Hammond Coastal Trail is a 12.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near McKinleyville, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length12.7 miElevation gain452 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashWheelchair friendlyKid friendlyStroller friendlyHorseback ridingMountain bikingNature tripsRoad bikingWalkingBird watchingRunningBeachForestPartially pavedRiverViewsWildflowersWildlife
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According to Access Northern California (http://accessnca.org/access-northern-california/explore/explore-detail-view/?site_id=110): 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. There are trailheads at Clam Beach, Mad River Bridge, Hiller Park, and the foot of Murray Road. ACCESSIBILITY: Mad River Bridge trailhead has the newest, most wheelchair 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. There is a wheelchair accessible restroom at Hiller Park and accessible picnic tables 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). Starting from Clam Beach, the first two and a half miles of this part of the trail parallel Highway 101. Within 50 feet you cross an accessible bridge over Strawberry Creek. After climbing two gentle hills, you come to a resting place with a bench and get your first glimpse of the ocean, beyond a wetland dune hollow, or swale. About one mile out, and after climbing one of the steepest sections of the entire trail, the surface becomes hard-packed dirt with some large-size gravel for about a half-mile. As you continue climbing this long stretch, you come to an overlook. From here you have views along the rocky shore from Clam Beach to Trinidad Head, with scattered sea stacks offshore. You continue past a parking lot (not accessible from the trail) to a small eucalyptus grove, then travel in the road a short distance and through a wooded riparian area. After about a half-mile you come to a nicely landscaped residential area. An interpretive spur trail along this route is too narrow and steep for wheelchairs. Follow the sidewalk west along Murray Road to the parking lot, where the trail begins again. The next section, from Murray Road to Hiller Park (0.9 miles), travels behind a residential area and has some of the trail's best ocean views. After crossing Knox Cove Avenue, the trail travels below an embankment that is lush with ferns and equisetum for about a half-mile to Hiller Park. From Hiller Park, within 50 feet the path narrows to three feet. At the fork, stay left and carefully travel down the raised center of the path. After passing through a stand of Sitka spruce and salmonberry, I arrived at a lovely viewing platform atop bluffs overlooking the Mad River estuary and the ocean beyond. The other trails may offer limited access in dry weather. The Hammond Trail continues along the eastern border of Hiller Park, crosses Hiller Road, then travels for 0.6 miles to School Road. After you cross School Road, you travel in the street on Fischer Avenue for a few hundred yards. There is a steep downhill to the bridge which may be too steep for manual wheelchair/mobility equipment users.

Clam Beach Dr. and Hammond Northern entrance to trail McKinleyville, CA 95519 707-445-7651

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Reviews (84)
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Activities (93)
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Christine Ndetti
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Christine Ndetti
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Christine Ndetti
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Christine Ndetti
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Christine Ndetti
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Christine Ndetti
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Christine Ndetti
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Ryan Cas
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Ronald Apodaca
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Hiking

basic wouldn't do it again

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Greg Ransonette
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Greg Ransonette
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Sir Taylor
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Road biking

This trail offers a myriad of different types of scenery. It is mostly paved, but does have some gravel areas. It was very beautiful, with views of the ocean and foliage tunnels, among other things. It offered a decent workout as there were several challenging hills, but plenty of relatively flat areas to recoup. We really enjoyed this trail .

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Marcus Jones
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Road bikingBugs

Nice coastal trail. You get some pasture, ocean, breeze and beautiful views especially at Humboldt Counties infamous Golden hour. Great for families or your girlfriends parents. Would recommend

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Kate Hawken
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HikingNo shade

It’s a stretch to call this a trail. Mostly paved, large section is an actual road, constant highway noise and views, horse poo throughout, and little shade. Beach access points are currently closed for snowy plovers. Best part is an overlook with views of seals in July. But it’s right in front of a parking lot...not the nature escape I was hoping for.

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Matt Scrabis
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WalkingNo shade
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Butch McNeill
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nice and easy hike, loved being able to walk along the beach.

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Justen Sidles
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fun area , easy walk can go a few feet or a few miles lol

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Antony Hill
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I really like this trail. I enjoy riding my bike on it for some exercise.

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Jimmy DuPriest
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Very fun and accessible with plenty of amazing views!!

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Bill Crain
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Hiking

Only hiked part of it. I'll take my bike back and do the rest.

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Jenny Bugnacki
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Great for hiking and biking. You can choose to do a small potion or the entire trail without any difficulty.

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Toshia Frease
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fun bike trail/ walking, beautiful views and trails. all ages fun

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Michelle Kelley
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Great path available for run or bike! Constantly take the baby and go .. Beach or farmers market it connects them all!!! :)

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Deanna Cumpston
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I go here almost every day. I love it.

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Jared Sacco
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Cross-country skiing

Easy & beautiful.

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Cedric Duhalde
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First to Review

Always pleasant to bike along the Hammond Trail. We're so fortunate to live so close to it!

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Anabel Cordero
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Sean Conley
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Vanessa James
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Roger S
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