The Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, a remarkable natural habitat and recreation area built around a cost-effective and environmentally sound wastewater treatment facility, is a great place to go hiking and birding. This 307-acre site is located along the Pacific Flyway, making it a popular destination for birders from all over the world. It is home or rest stop to over 300 species of birds or mammals, and home to over 100 species of plants. Critters who inhabit the marsh include river otters, gray foxes, bobcats, Pacific tree frogs, red-legged frogs and rough-skinned newts.
The Arcata Marsh offers more than five miles of recreational trails for jogging, bicycling, hiking, bird-watching and leashed dog walking.
The marsh received the Innovations in Government Award from the Ford Foundation/Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. Despite being a wastewater disposal system, the open-air lakes do not produce any smell and are a popular destination for visitors. It is an incredibly beautiful natural recreation area and is popular with local wildlife and landscape artists.
Friends of the Arcata Marsh (FOAM) provide educational tours of the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary free of charge. Guided tours are given every Saturday at 2pm starting at the Interpretive Center. The Redwood Regional Audubon Society offers bird-watching tours every Saturday beginning at 8:30am from the Klopp Lake parking lot at the end of South I Street.