Humboldt County

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Fernbridge, California Photos, Information, Hotels and Map

fernbridge califiornia antiques stores
eel river fernbridge


Fernbridge California--blink and you may miss it. With a population of 59 or so people, the town on the Eel River is the gateway to Ferndale. Fernbridge once was more populated place but industries have changed its face.


Fernbridge's neighbor to the west, Ferndale, captivates the interest (and sometimes hearts) of travelers who've heard about the charming Victorian village with its shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and beautifully-preserved buildings. Without Fernbridge however, the historic buildings of Ferndale may have diminished and faded into decay as so much of the late 19th and early 20th century California town architecture has.


Fernbridge, the namesake for both a small town and the town's centerpiece bridge, connects Ferndale with the outside world and millions of travelers passing through Redwood Country in Humboldt County on California Highway 101, thanks to the bridge. While the bridge remains the busiest thoroughfare in town, side by side photographs would show a different picture a century later. A convenience market, tractor store, antiques mall and Humboldt Creamery plant where ice cream is made for clients such as Costco (Kirkland brand) and Double Rainbow brand of San Francisco, are some of the buildings scattered along Highway 211 and Depot Road in the sparsely-populated Fernbridge.


Ferndale hasn't always relied on Fernbridge for trade and commerce. Back in the 1800s, Ferndale was a commercial hub sandwiched between the Eel River and the Pacific Ocean. As the river silted, development moved to Humboldt Bay with the railroad and highway skirting Ferndale, and cutting it off at Fernbridge. 


While Friends of the Eel River proclaim salmon fishing is nearly gone due to a predator Northern Pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis), the largest species of the Minnow Family, fishermen enjoy casting a line at the mouth of the Eel in the towns of Loleta, Fernbridge, and Fortuna. Once abundant and thriving, you can still find Chinook salmon 12 to 30 pounds in weight and early steelhead in late fall and early winter. Slow-moving and stillwaters provide easily accessible fishing spots.


In late May on Memorial Day weekend, Fernbridge participates in the wackiest race on land,  Kinetic Sculpture Race. People-powered contraptions or sculptures complete a 38-mi/60-km course over three days, with the highest award going not to the winner but to the contestant who comes in closest to the middle. Understanding the logic of the race is not as important as experiencing it but, according to the race's founders, winning and losing are both extremes, therefore perfection lies somewhere in the middle. Contestants utilize ordinary vehicles or design their own creations and power them along a route from Arcata to Ferndale. As they cross Fernbridge, they're in the home stretch in a hilarious, yet worthy event that raises money for special causes.


Humboldt Creamery produces some of the finest ice creams on the market in Fernbridge.  Humboldt Creamery is a cooperative of approximately 60 member dairies, many of them family-owned businesses. Together they supply fresh milk which is used in the production of fluid milk, powdered milk, ice cream and frozen desserts. While most California dairies confine cows and feed them the controversial growth hormone rBST,  Humboldt Creamery dairies keep their cows grazing on pastures most of the time and do not use growth hormones that potentially affect the health of youth and adults consuming these harmful products.


Humboldt Creamery, Loleta Cheese Co. and Rumiano Cheese Co., the three dairy processors that buy raw milk from dairies in Humboldt and Del Norte counties differentiate many of their products as natural, rBST-free. Gaining in popularity, the demand for these natural foods is huge and is expected to grow.


Getting to Fernbridge: From California Highway 101, take the Fernbridge/Ferndale exit. Cross historic Fernbridge to enjoy the scenic beauty of a region that's slightly tucked away in time.


Where to Stay: Your best bet for a variety of accommodations can be found at Fortuna 3 miles away or Eureka just up the road a ways.




Points of Interest: Be sure to visit Loleta Cheese Factory in Loleta, California 2.4 miles away and Ferndale, 5 miles beyond the bridge.

Fernbridge Antique Mall
597 Fernbridge Drive Tel: 707-25-8820
40 Dealers offering a wide selection of antiques and collectibles.
In a turn of the century building at the gateway to Ferndale, dealers offer art pottery, depression glass, English pine furniture, vintage clothing and accessories, quilts, primitives, antique lighting, coins, marbles, dolls toys and more. Located just off Highway 101, directly across from the famous Fernbridge Bridge. Open 7 days a week 10am - 5pm

Fernbridge Meat and Cold Storage Company
Fernbridge Meat and Cold Storage Company is famous for its cured sausages and jerked meats.

Humboldt Creamery Association 06-0345
Railroad Avenue
Fernbridge, California 95540
Phone Number: 707-725-6182, Fax 707-725-6186

Fernbridge Tractor & Equipment Company
Address 20 Depot Road
Fernbridge, CA 95540      Directions: Take Highway 101 to Ferndale/Fernbridge exit.
Continue on Frontage Road until you reach the turnoff for Ferndale.
Telephone (707) 725-5174 /  (800) 427-5174
Fernbridge Tractor & Equipment Company carries products such as  John Deere Agriculture Equipment: Tractors from 40 to 425 horsepower, Hay and Forage Equipment, Telehandlers and Tillage. Lawn and Garden Tractors include Walk Behind and Riding Mowers, Gator Utilities Vehicles, Compact Utility Tractors, Rototillers and Front End Loaders. Gearmore Products include Blades and Scrapers, Post Hole Diggers and Pounders, Chippers and Tillers. Lely Roterras, Lely Scrapers, Hibiscus Hay Rakes, McHale Wrappers, Solexm Alamo Products, Kifco AgRain and Victor Forage Equipment are carried by this full service store. They also sell some great tractor replica ride toys for children.