The Headwaters Forest Reserve is one of Humboldt’s newer protected areas. Acquired in 1999 from Pacific Lumber Company after 15 years of tree sits and other protests of the company’s logging practices, it is now the only designated forest reserve in the U.S. Most of it was logged while under private ownership and the vast majority is still closed to the public. This hike utilizes all the trails in the reserve accessible without a reservation. It follows the course of the South Fork Elk River through regenerating redwood and maple forest before climbing to a small old-growth redwood stand, passing rehabilitated roadbeds en route. Numerous interpretive signs along the way tell the story of the area’s ecology and history.
Headwaters Forest Reserve: 707-825-2300 (Bureau of Land Management Arcata Field Office)