5 must-do trails in Humboldt

Daisy Ambriz-Peres, a former Humboldt State University student and a hiking outreach manager for Friends of the Dunes, shares five hiking trails in Humboldt county.

“My taxonomy professor at HSU once said we have a green blur. If we don’t really know the area, we just hike through it and everything is just a green blur,” Ambriz-Peres said. “If we really pay attention and slow down, we start to see how many species that are in our forest and really get to appreciate everything that makes up the community.”

Ambriz-Peres works at Friends of Dunes where she plans to host bilingual events as a way to include more Spanish speakers in outdoor spaces.


Here are some of her picks:

Wildberries Trail

“The trail begins at Humboldt Coastal Nature Center and winds through the dunes, then ends with a gorgeous view of the Pacific,” Ambriz-Peres said. “It’s a short hike and a perfect place to unwind on soft sand.”

Distance: 0.4 Miles
Accessibility: Some difficulty due to soft sand
Difficulty: Easy
Dogs Allowed: Yes, must be on a leash
Trail Surface: Soft sand

Arcata Marsh Trail

“The Marsh is freshwater and the bay across has saltwater. The perfect combination of different ecosystems out there, perfect for birding,” Ambriz-Peres said. The nature center at Friends of the Arcata Marsh has a beach-accessible wheelchair, all-terrain, that can maneuver the rocky areas and it’s free to rent.

Distance: 2 – 4.5 Miles
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible
Difficulty: Easy
Dogs Allowed: Yes, must be on a leash
Trail Surface: Dirt surface with some rocks

Freshwater Farms Nature Reserve

Freshwater Farms Nature Reserve has a flat trail through pasture and a newly restored marshland. There is also a viewing platform that provides visitors with gorgeous views of Humboldt Bay’s marshlands, waterways, and wildlife habitats. According to Ambriz-Peres, it’s an awesome place for bird watching.

Distance: 0.75 Miles
Accessibility: Can be difficult due to narrow paths
Difficulty: Easy
Dogs Allowed: No

The Dap Loop Trail

“My favorite trail, a seven-minute drive from campus, out on the Samoa Peninsula, Ma-le’l Dunes, North,” Ambriz-Peres said. “When my family comes to visit, it’s the first place I take them.”

Distance: 0.5 Miles
Accessibility: Can be difficult because of soft sand and steep dunes
Difficulty: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Trail Surface: Soft sand

Beith Creek Loop

Beith Creek Loop has a few steep hills to climb and wooden steps. Just a little ways away from the trailhead is a wonderful waterfall. The accessibility on the trail is poor for someone with a mobility issue. “It can be a little challenging to hike up, for me,” Ambriz-Peres said. “I don’t know for a seasoned veteran though.”

Distance: 3.1 Miles
Accessibility: Some difficulty due to steep terrain
Difficulty: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: Yes, must be on a leash
Trail Surface: Dirt trails with some rocks

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