations and ask questions,” she said. “People come to the summit and find a place where they can plug in to support the development of our regional trail system. Trails really have the ability to transform lives and increase connectivity [among] community members.”

The Humboldt Trails Summit will be held at the Sequoia Conference Center in Eureka on Saturday, June 1. Check out the flyer below for more information.