Cabin vanishes, leaving just one intentional trace – a symbol

City of Arcata Natural Resources Technician Michaal McDowall at the vacated cabin site Monday morning. Photo courtesy City of Arcata

City of Arcata Natural Resources Technician Michaal McDowall at the vacated cabin site Monday morning. Photo courtesy City of Arcata

Update, April 8, 2016: Those intrigued by this cabin may be interested in the discovery of a second cabin, possibly created by the same individual. Read about it here. – Ed.

Kevin L. Hoover

Mad River Union

ARCATA COMMUNITY FOREST – The mysterious cabin in the woods has been dismantled and removed from its site off Trail 6 in the Arcata Community Forest. The cabin’s demolition is as inscrutable as its origins, with the city still unaware of who is responsible.

A photo taken at the site Sunday showed the structure gone, with some furnishings still there – including a hot wood stove. But by Monday morning, all that remained was the international "squatters" symbol  emblazoned on the ground in charcoal from the stove.


The squatter symbol, marked with charcoal. Photo courtesy City of Arcata

The demolition and removal was consistent with the impeccably ethical, low-impact manner in which the cabin was created and maintained.

FacebookLikeButton.THISONE“That’s the cleanest camp cleanup I’ve ever seen,” said Michael McDowall, natural resources technician for the city’s Environmental Services department. “There wasn’t a nail, not even a gum wrapper left behind.”

McDowall said even the access routes to the site showed virtually no wear, nor had any forestgoers reported seeing anyone hauling heavy items down the trails.

Environmental Srvices Director Mark Andre was relieved that the matter had been resolved. “I just hope it’s not a modular unit that was moved to another public forest location,” he said.

Asked last week whether the city had heard from the cabin resident, Police Chief Tom Chapman said, “No, and I don’t think we ever will.”

Cabin 1

Sunday at noon, the site still sported residual furnishings and a warm stove. Less than 24 hours later, it was all gone. Submitted photo



  1. chupacabra007 said:

    Does no one else notice the Trail Tree marker RIGHT THERE!? He built it right up against a trail marker. I don’t understand how no one else noticed that symbol right next to the squatters symbol!?

  2. Sieglinde Holznudel said:

    why dont they leave this person the fuck alone?

  3. Eunomia said:

    because ‘The Man’ will tell us what is suitable and what is (insert popular made-up word used to define your reality, like ‘sustainable’.. often used for an agenda , as this cabin wasn’t destroying anything or creating a health hazard.

  4. Pingback: Yak tracks lead to new cabin revelations, concealed bunker | Mad River Union

  5. ekanfromdows said:

    I hope they have found another spot to do the same thing…

  6. ekanfromdows said:

    Fred, the comment verification system on your blog is not worth the trouble..stirring it up on this site I see…

  7. Kevin Hoover said:

    Yes indeed. The structure wasn’t built for perpetual residence, and legally it was completely unsustainable.

  8. Kevin Hoover said:

    It’s fairly simple, really – just pack out your waste and follow the leave no trace philosophy, as this person did.

  9. Rebecca Gomez said:

    Awesome. May him or her find another lovely place amongst the trees.

  10. PelicanBay1971 . said:

    When they do find out who it is, they need to have him/her gives classes to the other homeless people out there. This is how you camp responsibly.