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Ferndale, the Victorian Village

updated 6-11-10    

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California's Redwood Coast

Explore Humboldt County

Ferndale nestles in a lush, green valley, surrounded by the pasture lands of thriving dairy farms. During the winter Egrets frequent the meadows where Holstein, Jersey, and Guernsey herds graze. More than 450 species of birds have been spotted in Humboldt County. During the Christmas bird counts, the Ferndale area has been consistently in the top 20 of the more than 1,600 Audubon counts held annually in North America.

Birdwatching in Russ Park: 110 acres of closed-canopy forest bird sanctuary with more than 3 miles of hiking trails. Russ Park was donated to Ferndale by Zipporah Patrick Russ in 1920 "as a park...and refuge and breeding place for birds." Despite its location in Ferndale, between California's Humboldt Redwoods State Park and the Redwood National Forest, Russ Park is a Sitka Spruce forest which is more rare than Redwoods.

California's Lost Coast:

  • Centerville Beach: Five miles west of Ferndale, Centerville provides access to nine miles of ocean beach. Dairy farms back the wild beach to the north and steep cliffs are to the south. Sandpipers scurry along the water's edge and cormorants, gulls and pelicans fly along the water. Harbor seals can be seen peering curiously from the breakers. From November 15th to March 1st, one of the largest coastal congregations of Tundra Swans can be found in the Eel River Bottoms north of Centerville Road. Gray Whales migrate south along the coast from December through February, returning January through May. Mother whales and their young travel through the area very close to land in April and May. The bluffs just south of Centerville Beach may allow observation from land (another excellent site is Table Bluff). Unsupervised; no facilties or services.
  • Hike the Sounding Seas & Eel River Estuary PreservesSounding Seas & Eel River Estuary Preserves: Ranger-guided tours (at no charge) of the sloughs, wetlands, dunes and beach located just north of Centerville Beach, and stretching to the south spit of the Eel River, this magnificent property is owned and managed by the state's largest non-profit land steward, the Wildlands Conservancy. Register for a prescheduled date (see events list), or arrange a hike for your group by calling Rangers Jerome or Zach, 707-762-4724.
  • Eel River Delta: Camp Weott Guide Services offers a narrated, 2-hour boat tour which explores the history and wildlife of the Eel River Estuary. Naturalist Bruce Slocum has lived in the area most of his life. Bruce will tell you the history of the Delta and point out the local animal populations as you travel down the river toward the Pacific. Trips are by appointment, beginning one hour before high tide. Call 707-786-4187 or 707-786-4904.
  • Camping and Hiking: Ferndale is the northern gateway to the King Range National Conservation Area, known as the Lost Coast. The spectacular meeting of land and sea is a dominant feature, but it is also an area of mountain streams, trails and forests ideal for camping, hiking, fishing, hunting and sightseeing. There are five developed recreation sites in addition to several primitive camps. The King Crest and Chemise Mountain trails have been designated as National Recreation Trails. For a scenic drive of 3-6 hours, loop from the Wildcat Road to Cape Mendocino (the westernmost point in the continental U.S.), Petrolia (home of the first oil well in California), Honeydew, and then to Rockefeller Forest and Highway 101.

Fishing Spots and Access on the Eel River

Ferndale Cemetery: With historic markers dating back to the last century, the pioneer cemetery is a surprisingly popular attraction. Views of the ocean to the west, overlooking Ferndale and the Eel River Valley to the east.

bocceFiremen's Park: At the end of Main and Berding Streets, Firemen's Park offers parking for RVs, picnic areas, an old-fashioned playground, ball field, basketball court, bocce courts and barbecue pits.

Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge: More than 200 bird species, including 80 kinds of waterbirds and four endangered species regularly visit the bay. The refuge is 2,200 acres of seasonal wetlands, salt marshes, grassland, open bay and mud flats. Peak viewing season is September through March when the Bay is the winter home for thousands of migratory ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds. Summer visitors will see many gulls, terns, cormorants, pelicans, egrets and herons. There are two interpreted trails of less than 2 miles in length; access is through Loleta.

Humboldt Botanical Garden: Documented native and exotic plants adapted to the local climate in a planned landscape provide an educational, aesthetic, and tranquil experience for visitors. A work in progress, the 44.5-acre site includes a completed native plant garden, greenhouse, earth sculpture, and natural riparian area. Upcoming garden plantings include temperate woodland garden and ornamental terrace garden. From Highway 101 take the College of the Redwoods exit #698, south of Eureka, and turn at the north entrance to campus, 7351 Tompkins Hill Road. Open to the public for special events as well as Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. 707-442-5139

Humboldt County Fairgrounds & Cape Mendocino Lighthouse: A fun place to walk and explore (don't miss the champion cow grave markers outside the art building), even when nothing is scheduled, the fairgrounds are often busy with Scout-o-ramas, High School Rodeo, antique shows, etc. However, the biggest event of the year is the Humboldt County Fair & Horse Races each August (this is the only time of year when camping and RV facilities are unavailable), now in its 101st year. While you're at the fairgrounds take note of the Cape Mendocino lighthouse replica, dedicated in 1948. It houses the original fresnel lens which was ground in France and shipped around the horn in 1868. This lens emits 135,000 candle power in each of 16 beams and is lit each evening of the Humboldt County Fair. Call 707-786-9511 for fairgrounds information.

The Village Green: A triangle of green surrounded by blossoming trees beside Ferndale City Hall (834 Main Street), the Village Green gazebo houses the State Historical Landmark No. 883 plaque. The green is the traditional site of the annual Ice Cream Social and other community events.

Victorian Village Self-Guided Tours: Pick up a free souvenir newspaper from The Ferndale Enterprise office or Ferndale shops for walking and driving tour maps to historic homes, churches, and Main Street shops. (Call 707-786-4477 well in advance is you would like your group tour conducted by a local volunteer.)


send e-mailFor more information, call the
Ferndale Chamber of Commerce: (707) 786-4477


More Ferndale Fun:

Click for Ferndale, California Forecast Ferndale pressed pennies Photo courtesy of Tom Renner
Building "The Majestic"
   
Recognition for Ferndale:

Dozen Destinctive Destinations, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Prettiest Painted Place in America award

Best of the North Coast Reader's Choice Award
Centerville Beach named Best
Beach on the North Coast!

Ferndale is listed in many guidebooks, including Weekend Adventures in
San Francisco & Northern California

Book cover

   

   
Victorian Village of Ferndale, CA © 1997-2012 / Ferndale Chamber of Commerce
Website by Briggs Arts: Writing & Design Services