The Humboldt Coast Nature Center lies on the Samoa Peninsula across the Humboldt Bay from the town of Eureka. The Center is a unique large, low-profile half-round building nestled into the dunes and overgrown with grass on its roof. Also on the property is a small building with restrooms open 24 hours, and a bike lot in front. The trail through the dunes to the Pacific is the primary attraction for dogs and their humans, but the Center also features educational programs, activities like wine tastings and auctions, all geared toward raising support and awareness of the importance of preserving the coastal dunes and the wildlife and flora that thrive there.
Ample parking greets you as you turn off Samoa Boulevard (Hwy 255) onto Stamp Lane and head toward the Center. Just beyond the far parking lot is the trail, which begins with a short walk across a meadow, then soon enters a wooded area composed of lichen-draped trees, and featuring wildlife like foxes and tiny tree frogs. You'll also find mushrooms growing in the shade, and wildflowers like wallflowers and cream cups lining the trail. At this point, as the trail turns west toward the ocean, you can unleash your pup, but you must maintain voice control.
The trail meanders through the tall grasses among the dunes and spills out onto the sandy beach, where you'll spy plovers and sandpipers marching along the water's edge like a battalion of foot soldiers, taking to the air like a flight squadron as you approach. Saltwater marshes offer opportunities for watching waterfowl and amphibians, and the dunes are pawrfect for rolling or running up and down for endless fun. Fido can splash in the Pacific and roll in the sand to dry off, and a blanket and picnic would be furtastic!
Small interpretive trails intersect with the main waterline/dune trail, and feature guided or self-guided hikes with informational brochures on the plants and animals you'll see.
Whether you and your fur-pup visit the Humboldt Coast Nature Center for the pawtastic views of both Humboldt Bay and the Pacific from the Center building, or a nature walk or run among the dunes and on the beach, your visit will generate fond memories for years to come.
The surf at the end of this trail is unpredictable and can be dangerous. Never turn your back on the ocean, watch for large swells, and if your pup gets caught in the surf, do not attempt a rescue. Fido will have a better chance of escaping the waves and tidal pull than you will.