This whole area is a little confusing to figure out. Don't loose sleep over it. There are a lot of gorgeous areas, and it's hard to recommend the best anything. Just get out and enjoy the magnificent Trees. The following are just some random ideas and thoughts.
Here is a link to the trails in most of the major Coastal Northern Redwood Parks complete with distance, elevation gains, and scenic ratings: http://www.redwoodhikes.com
From my limited experience, the ratings are correct. One park is not better than the others. They all have great stuff, just pick several trails and go for it.
Here is a link specific for Humboldt Hiking (trail head, etc.) - http://humboldtredwoods.org/hiking Below are just some random personal impressions of the entire Northern section - Crescent City to below Humboldt:
Stout Grove - great, and an easy walk - access off Howland Hill Road
Howland Hill Road - fabulous 10/10 scenic easy dirt road - highly recommend it - 1/10 difficulty
The Coastal off road drive at Klamath does not connect to Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway
The Klamath overlook off Requa was not an impressive view point
Enderts Beach - from the top parking area, it didn't draw me in (i.e., didn't do it)
Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway - This is essentially Prairie Creek Redwood Park - Take it!
Fern Canyon - totally enjoyed the dirt road going out there - at most it's 2/10 difficulty, i.e. pretty easy - Fern Canyon itself - really didn't get why it's that fabulous - bring water shoes
The James Irvine/Miners trail to Fern canyon is reported to be 5 stars out of 5.
Lady Bird Johnson Grove - great and easy
Trillium Falls was good
Patrick's Point - Just hit the biggest attractions, then move on
Trinidad Head Loop - there are a lot of better hikes
Arcata City (above Eureka) - randomly just dropped by - wow, what fun it was on a Sunday afternoon (any central market, fair, show would work). It's wonderfully "Kookie" and what a great place to go to college (Humboldt State)
Eureka - sorry, I don't get it. They are trying to attract tourists. It doesn't "do it" for me. There should be a 101 fwy bypass road so it can be avoided.
Humboldt - Founders Grove, Big tree area, and Rockefeller Grove are all great and easy and close to each other. Rockefeller is 1.2 miles west on Manttole Road on your left (not well marked). Picking a longer trail, and missing these Groves also seems like a good plan. The Greig-French-Bell Grove was different and really fun to find your own trail through the really green forest floor. Here's a link for the latter trail - http://www.redwoodhikes.com/Humboldt/GFB.html
The Drive Through Tree - what a tourist trap (but only $5)
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