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About Mad River Beach County Park in Arcata, California

Mad River Beach County Park is located where Mad River approaches the ocean a couple miles south of the actual river mouth. This location provides a great ocean beach access and a safe protected boat launch area on the Mad River as well. Kayakers, canoeists, boaters, and SUPers can put in onto the river from a lot located on the right just before the road ends at the beach. There is a horse staging area at the boat launch for horseback riders. Kids and adults can play in the dunes or beachcomb in either direction on this vast beach. Bicyclists and runners will enjoy the Hammond Coastal Trail which starts at a bridge over the river on the drive to Mad River Beach and runs north about five miles to Clam Beach.

To get here, take the Janes Road exit off of Highway 101 north of Arcata. Head west, then turn right on Heindon Road, left on Miller Lane, and right on Mad River Road. The beach parking area is at the end of this road.

1 Mad River Rd
Arcata, CA 95521
Park Name
Mad River Beach County Park
County Park
Pet Details
Dogs allowed off-leash on the wave slope and on-leash on dry sand
Free parking at both lots
Beach Walking, Equestrian Use, Bonfires, Beachcombing, Canoeing, Kayaking, Boating, Fishing, Biking, Birdwatching
Boat Launch, Dunes, Restrooms
Map of Mad River Beach County Park
McKinleyville, US
8:00 pm, May 21, 2024
temperature icon 52°F
L: 46° H: 53°
Feels like 50.76 °F broken clouds
Wind gusts: 4 m/s
UV Index: 0.09
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 7 km
Sunrise: 5:53 am
Sunset: 8:33 pm
Humidity 89 %
Pressure1020 mb
Wind 4 m/s

Nearby Beaches

Lanphere Dunes

2.5 miles away

Lanphere Dunes on the Samoa Peninsula near Arcata is the northernmost dunes unit that is managed by the US...

View beach

Nearby Attractions

Nearby Lodging


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