Situated on a large flat embraced by a long bend in the Mattole River, A.W. Way County Park contains wide grassy spaces ideal for family camping. There are a variety of camping spaces, from full sun to tree-shaded. During non-drought years there is a substantial flow in the Mattole River even during the summer, with great swimming holes.
The land for the park was given to the County by A.W. Way in 1968. Way’s story is fascinating: first a lawyer and then judge in the very early 1900s, he seemed to have a knack for making good business decisions. At a time when automobiles were a fairly new invention, he opened a car dealership selling such automobiles as Loziers, Chalmers, Hupmobiles and Studebakers. When the S.S. Bean ran aground near Centerville Beach, he acquired salvage rights and had to build a road out to his claim. He won the San Francisco Bay Regatta’s Perpetual Challenge Cup in 1913 and by the 1920s was mayor of Eureka. Later he became a State Senator.