News Release

For Release:  June 19, 2008       
Contact: Kathy Stangl (707) 825-2300 or Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332

Improvement Project Will Limit Elk River Trail Access

The Elk River Trail in the Headwaters Forest Reserve will be temporarily closed beyond the two-mile mark while workers build a bridge to replace a culvert stream crossing.  Work begins Monday, June 23, and will last about three days.

Kathy Stangl, assistant manager of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Arcata Field Office, said the work is part of a series of projects designed to improve trail conditions and to reduce sediment flow into the South Fork Elk River.

In other projects workers have reduced trail grades and paved the first mile, providing accessibility for those with walking difficulties.  Some hillsides above the trail have been re-contoured and stream crossings have been cleared of debris. These projects, combined with installation of new culverts in several areas, will improve conditions for fish, Stangl said.

The Elk River Trail is a five-and-a-half mile route into an old growth redwood grove.  The 11-mile round-trip hike has some moderately steep climbs and should be attempted by those in good physical condition.  There is no fee. Access is limited to daylight hours.

Headwaters visitors can enjoy the southern part of the forest near Fortuna by reserving space on a guided hike along the Salmon Creek Trail.  BLM park rangers lead the hikes and explain features of the forest, including groves of 1,000-year-old redwood trees. To reserve space for a weekend hike or to arrange a special outing, call the BLM Arcata Field Office at (707) 825-2300. 

The Headwaters Forest Reserve is 7,472 acres of public land near Eureka.  The BLM, in partnership with the California Department of Fish and Game, manages the area to preserve the ecological and wildlife values, particularly the stands of old-growth redwood that provide habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet, and the stream systems that provide habitat for threatened coho salmon.

Arcata Field Office     1695 Heindon Rd.     Arcata, CA  95521