The natural crown jewel of the county is Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This is the definitive spot to see the magnificence of California’s famous coastal redwoods. In the early part of the last century there was a nationwide effort to save what remained of the old-growth redwoods on California’s North Coast. Philanthropists and civic clubs began buying groves of trees for the purpose of preserving them. Humboldt Redwoods State Park was founded in 1921 with one of those purchases, the Bolling Memorial Grove, in honor of a fallen World War I soldier. Today, Humboldt Redwoods is California’s third largest state park, occupying 53,000 acres, including 17,000 acres of pristine old-growth redwoods.
Humboldt Redwoods’ star attraction is the Avenue of the Giants. The park is rarely crowded, and offers more than 250 campsites in three large drive-in campgrounds. There are environmental, group, backcountry and horse camps. Hikers can enjoy more than 100 miles of trails, some of which are also open to equestrians and mountain bikers. The South Fork of the Eel River provides fishing, boating and great swimming holes. The park also features a number of day use areas. The Humboldt Redwoods Visitor Center, on the Avenue of the Giants between Myers Flat and Redcrest, is the heart of the park. It is large and comprehensive, staffed by knowledgeable volunteers.