Welcome to Samoa Peninsula
At the peninsula’s south end, Samoa Dunes Recreation Area is good for picnicking and fishing. For wildlife, head to Mad River Slough & Dunes; from Arcata, take Samoa Blvd west for 3 miles, then turn right at Young St, the Manila turn-off. Park at the community center lot, from where a trail passes mudflats, salt marsh and tidal channels. There are over 200 species of birds: migrating waterfowl in spring and fall, songbirds in spring and summer, shorebirds in fall and winter, and waders year-round.
These undisturbed dunes reach heights of over 80ft. Because of the environment’s fragility, access is by guided tour only. Friends of the Dunes (www.friendsofthedunes.org) leads free guided walks.