SITE 15
LAKE TOLOWA ESTUARY

Directions: Go north on Highway 101 0.8 mile to Northcrest Drive, turn left, go 5.8 miles (Northcrest becomes Lake Earl Drive) to Lower Lake Road, turn left, go 2.5 miles to Kellogg Road, turn left, go 0.8 mile to Tell Boulevard, turn left, go 0.4 mile to 3rd intersection, turn right 0.2 mile to “T,” turn left. Bear left at 0.1 and 0.6 miles from “T,” go straight (south) 2.4 miles to end and park. Walk south to estuary.

Amenities:

hiking lodging food gas important bird area

S
ponsor: Tolowa Dunes Stewards
 
Description: Lake Tolowa and Lake Earl comprise the West’s largest coastal lagoon south of Alaska, and form the heart of 11,000 acres of protected land. This is a designated California Important Bird Area with 300 bird species recorded. On the straight-away before the lagoon, look for Northern Shrike in winter and Vesper and Savannah Sparrows in summer, Northern Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur, and winter flocks of American Pipit. Walk south via the beach or along the lagoon to Lake Tolowa mouth. On the water, look for large gatherings of Pelican, Cormorant, Gull, and Tern.  American and Pacific Golden-plover, Pectoral Sandpiper, Wilson’s Snipe, Western Sandpiper, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, and Snowy Plover work the lagoon edge and marshy areas. Rarities include Mountain Plover and Upland Sandpiper. Elegant Tern and Snow Bunting are nearly annual visitors.
 
Lake Tolowa Estuary
 

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