by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Humboldt Lagoons

Park Brochure

brochure Humboldt Lagoons - Park Brochure
Humboldt Lagoons State Park Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Part of the country’s largest lagoon system supports a rich variety of marsh plants, birds, and other animals California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (707) 677-3570. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369. (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service Humboldt Lagoons State Park 115336 Highway 101 North Trinidad, CA 95570 (707) 677-3570 © 2011 California State Parks (Rev. 8/2015) while providing ample opportunity for recreation. V isitors to Humboldt Lagoons State Park see part of the largest lagoon system in the United States. Lagoons are shallow, enclosed bodies of water along the coast —  separated from the ocean by coastal strands or spits of land. Water flows in and out of the lagoons when it breaches (breaks through) these spits. The park offers activities that include fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking, and kayaking. From the flat, uncrowded beach and wetland areas, watch whales and migratory birds make their way along the coast. Summers are usually mild, with morning fog burning off by midday. Cool winters bring rain; weather changes frequently. PARK HISTORY Native People The Yurok have lived here for generations, inhabiting a coastal strip from Little River in today’s Humboldt County to Del Norte County, and inland along the Klamath River. Though some villages were seasonal, others were permanent settlements where major ceremonies took place. From several Yurok villages within what is now Humboldt Lagoons State Park, people fished for salmon, eel, trout, and steelhead, as well as marine mammals and shellfish. Canoes of hollowed-out redwood logs carried the Yurok between villages and food sources. A system of trails was also established to connect far-flung settlements across rugged terrain. and language revitalization, viewing Humboldt Lagoons State Park as part of their heritage. NATURAL HISTORY Stone Lagoon First European Contact The Yurok people’s first documented contact with non-Indians was in 1775, with the arrival of Spanish explorers at the nearby town of T’surai (near present-day Trinidad). With the discovery of gold in 1850 along the Trinity River, the Yurok people’s way of life nearly came to an end. Conflicts between the Yurok and many Euro-Americans forced the relocation of the Yurok to distant reservations. By the turn of the century, twothirds of the population had been decimated. Today, the Yurok tribe has made a remarkable recovery. The most populous tribe in California with more than 5,500 members, the majority of Yurok live in Del Norte and Humboldt counties. The tribe has actively pursued cultural The Lagoons Humboldt Lagoons State Park consists of four separate areas from south to north: Big Lagoon, Dry Lagoon, Stone Lagoon, and Freshwater Lagoon. Big Lagoon frequently breaches its sand spit seasonally after heavy rains. Thousands of birds live or migrate through here, as does a federally endangered fish, the tidewater goby. Dry Lagoon was once a fourth body of water. Farmers drained it, but their attempts to grow crops failed. Dry Lagoon’s wetland now attracts elk and scores of migrant birds. Stone Lagoon breaches its 1.5-mile ocean barrier much less frequently than Big Lagoon; years may elapse between breaks. Six environmental campsites are available. Watch for river otters or Roosevelt elk that graze south of Stone Lagoon. Freshwater Lagoon, co-managed with Redwood National Park, is a fully enclosed body of water. The lagoon’s largemouth bass, catfish, and cutthroat trout are joined by stocked rainbow trout. Roosevelt elk Dry Lagoon supports both freshwater and brackish marsh. Landlocked Freshwater Lagoon is bounded by a narrow band of freshwater marsh. Native dune mats can be displaced by invasive exotic species such as jubata or pampas grass, iceplant, and European beachgrass. State Parks has been restoring the dunes here for several years, resulting in a vibrant dune mat community. Prairie balds, small patches of herbaceous vegetation found across Hwy. 101 from the visitor center, are dominated by various grasses interspersed with Douglas iris, clumps of Pacific reed grass, and bracken fern. In the forest, coast redwood and saltspray-tolerant Sitka spruce thrive near the ocean among western hemlock and grand fir. Red alder grows in riparian areas among large stands of willows. Plant Life The coastal strand beaches within Humboldt Lagoons support a dynamic coastal dune mat vegetation community. The lagoon margins of Big and Stone lagoons consist of brackish marsh, while at Big Lagoon and only artificial lures with barbless hooks at Stone Lagoon. For full regulations and limits, visit www.wildlife. Kayaking — All three “wet” lagoons allow kayaking. Freshwater Lagoon has the most protection from strong north winds. Camping — Register to camp at Patrick’s Point State Park — (707) 677-3570. The firstcome, first-served lagoon campsites are usually open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Stone Lagoon’s campground is reachable only by boat. Picnicking — Picnic at the visitor center and at Dry Lagoon day-use area. ACCESSIBLE FEATURES There are no wheelchair-accessible activities yet at this park; however, accessibility is continually improving. For updates, visit Wildlife As part of the Pacific Flyway, Humboldt Lagoons hosts more than 200 bird species, including endangered bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and threatened western snowy plovers. Black bears, herds of Roosevelt elk, and bobcats can be seen in the park. Watch for whales, dolphins, and sea lions offshore. RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES Fishing — Licensed anglers may fish at Big Lagoon, Freshwater Lagoon, and Stone Lagoon. Use only barbless hooks Snowy plover 10 20 Mi 20 30 Km Trinity R to Santa Rosa Legend Paved Road Unpaved Road Trail AN Intermittent Stream OCE Boating Boat-In Environmental Campground Campground Hand Boat Launch Vehicle Boat Launch Dry Lagoon see detail map Dry Lagoon Walk-In Campground O DW RE OD 101 AY W GH HI Stagecoach Hill/Azalea Nature Trail ia C oast al Tr ail Locked Gate Ryan’s Cove Stone Lagoon Visitor Center PA C I F I Fishing O Stone Lagoon Boat-In Campground C Environmental Campground ay Stone Lagoon C alif o r n Co a s t a l T Sharp Point PA R K 10 mph HUMBOLDT LAGOONS S TAT E PA R K Major Road w i ra a il 0 ld RED Coas tal T rail 299 10 r ive Fort Humboldt SHP Arcata NF 0 REDWOOD N AT I O N A L Day-Use Area Calif ornia 101 Eureka 5 mph Freshwater Lagoon Freshwater Rocks Orleans Orick 169 Forks of Salmon Trinidad Shasta-Trinity 96 to Orick, Klamath oast al Tr ai l ShastaTrinity NF Redwood NP Little River SB S h ig Old S t a t e H Trinidad SB Prairie Creek Redwoods SP 101 ta McArthur Creek Klamath Happy Camp nia C r 101 Patrick’s Point SP 96 ve Klamath Ri Ocean Crescent City Humboldt Lagoons SP Pacific Patrick Creek Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP Del Norte Coast Redwoods SP Cali for Six Rivers NF to Oregon Tolowa Dunes SP W O State Park D O Y WA GH ghway HI Hi te OREQ-w Redwood Creek Picnic Area Humboldt Lagoons Marsh Area Cali forn Parking Dry Lagoon Picnic Area to Stone Lagoon Day-Use Area Restroom 101 DRY LAGOON CAMPGROUND Windsurfing © 2011 California State Parks (Rev. 2015) H A R RY A . MERLO SRA 0 to Big Lagoon 250 500 750 1000 Ft 0 100 200 300 M Mc D o na 5 mph Cali forn ia C oas tal Tr a il Big Big Lagoon County Park PAT R I C K ’ S POINT S TAT E PA R K ld Cre ek BIG LAGOON RANCHERIA 101 to Patrick’s Point State Park, Trinidad D OO DW RE • Harry A. Merlo State Recreation Area 32 miles north of Eureka on Hwy. 101 (707) 677-3570 • Trinidad State Beach 19 mi. north of Eureka on Hwy. 101 Trinidad 95570 (707) 677-3570 PLEASE REMEMBER • All natural and cultural features are protected by law and may not be disturbed. • Watch out for afternoon winds that may cause treacherous conditions, rogue waves, and ocean-side rip currents. • Check current tide tables to avoid becoming trapped by high tide. • Anglers age 16 and older must carry a current California fishing license. • For your safety and theirs, do not approach elk for any reason. • Except for service animals, pets are not allowed in campsites, on trails, or in dune areas, and they must not be left unattended. To m Cre e k Lagoon H A R RY A . MERLO SRA NEARBY STATE PARKS • Patrick’s Point State Park 4150 Patrick’s Point Dr., Trinidad 95570 (707) 677-3570 W GH HI AY Ma p l e Cr ee k 0 0.25 0.5 0.75 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 Pitcher Creek 1 Mile 0.8 Kilometers This park receives support in part through the nonprofit Redwood Parks Association, 1111 Second Street, Crescent City, CA 95531 • (707) 464-9150

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