1 vote

McCann Ferry


McCann Ferry

Operators shack, West side of Eel River.

Photo taken by Craig Philpott in January 2010


BH Photo #152782


Street View 


Ferry is a skiff with outboard motor operated by Humboldt County Public Works Department.

History and Controversy 

Written by Craig Philpott

McCann Ferry is operated by Humboldt County Public Works Department during periods of high water when the adjacent low level McCann Bridge is flooded by annual flooding of Eel River. Middle fork of the Eel River is protected by State and Federal Wild and Scenic River status and modifications and enhancements to the McCann Bridge have been blocked by permitting issues for nearly ten years.



Ferry across Eel River, Middle Fork on McCann Road
Humboldt County, California
Open to traffic
Ferry operates every winter crossing Eel River
People ferry is small skiff operated by Humboldt County Public Works Department.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.32825, -123.84211   (decimal degrees)
40°19'42" N, 123°50'32" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/428462/4464531 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Myers Flat
150 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 43900 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


California (2,658)
Eel River (California) (24)
Ferry (191)
Have street view (27,643)
Humboldt County, California (86)
Open (40,223)
Owned by county (21,175)

Update Log 

  • April 11, 2013: New Street View added by Mike Goff
  • January 17, 2010: Essay added by Craig Philpott

Related Bridges 


  • Craig Philpott - craigphilpott63 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Mike Goff - michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com


McCann Ferry
Posted May 5, 2016, by Greg McCann (sagebrushgardener [at] gmail [dot] com)

I know this is an old thread, but just in case anyone finds it, I thought this might be interesting. This is a picture of my grandfather, John McCann (no relation to the founder of McCann, CA, as far as I know) at the McCann railroad depot, not far from the ferry. I think the picture was taken sometime in the early 60s. I believe most of what used to be here was wiped out in the 1964 flood.


McCann Ferry
Posted March 21, 2012, by Craig Philpott (cphilpott [at] puc [dot] edu)

The actual ferry is right there in the pictures, an aluminum skiff. The shed is the old warming shed for the ferry operator, but now the ferryman usually waits for business while sitting in his truck. The ferry is only in service during high water when the low water bridge is flooded just upstream. The entire enterprise could be ended if the bridge were extended and/or raised but no action is taken, year after year since the river has an environmental protection status.

McCann Ferry
Posted March 21, 2012, by Kyle (86kylexj [at] wavecable [dot] com)

I feel like kicking myself in the pants for not knowing about this gem.

McCann Ferry
Posted March 21, 2012, by Kyle (86kylexj [at] wavecable [dot] com)

What is in that shed on the first page and what does the ferry actually look like?

Man if I knew about this I'd have begged Dad to drive to the site since we love exploring back roads when possible but didn't know this existed. Poo!

So close yet so far!

McCann Ferry
Posted August 30, 2010, by Craig Philpott (cphilpott [at] puc [dot] edu)

A couple responses. In the event that the McCann bridge is flooded the ferry skiff is operated by the county at no charge as part of the county road system. The skiff does not cross over the bridge at high water but rather traverses the river downstream of the flooded bridge. The bridge and ferry serve several farms and about half a dozen families on the North side of the river and in most cases the families park a vehicle on each side of the river during flooding. The skiff is used on school days in the Winter to ferry children to the school bus as well. The bridge has never been extended clear across the flood plain, even as a low bridge, due to the state and federal classification of the river as a wild river.

McCann Ferry
Posted August 30, 2010, by Anonymous

If the bridge was flooded, I don't think I'd trust that skiff in fast moving high water.

McCann Ferry
Posted August 30, 2010, by Kyle (86kylexj [at] wavecable [dot] com)

I live in Silverton Oregon and have been to Eureka CA because my dad used to live there but never knew about this ferry.

What is the main target audience for this ferry that would use it the most?

Do people just park their cars and pick-up trucks then walk to their homes on the other side when they can't cross the bridge?

Is it a toll ferry?

I am going to assume it's not since you haven't posted anything saying so.