Moss covered logs and ferns surround a stream at the Headwaters Forest Preserve.
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Headwaters graphic icon Visit Headwaters 

Photo banner of family riding their bikes along Elk River Trail, hikers on Salmn Pass Trail, Person pushing another person in a wheelchair and walking a dog, Headwaters Education Center, hikers on Trail


From an educational hike through the ghost town of Falk to a guided hike through old-growth redwood forest, the Headwaters Forest Reserve offers a wide range of things to do!

There are two publicly accessible trails, the Elk River Trail (north end) and the Salmon Pass Trail (south end). The Headwaters Education Center, which hosts a summer lecture series and other special events is located 0.6 miles from the Elk River Trailhead. Both trails are easily accessible from the gateway communities of Eureka and Fortuna.

Graphic that says newSee our list of upcoming events below!Graphic that says new

 
Trail map of the Headwaters Forest Reserve area, located in Humboldt County, California. This map shows the trails in Headwaters Forest Reserve.This map cannot be made fully compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. If you need help using the information here, please contact the Arcata Field Office at (707) 825-2300 and reference the Headwaters trail map webpage.Scanned image of the front cover of the Headwaters Forest Reserve brochure


Headwaters Forest Reserve

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Graphic that says NEWUpcoming Events at HeadwatersGraphic that says NEW

What?Where?When?
Ray Hillman, local historian, speaks about Humboldt County Company Towns of the 19th century.Headwaters Education CenterJuly 12, 2014 - 10 AM
Headwaters Park Ranger Emily Moloney hosts a Headwaters Native Plant Walk.Elk River TrailheadJuly 19, 2014 - 10 AM
Headwaters Park Ranger Emily Moloney leads a volunteer work day to remove exotic thistle from the Elk River Trail. The BLM will provide gloves and tools.Elk River TrailheadJuly 26, 2014 - 10 AM
Daryl Cherney, singer-songwriter and environmental activist, will talk about the history of activism that led to the creation of the Headwaters Forest Reserve.Headwaters Education CenterJuly 26, 2014 - 3 PM
Paul Woodland, storyteller and naturalist, will present an array of original nature stories.Headwaters Education CenterAugust 9, 2014 - 3 PM
Phillip Van Mantgem, USGS research ecologist, discusses his research on forest dynamics with an emphasis on climate change impacts, fire ecology and the management of forested ecosystems.Headwaters Education CenterAugust 30, 2014 - 10 AM

Wide shot of an event from the 2013 Headwaters Lecture Series


Graphic that says NEWAre You Interested in Hiking the Salmon Pass Trail?

The Headwaters Salmon Pass Trail weaves through an old-growth redwood forest

The Salmon Pass Trail, located just outside the City of Fortuna, weaves through old-growth and second-growth redwoods for nearly three miles. This trail is accessible by guided tour only.

The BLM's partners have developed an online calendar system for the Headwaters Salmon Pass Trail. Through this site, you can now join scheduled hikes or request a hike of your own. Find more information about the trail on our Salmon Pass webpage.


Image of the front cover of the Headwaters Quest. The text on the cover reads Redwood Edventures Quest Headwaters Forest Reserve Headwaters Through Time. The cover has a picture of a banana slug named Slick.

Redwood EdVentures is your gateway for outdoor adventures on the north coast for the whole family! Check out the website to find an EdVenture near you!


Image of the abandoned crafthouse in the town of Falk.

Check out Falk: A Town Disappeared! This film about Headwaters and the town of Falk was produced by Ethan Cardoza, a film student at Humboldt State University.


Visitor Survey

Daniel White and Dr. Steven Martin of Humboldt State University recently partnered with the BLM on a visitor survey for the Headwaters Forest Reserve. Between May 26 to September 16, 2012, these researchers contacted 683 individuals at the Elk River Trailhead. The BLM held a public workshop to discuss the findings on November 16, 2013.

Image of the front cover of the Headwaters Visitor Survey Report

>>>>>>See a summary of the report's findings<<<<<<

>>>>>>Download the full-length report<<<<<<


 Suggestions of Things to Do at Headwaters

  • Hike the first 3 miles of the Elk River Trail with your dog. Your dog must be under voice control at all times, or on a leash. Please pick up after your pet!
  • Bike the first 3 miles of the Elk River Trail and then hike the last 2 miles of trail to the old-growth loop.
  • Folks with accessibility challenges and visitors with strollers can appreciate the first mile of the Elk River Trail that is paved and ADA accessible.
  • Take your time along the first mile of paved trail and learn about natural and cultural history by reading the interpretive signs along the trail.
  • Take your kids on a quest to learn about the secrets of where woodrats sleep and Falk's past. Find a treasure at the final stop.
  • Bring your lunch and picnic at one of 2 tables along the interpretive trail.
  • Stop by the Headwaters Education Center 0.6 miles up the Elk River Trail. Note that the Education Center has limited hours. 
  • Reserve a spot on a guided tour of the Salmon Pass Trail, where you'll see an old-growth redwood forest. Please call (707) 825-2300, to make your reservation.

Bureau of Land Management
Arcata Field Office
1695 Heindon Road
Arcata, CA 95521-4573
Phone: (707) 825-2300
Fax: (707) 825-2301
Office Hours: 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., M-F

Contact us by email at Headwaters@blm.gov