Clam Beach County Park, nicknamed Clam Beach Off-Leash Area, is located in McKinleyville, California, and is one of ten beach parks found within the Humboldt County Parks and Trail System. Humboldt County Parks and trails encompass a total of 950 acres of land including the Hammond trail, which stretches over five 5 miles long. It's located just off of the Redwood Highway 101, and by taking the North Central Avenue exit, you will find the free parking in the North and South lots, as well as along Clam Beach Road itself.
Clam Beach Off-Leash Area gets its nickname due to its flexibility and welcoming nature towards dogs. Dogs are permitted to be off-leash on the beach, as long as they are within 30 feet of their owner, and are under control at all times (i.e. listen and follow the commands of their owners). For safety, all dogs must remain on-leash in all parking lots. Please see special hours section for time-specific regulations regarding leash requirements.
From relaxing or the beach and whale watching to searching and digging for clams, Clam Beach has it all. Clam Beach contains a stretch of shoreline where you and your pooch will find both driftwood and dunes to explore. You can also partake in a variety of beach activities including surf fishing, hiking, biking, and swimming- not to mention the waves are perfect for surfing!
From the beach, you and your pooch can also access Hammond Trail, which is a 5.5-mile long trail that welcomes both bikers, dog walkers, and horseback riders. The trail is one large loop, linking McKinleyville with Arcata. In McKinleyville, the trail starts on the south side of the city at Mad River, and runs all the way to the Clam Beach, located on the northern end of town. This would give you and your pooch the perfect opportunity to explore the city of McKinleyville while enjoying scenic views of the Pacific Ocean, if you’re up for the hike.
While on the trail, Humboldt County codes require your pup to remain on-leash at all times, aside from in specified off-leash areas. This is because of the fragility of the environment, and to ensure the safety of all ecosystems and wildlife.
Whether you’re looking for a refreshing dip in the ocean, or just a harmonious walk along the paths of Hammond Trail with your pup, Clam Beach if the place for you. Just remember to follow beach and park regulations by cleaning up after your pooch and carrying a disposal bag at all times!