Located just off of scenic Highway 101, the Harry A. Merlo State Recreation Area is one of the three parks surrounding Humboldt County's Big Lagoon. This picturesque site hugs the south and east shores of the lagoon, making it a puptastic spot to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in nature with your furry best friend!
You and Fido will find the Harry A. Merlo SRA 32 miles north of Eureka, sandwiched between the Humboldt Lagoons State Park to the north and Patrick's Point State Park to the south. For parking and beach access, you'll have to head to the adjacent Big Lagoon County Park. The area is pawpular among visitors who like to fish, as the lagoon is home to several species of fish such as trout and salmon. It also serves as an important rest stop for thousands of migratory birds each year, making for excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Don't forget to bring your camera and binoculars—you won't be disappointed!
Your pup probably won't care much for fishing and wildlife viewing, but furtunately the area offers hiking trails that will set any canine visitor's tail a-wagging. While you're on the trails, why not go on a treasure hunt and look for geocaches as well? Of course, no trip to the Harry A. Merlo SRA would be complete without exploring the lagoon itself. If you have a small personal watercraft, you and Fido can go on a boat ride around the water—just be sure to observe the speed limit of 5 mph. Four-legged visitors are also welcome to take a stroll on the beach as long as they are on a 6-foot leash, but they are not allowed to go swimming in the lagoon. As always, carry doggie waste bags and clean up after your furry pal. Bring enough water to share too!
For a fun day trip in Humboldt County, you can't go wrong with the Harry A. Merlo State Recreation Area!