Hiking Humboldt

Sunny Brae Forest

Beith Creek Loop

Sunny Brae Forest map from Hiking Humboldt Volume 2.

Description: The Sunny Brae Forest is a ‘feel good’ story related to walking in Humboldt County. Due an outcry from the Sunny Brae neighborhood, local fund raising efforts, and support from the city and a number of partners, this 171-acre parcel was purchased by the City of Arcata in 2006. Since then, a network of trails including the Beith Creek Loop has slowly been constructed that will culminate in the completion of the 4.5-mile Arcata Ridge Trail that will connect Sunny Brae with West End Road by climbing up and over Fickle Hill.

The Beith Creek Loop, walked counterclockwise, begins with a sweeping contour through maturing second growth, crossing fingers of Beith Creek before switchbacking and climbing steeply to an intersection with a gravel access road. The short time on the road provides some views out across Arcata and Humboldt Bay. The descent snakes through forest on its return to the Margaret Lane trailhead.

Getting there: Drive north on US 101 for 7.0 miles to Exit 713 (CA 255/Samoa Boulevard/Old Arcata Road). Stay right following the signs to Sunny Brae, merging with Samoa Boulevard/Old Arcata Road (0.3 mile). Continue on Samoa Boulevard/Old Arcata Road to the second roundabout (0.4 mile). At the second roundabout, take the 3rd exit and continue east on Buttermilk Lane for 0.7 mile to the intersection with Margaret Lane. This intersection occurs at the top of a gradual uphill grade and just before Buttermilk Lane makes a sharp turn to the right. Turn left on Margaret Lane. The trailhead is one block up just as Margaret Lane bends left. Street parking is readily available. The trail begins with a set of concrete stairs located on the outside of this turn in Margaret Lane.

Things to remember: Dogs must be on leash. I have experienced too many incidence of being charged by aggressive dogs.

iNaturalist: Join the project and share your observations along the trails.