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Hammond Trail

The Hammond Trail is a popular hiking/biking/equestrian trail that winds past open fields, woods, and residential areas for more than five miles, from the Mad River Bridge in Arcata north to Clam Beach County Park in McKinleyville. You'll enjoy panoramic views of the ocean, cross an accessible bridge over the Mad River, pass a park with a playground,...
The Hammond Trail is a popular hiking/biking/equestrian trail that winds past open fields, woods, and residential areas for more than five miles, from the Mad River Bridge in Arcata north to Clam Beach County Park in McKinleyville. You'll enjoy panoramic views of the ocean, cross an accessible bridge over the Mad River, pass a park with a playground, and share the trail with lots of cyclists and people walking dogs.

The Hammond Trail is a segment of the 1,200-mile California Coastal Trail, which when completed will run the length of the state, from Oregon to Mexico. Although the Hammond Trail is continuous, at times it requires travel on sidewalks, on roads (very light traffic), and across streets. Most of this trail has been built on the route of a now-defunct rail line. Between 1931 and 1956, the Hammond Railroad hauled logs and timber to the Samoa Mill near Eureka. Excellent signage throughout indicates the trail route; interpretive panels at various trailheads show distances and locations of restrooms and parking.

Trail/Pathway Details

Hammond Trail

Trailhead: There are trailheads at Clam Beach, Mad River Bridge, Hiller Park, and the foot of Murray Road.

Length: Over 4 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Trails at Hiller Park are less than three feet wide in places.

Typical Grade: Mostly level or gentle

A slight cross-slope on the first several miles may bother some manual wheelchair riders. Two sections—one at Clam Beach, the other by the Mad River Bridge—are quite steep.

Terrain: Hard

Mostly paved, except for about a half-mile near Clam Beach where it is firm-packed dirt and gravel.

Description

There are several steep sections along this trail, but I managed the entire route in a motorized wheelchair, starting from its north end at Clam Beach. For the gentlest route, I suggest the 1.5-mile stretch from the Murray Road trailhead to School Road. This segment has some lovely ocean views—you'll hear the ocean, as well—and is mostly level. Clam...
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Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Mad River Bridge trailhead has the newest, most accessible parking. Hiller Park has designated parking on firm dirt and gravel in front of the playground, but it's not striped. Across the park road, in front of the ball field, is accessible parking on asphalt. Clam Beach day-use parking, opposite the trailhead, is on hard-packed dirt and has ruts and no striping. It may be very muddy in wet weather. Murray Road has designated parking but there's no access aisle. Street parking only at School Road trailhead.

Accessible Restroom: Yes

Hiller Park
At the west end of the Murray Road parking lot (the table top here is extremely high) and by the playground at Hiller Park (these are on concrete pads but to reach them you travel on firm grass).
View north near Clam Beach
View north near Clam Beach (Bonnie Lewkowicz)

Features icon key

  • bicycling
  • hiking
  • picnic

Additional Information

View Map  
Website: co.humboldt.ca.us
Managing Agency: Humboldt County Parks
Nearest City: McKinleyville
Phone: (707) 445-7651
Hours: 5 am to midnight
Fees: None
Dogs: On leash
Public Transportation: Redwood Transit System
Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, April 28, 2011
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

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