Humboldt Bay Trail South construction underway in 2023. Photo courtesy of Ghirardelli Associates.

Think of this: By the end of the year, and apart from a few miles of backroads in the Arcata Bottoms, you’ll be able to walk or bike from just north of King Salmon to Clam Beach on a dedicated pedestrian bike/trail. Amazing.

Press release from the County of Humboldt:

Construction of the Humboldt Bay Trail South project along the Humboldt Bay shoreline has made significant progress since its official kick-off in July 2023. The project is scheduled for completion at the end of 2024 and will expand the Humboldt Bay Trail by 4.25 miles, completing the multi-use trail connection between Eureka and Arcata. The project will also include several area improvements and repairs and will provide breathtaking views and up-close experiences of Humboldt Bay for residents and visitors of all ages and abilities.

The Humboldt Bay Trail is a network of multi-use trails, also known as shared-use paths, providing non-motorized access for transportation and recreational use throughout the Humboldt Bay region. Filling the gap in the Humboldt Bay Trail between Eureka and Arcata will transform the transportation corridor by separating pedestrians, cyclists, and other forms of non-motorized devices from motorists on Highway 101 and eliminate a major barrier to active transportation between the two largest population centers in Humboldt County.

“Our vision is to restore access to and protect the shoreline, provide a place for people to connect with each other and the natural world, and ensure a multi-use trail option for those traveling between Eureka and Arcata,” said Humboldt County Public Works Director Thomas K. Mattson. “This expansion will provide a paved, stand-alone path for community members who travel, commute, or recreate by bicycle, roller skates, skateboard, stroller, wheelchair or other mobility devices.”

Most of the new trail segment will run along the Humboldt Bay shoreline, adjacent to the railroad and Highway 101, with a one-mile portion situated on top of the levee around the Brainard Mill site. The project includes necessary repairs to stabilize portions of the shoreline along the railroad corridor, as well as raising the elevation of a one-mile segment of the railroad corridor for improved protection from flooding and sea level rise.

Project construction began in July 2023 and work completed to-date has included vegetation clearing, partial rail removal, Eucalyptus tree removal, earthwork and grading and rock placement for shoreline repair. Construction activities planned for 2024 include bridge retrofitting, rock and soil importation, construction of three new bridges, trail surface paving and placement of benches and signs. The planned schedule may be affected by a number of unexpected factors, including weather conditions and the supply chain for construction materials.

Funding for construction is provided by the California Transportation Commission’s Active Transportation ProgramCalifornia State Coastal Conservancy, and Caltrans District 1.

In addition to serving the region’s transportation needs and enhancing coastal access, the Humboldt Bay Trail will achieve a critical link in the California Coastal Trail and advance the Great Redwood Trail.

The overall Humboldt Bay Trail is being developed as a collaborative effort between the County of Humboldt, Humboldt County Association of Governments, City of Arcata, City of Eureka, California Department of Transportation, California State Coastal Conservancy, Great Redwood Trail Agency, Humboldt Trails Council, Redwood Community Action Agency, Timber Heritage Association and other partners. Additional information is available at