Thanks to the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary the city of Arcata has both clean water and bragging rights as a birding hotspot. Reeds, cattails and bacteria in artificial marshes help cleanse the city's wastewater while providing temporary homes for over 250 species of birds during their migratory journeys.
You can hear singing Marsh Wrens, Savannah Sparrows and Western Meadowlarks in this 154 acre sanctuary. And you may be treated to sights of Marbled Godwits, American Avocets, Dunlins, Black-bellied Plovers, American Bitterns, Black- crowned Night Herons and Great Egrets. Waterfowl also breeds in the marsh.
Arcata is 250 miles north of San Francisco on Highway 101 on the northeastern shore of Humboldt Bay.
To find the refuge, exit Highway 101 at Samoa Boulevard (Route 255). After crossing the freeway, take a left on G Street to park at the interpretive center or a left at I Street to reach the Klopp Lake parking area.
BEST TIMES TO VISIT:
During fall and spring migrations.
WHERE TO STAY:
Choose from campsites, motels or bed and breakfasts in Arcata.
To learn more, visit the Friends of The Arcata Marsh website.
Cover image of Marbled Godwit at Arcata Marsh copyright Steven Holt/soaringseal.com.