FORT HUMBOLDT STATE HISTORIC PARK
Fort Humboldt is situated on a bluff overlooking Humboldt Bay. This remote military post was established in 1853 to assist in conflict resolution between Native Americans and gold-seekers and settlers who had begun flooding into the area after the discovery of gold in the northern mines.
Later, Fort Humboldt would become the headquarters for the Humboldt Military District, which included Forts Bragg and Wright in northern Mendocino County, extending north through Humboldt County to Fort Ter-Waw in Klamath and Camp Lincoln near present-day Crescent City.
It was during its first few years that Fort Humboldt saw one of its most famous residents: the young Captain Ulysses S. Grant. After being decorated for bravery in the Mexican-American war, he was posted to several locations including Fort Vancouver in the Pacific Northwest. The isolation of Fort Humboldt did not appeal to Grant, and after serving as commanding officer of Company F for six months, resigned his commission.
Fort Humboldt was formally abandoned in 1870 and rapidly fell into decay. Today, only the hospital building remains out of the original fourteen structures. It is now a historical museum dedicated to telling the story of the Fort and the Native American groups, including the Wiyot, Hoopa and Yurok of this region. In the 1980s the Surgeon?s Quarters was reconstructed and there are plans for its establishment as a period house museum. In 2001 an historic herb and vegetable garden was recreated adjacent to the Hospital.
The park also includes a Logging Museum and open air displays of historic 19th-mid 20th century logging equipment including the Dolbeer Steam Donkey, ?Lucy,? the Bear Harbor Lumber Company?s Gypsy Locomotive #1, and the Elk River Mill and Lumber Company?s #1 ?Falk? locomotive.
Fort Humboldt, located in Eureka, California was established in 1853 as a military post to assist with conflicts between Native Americans and settlers. It also served as an important stop for travelers during the Gold Rush era. The fort's most notable resident was Ulysses S Grant who stayed there briefly before his presidency.
By 1867, Fort Humboldt had been abandoned by the army due to declining hostilities among local indigenous tribes and incoming settlers. After its abandonment it fell into disrepair until being designated a state historic site in 1931.
In subsequent years several buildings were restored or reconstructed including hospital building which now serves as museum showcasing artifacts from that period of history.
Today visitors can explore various exhibits on logging equipment reflecting area's lumber industry heritage along with enjoying views over Humboldt Bay.
Fort Humboldt State Historic Park is located near Arcata, Eureka and Fortuna
Fort Humboldt State Historic Park in California offers a variety of picnicking options for visitors. The park has several picnic tables and grills available on a first-come, first-served basis where families can enjoy meals amidst the beauty of nature. There are also open spaces perfect for laying out blankets and enjoying an outdoor meal or snack while taking in views of historic buildings, lush greenery, towering redwoods trees and more. Restrooms facilities are nearby making it convenient for all-day outings.
1. Logging Trail: This is a short, easy trail that takes you through the park's historic logging area where visitors can see remnants of old machinery and learn about Humboldt County's rich lumber history.
2. Hospital Loop Trail: A moderate 0.5-mile loop trail around the site of an old military hospital from the mid-1800s; interpretive signs along this path provide information on Fort Humboldt's medical history.
3. Bay View Trail: Offering stunning views over Eureka and Arcata Bays, this moderately difficult hiking route stretches for approximately one mile with some steep sections to navigate but rewards hikers with panoramic vistas at its peak point.
4. Redwood Grove Pathway: An accessible pathway winding through towering redwoods within close proximity to picnic areas making it perfect for families or those seeking less strenuous activity while still enjoying natural beauty in abundance.
5. Fort Grounds Tour Route: It provides access to all historical buildings including Commanding Officer quarters,hospital ruins etc., offering insight into life during fort operation times.
6. Bluff Overlook Point: Short walk up leads towards spectacular view overlooking bay below providing excellent photo opportunities especially during sunrise/sunset hours.
7. Elk River Estuary Walk: Located near southern end of park,this flat terrain hike offers chance encounter wildlife such as birds & marine animals inhabiting estuarine ecosystem here.
8. Humboldt Hill Hike: Challenging uphill climb leading towards highest point inside Park boundaries rewarding climbers breathtaking coastal landscape panoramas stretching miles away.
9. Native Plant Garden Stroll: Easy stroll across garden showcasing variety native plant species found throughout North California region accompanied by informative signage explaining their ecological significance.
10. Railroad Exhibit Exploration Track: Paved track looping round outdoor railroad exhibit displaying vintage locomotives/rolling stock used historically in local timber industry operations.
Old town Eureka, harbor and Clarke Museum, Azalea State Natural Reserve, Little River State Beach, Patrick?s Point S.P. to the north, Victorian village of Ferndale, Humboldt Redwoods S.P. & Avenue of the Giants, Grizzly Creek S.P. to the south.
South side of Eureka, CA - just off HWY 101 on a grassy bluff overlooking Humboldt Bay & the Bayshore Mall. East on Highland Ave. 1 block.
(Eureka, CA Latitude/Longitude: 40.8021 / -124.1624)
From Oregon/Crescent City - Take 101 South to Highland Avenue in Eureka.
From SF Bay Area - Take 101 North to Highland Avenue in Eureka.
From Sacramento Area/Southern California - Take I-5 North to 299 and head Westbound to 101. Take 101 South to Highland Avenue.