Fresh Air, Freedom & Fish
Scotia offers visitors a rare opportunity to see what a “company town” in American used to look like. Company towns like Scotia were established by large lumber companies to provide for the social, commercial and housing needs of their employees. Driving through Scotia is like stepping back to a time when the forests of Humboldt County supplied building materials for much of California and the West.
Scotia today is transitioning into a community of private residences, with eventually all 270 houses in town being sold to individual homeowners. These picturesque cottages were built between 1905 and the early 1950s and evoke memories of an earlier time. Driving through town you can envision what Scotia was like when it was founded in the 1860s. Present day amenities in Scotia include a grocery store with a very popular deli, a pharmacy, Renner fuel station, medical clinic, Fireman's Park and picnic area, a baseball field, soccer field, and more. This beautiful town is located about 30 miles south of Eureka, bordered on one side by a striking wooded hillside and on the other end by the Wild and Scenic Eel River.
Fisheries Center — Free, self-guided tours of this exhibit allow visitors the opportunity to observe the life cycles of Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Trout living in an environment very much like their natural habitat. This exhibit is open from 8am to 3:30pm daily and is located towards the south end of Main Street in Scotia. Guided or group tours can be arranged by calling Humboldt Redwood Company (which owns and operated the Fisheries Exhibit) at 707-764-4299.
Scotia Lodge — This 100-year-old property was reopened in 2021 after sitting idle for several years. It currently features 22 rooms and suites, plus a restaurant and bar, and on-site massage and spa services. Crowdfunding to build a pool on the hotel grounds is currently underway. It is the nearest hotel to the Northern Entrance to Avenue of the Giants.
Rio Dell, Rio Dell, Scotia's next door neighbor, also grew out of the lumber industry. Located 25 miles south of Eureka, the town is a rural community with a population of about 3,300. Rio Dell sits in a beautiful valley surrounded by wooded mountains and the Eel River with river access and campground. Rio Dell has an excellent park with a picnicking area, a playground, a baseball diamond and recreational equipment. You'll find a municipal tennis court, community library and several churches in Rio Dell. There are also a grocery store, gas station, automotive repair shops, a motel, restaurants, dispensary, and other businesses.