For Experiencing the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge
The Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge offers year round opportunities to view a wide variety of wildlife and plants. Visitors can maximize the variety of educational and wildlife recreation opportunities during their visit to the Refuge by referring to the following general guidelines. An example is provided for visitor's planning to spend one hour, two hours or all day enjoying the Refuge.
Salmon Creek Unit
One hour visit:
- Visit the Richard J. Guadagno Visitor Center
- Explore the native plant garden and learn about former refuge manager Richard Guadagno at his memorial stone (expected time: 5-10 minutes).
- Examine Visitor Center displays and information and speak with a knowledgeable volunteer about current wildlife viewing opportunities (expected time: 10-20 minutes).
- Use Thayer birding software on the computer to learn the characteristics of birds that are commonly found at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge (expected time: 5-10 minutes).
- Observe wildlife through spotting scopes in seasonal ponds and fields behind visitor center and enjoy the Kids Corner (expected time: 10 minutes).
- Walk Shorebird Loop Trail to first kiosk and observe passerines, raptors, swans, ducks and geese (expected time: 20-30 minutes).
Two hour visit:
- Walk the Hookton Slough Trail out to South Humboldt Bay (3 miles round trip) and enjoy the diversity of passerines, waterfowl and shorebirds (2 hours).
- Fully explore Salmon Creek Unit
- Visit the Richard J. Guadagno Visitor Center and walk the 1.7 mile Shorebird Trail Loop to fully investigate the dynamic wildlife and habitats that make up the Salmon Creek Unit (2 hours).
- Enjoy a guided bird walk on either the first or third Wednesdays of the month with a Friends of Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge volunteer naturalist or on the second Sunday of the month with Redwood Region Audubon Society walk leaders (1.5 to 2 hours).
- Reserve the Photoblind for close up viewing and photography opportunities not otherwise available.
- Paddle Hookton Slough and explore Teal Island in a kayak or canoe. The refuge launch area is located on South bay on the Hookton Slough Unit for non-motorized boats only.
- Fish in Hookton Slough for a variety of estuarial species such as sharks, rays, jacksmelt, greenling, English sole and halibut.
- Attend a Refuge special event, such as the National Wildlife Refuge Day, Family Fun Day, CWA Outdoor Day etc.
- Hunt waterfowl during appropriate seasons.
The Lanphere Dunes Unit is open to limited use. This unit of the Refuge has excellent guided walks that are led twice a month by Friends of the Dunes. Refuge staff also lead walks when time permits. Access to Lanphere Dunes is also available by reservation. It is preferred, but not required, that your group be accompanied by a docent when you visit Lanphere Dunes. This will be arranged when you make your reservation. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance. For more information on Lanphere Dunes, reservations, or scheduled walks, please visit the Friends of the Dunes website and click on the “Lanphere Use” link, or call them @ (707) 444-1397.
February 7, 2009