The town of Fortuna was established around 1875 by farmers, merchants and lumbermen from northern Humboldt County. Originally called Springville, due to the numerous springs in the surrounding hills, its name was later changed to Slide and finally to Fortuna. It's said the name was chosen because the town's citizens felt fortunate to live there.
Fortuna is located mid-way in Humboldt County, some 250 miles north of San Francisco. It qualifies as the "Northern Gateway to the Redwood Empire."
Salmon fishing is nearby on the Eel River, as well as surf and crab fishing and clam digging on beaches at King Salmon or Humboldt Bay a short distance away.
Fortuna enjoys a moderate climate that is comfortable in summer, with ample winter and spring rains that provide a favorable growing season. Fortuna is often sunnier than more coastal towns such as Ferndale and Eureka.
Fortuna is one of the principal shopping centers for the large expanse of Humboldt County that lies to the south. Retail stores, building supplies, plenty of lodging and professional businesses make it a resource for the surrounding areas.
Lovely Rohner Park is a focal point with its roller rink, museum, hiking trails, picnic facilities, sports leagues and meeting rooms.
Fortunans are also proud of their the new River Lodge Conference Center, situated near the Eel River on Riverwalk Drive. A close up view of the river is easily accessible from the 3 mile gravel path that runs along the river bank. This peaceful setting is perfect for wildlife viewing, jogging and walking.
In all directions from Fortuna there are recreational opportunities to fit every taste. Ten miles to the west is Centerville Beach, Grizzly Creek State Park is a half hour east on Highway 36, and another hour-and-a-half on the same route leads to Ruth Lake.
Just five minutes north of Fortuna is the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 2,200 acres of seasonal wetlands that attracts more than 200 bird species. Humboldt Bay is an important stop for birds migrating on the Pacific Flyway. Take Highway 101 to the Hookton Road exit and look for sign.
Humboldt Visitors' Guide