California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Headwaters Forest Ecological Reserve - Humboldt County

Hiking Allowed Wildlife Viewing Information Nature Tours available
The symbols above are activities permitted on this Ecological Reserve. Click for more info.

Location: Humboldt County - approximately 10 miles southeast of Eureka

Phone Number: (707) 445-6493

Map: Directional Map (PDF)

Special Restrictions: Hunting and discharge of firearms, including bows, is not allowed. No camping is allowed. Dogs on leash are allowed only on the northern Elk River Corridor Trail.

Access: To access the north end of the Reserve, take the Elk River Road exit off Highway 101, at the south end of Eureka; turn right onto Elk River Road and drive approximately 6 miles to the Reserve parking area. Entry on the southern end, via Felt Springs Road, is by guided hike only, May 15 through November 15. At all other times, public access to the southern end is not allowed.

Description: Located in the mountainous north coast region, the 7,470 acre Headwaters Forest Ecological Reserve has unique ecological values, including a highly intact and functioning old-growth redwood and Douglas fir forest, with a diverse understory and undisturbed headwater stream habitat.

Recreational Use:

  • Hiking and birdwatching provide opportunities to view a number of species that are dependent upon the special characteristics of old-growth forests. These include such species of concern as the northern spotted owl and marbeled murrelet, as well as more widespread birds such as chickadees, thrushes, and woodpeckers. Mammals such as northern flying squirrels, and big brown bats may also be spotted on occasion.
  • Guided hikes along the southern Salmon Pass Trail can be scheduled by calling the Bureau of Land Management Arcata Field Office at (707) 825-2300. Reservations can be made for the current month and following month only.

Hunting: Not allowed

Facilities: None

PLEASE NOTE: Area regulations are subject to change. Special restrictions on recreational uses, hunt days and methods of take are listed in the current year's issue of Hunting and Other Public Uses on State and Federal Areas, available at CDFW offices and places where licenses are sold.


KC/WLB 6/09