The reserve was set aside to protect and preserve the ecology and wildlife of the area.
Particularly the old-growth redwood stands that provide habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet, and the stream systems that provide habitat for threatened coho salmon.
Northern Section: Public access into the Headwaters Forest Reserve is from the northwest portion, along the Elk River County Road, approximately six miles southeast of Eureka. The county road terminates at the reserve boundary. A parking area for visitors is available on the edge of the reserve, and a kiosk provides important information for a safe hiking experience.
Distance: 11 miles round trip
Difficulty: The first 3 miles traverse moderate terrain adjacent to the river. The remaining 2/1/2 miles are moderately strenuous.
Time: Plan 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours for the first 3 miles and 2 to 2 1/2 hours for the last 2 1/2 miles.
This 5-1/2 mile trail follows an abandoned logging road to the old-growth forest. The first mile is paved and accessible for those of limited mobility. Bicycles and dogs are allowed on the first 3 miles. The last 2 1/2 miles wind beneath a closed tree canopy, ending at a small old-growth redwood grove.
The first mile is paved and accessible for those with limited mobility. Bicycles and dogs (under owner's control) are allowed on the first 3 miles.
Recreation is limited to day hiking only. Because of the resource sensitivity we ask that visitors remain on the trail and out of the old-growth forest. Located one mile from the trailhead are the remains of the old town of Falk. Aside from the exotic plant life, little remains of the once booming mill town. Built in 1884, the town had approximately 400 people until its decline in 1937.
Southern Section: Public access to the southern part of the Reserve is available Mid-May through Mid-November via guided hikes (Saturdays & Sundays). The trail is approximately four miles round trip and runs parallel to the old-growth forest along Salmon Creek. Call the BLM Arcata Field Office at 707-825-2300 for more details and to make reservations. (Reservations can be made for current month and following month only.)