Recreational Activities

Hiking And Trails


Whatcom County

Bellingham was named "Trail Town U.S.A." nearly ten years ago by the National Park Service and American Hiking Society. We have miles of trails and thousands of stunning views. Come, take a stroll, breathe the air, find your soul. Stop by the Visitor Center at I-5 Exit 253 or the USFS Center in Glacier on State Route 542 for maps and trails to suit any needs. For more information about our local hiking club go to the Mt. Baker Hiking Club at:

Boulevard Park / South Bay Trail

2 miles of trail. Waterfront park with great views of Bellingham Bay. Trail connects Fairhaven District to downtown Bellingham with a section of the boardwalk over water. Best access is at the park or in Fairhaven at 10th & Mill St. Bellingham, WA.

Lake Padden Park

2.6 miles around lake. Trail skirts this serene city park lake. There’s also 5 miles of bridal and mountain bike trails. Take I-5 exit 252 & drive southeast 2 miles. Bellingham, WA.

Whatcom Falls Park

5.5 miles of trails braid around Whatcom Creek in this woodland park. Features a water fall and old stone bridge. Connects with Bloedel Donovan Park at Whatcom Lake. Take I-5 exit 253 and drive 2 miles east on Lakeway Drive. Bellingham, WA.

Cornwall Park

Wooded park with 1.5 miles of trail and many recreational amenities. Excellent for viewing a wide variety of trees and Squalicum Creek. Display rose garden during summer. Take I-5 exit 256 and drive 1/2 mile south on Meridian St. Bellingham, WA.

Fairhaven Park

Adjacent to Padden Creek, this 1/2 mile loop within the park and beyond features many recreational amenities. The loop trail connects with the Interurban Trail. Located 1/2 mile south of the Fairhaven District, on Chuckanut Drive. Bellingham, WA.

Squallicum Harbor / Zuanich Point Park

Paved 1 mile trail runs from Hotel Bellwether around the harbor to Zuanich Point Park. Beautiful views of the bay and boats. Restaurants. Parking. Bellingham, WA.

Interurban Trail

Nine miles of trail connects the Fairhaven District with Larrabee State Park, running adjacent to Chuckanut Drive most of the way. Switchbacks go through Arroyo Park, or you may skirt around the park on paved roads if bicycling. There are trailheads with parking in Faihaven Park, on Old Fairhaven Parkway, Old Samish Highway and Chuckanut Dr. Bellingham, WA.

Railroad Trail

A gentle grade 3 mile trail through neighborhoods. Connects Memorial Park with Bloedel Donovan Park. Views of the bay from the bridge. Look for marsh birds. There are several access points or begin at one of the parks. Bellingham, WA.

Sehome Hill Arboretum

Wooded hill 5 mile trail system adjacent to Western Washington University. View of bay from observation tower at the summit. May drive to the top of the hill and park. Directions: I-5 exit 252, left on Bill McDonald Pkwy. & right on 25th St. Bellingham, WA.

Hovander Homestead Park / Tennant Lake

Total trial is 4 miles. A 1 1/2 mile trail & boardwalk meanders through a wetland marsh at Tennent Lake. Climb a viewing tower, too! A 1/2 mile trail connects the lake with Hovander’s “big red barn.” There are also 2 miles of trail running along the river dike of the Nooksack River. Take I-5 exit 262 and head west toward Ferndale on Main Street. At the railroad underpass turn south onto Homestead Road and follow the signs. Ferndale, WA.

North Lake Whatcom Park / Hertz Trail

A level 3 mile scenic lakeside trail snuggled tightly between Stewart Mountain and Lake Whatcom. Drive around the north end of the lake and almost to the end of North Shore Road to get to the parking lot and trailhead. Bellingham, WA.

Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

Stroll through a dense forest (3 mile loop trail) and past a large beaver pond. Cougars have been sighted in the area so pay attention. Water crossings have new wooden bridges. Take Lakeway Drive east from the freeway. Stay right on all the forks in the road until you see the sign for Lake Louise. Turn right on Austin Road (turns into Lake Louise Rd.) and follow it 1.6 miles to a small signed parking area on the left. Sudden Valley area in Bellingham, WA.

Semiahmoo Spit Trail

Easy paved 3/4 mile trail with scenic water views next to Semiahmoo Resort. Great for a family bike ride with young children, or for bird watching. And, venture to the other side of the spit for a beach walk 3/4 miles. Take I-5 exit 270 and follow the signs to Semiahmoo Resort (about 9 miles). Blaine, WA.

Fragrance Lake

This popular 1.9 miles / 3 km trail is relatively steep, and takes you to the lake. There is a nice overlook at 9/10 of a mile. Paid parking across from the Larrabee State Park entrance. Bellingham, WA.

Pine & Cedar Lakes

Total trail 2-3 miles. This trail runs steep for 1.5 miles, then levels off on an abandoned railroad grade. Outstanding alpine-type lakes, and vistas of Bellingham, Mt. Baker and the islands at an overlook near the lakes.

Chuckanut Ridge Trail

Moderate to strenuous, 5.2 miles one-way. An awesome meandering trail along the ridge with great views! The photo above was taken from this trail. From North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead, hike 1.2 miles up Hemlock Trail to the North Lost Lake intersection. Then hike 1 mile up N. Lost Lake Trail to where the 3-mile long Chuckanut Ridge Trail begins. Total hiking distance is about 5.2 miles one-way. This moderate hike connects the front side trails (Cleator Road) to the back side trails (North Lost Lake).

Heliotrope Ridge

A 3 mile trail for the best and closest views of glaciers this moderate hike also features forests, flowers, streams and waterfalls. Usually open mid-July through October (depending on snow melt). Directions: Drive to milepost 34.3, turn right on Glacier Creek Rd. #39. Drive 8 miles on this narrow winding road to the trailhead.

Horseshoe Bend

This 1.5 miles / 2.4km trail winds along the North Fork of the Nooksack River and is accessible most of the year. Directions: Park at milepost 35.4 on Mt. Baker Hwy. across from Douglas Fir Campground.

Yellow Aster Butte

A 3.6-5.0 miles / 5.8-8.0km trail travels through parklands, rock gardens, views of summits, streams, and meadowlands. At the summit of the butte enjoy the full panorama. Directions: Drive to milepost 46.2 and turn left on Twin Lakes Rd. #3065. Drive 4.4 miles to parking area.

Damfino Lakes

Nice 3 mile hike leads through forested slopes to open meadows by Excelsior Pass passing by Demfino Lakes on the way. Directions: State Highway 542 (Sunset Drive in Bellingham) go east, about 1 ½ miles past the Glacier Ranger Station to Canyon Creek Road on the left. The quiet forested solitude of Damfino Lakes provides a wilderness setting that is only a short summertime walk from the trailhead. As lovely as the lake setting is, the attraction for most people visiting this area is the drive up Canyon Creek Road and the many wilderness travel possibilities that a visit here provides. Beginning at the highway, the narrow paved Canyon Creek Road climbs quickly. Pullouts offer safe places to stop and appreciate the beautiful vista of Skyline Divide and Mount Baker across the deep Nooksack River Valley. The road has a few rough spots just before the bridge across Canyon Creek at about 7-1/2 miles from the highway. For more information, please visit:

Clayton Beach

A nice short 1/2 mile trail to the beach. Trail begins from Chuckanut Drive just south of the Larrabee Park entrance. Bellingham, WA.

Picture Lake

This short 1/2 mile / 0.8 km easy trail, which is also wheelchair accessible, is not short on views. Get your camera out for the spectacular shot of Mt. Shuksan refecting in the lake. It also offers nice fall color. Directions: Parking is on the Mt. Baker Highway at milepost 55.

Fire and Ice

This is a self-guided interpretive1/2 mile / 0.8 km trail, and is wheelchair accessible. Several other trails also begin at this point. Directions: Park at the Heather Meadows Visitor Center at milepost 56.

Artist Ridge

This self-guided interpretative 1 mile / 1.6 km trail takes you to overlooks with great views of Mt. Baker and other peaks. Directions: trail begins at the east side of the parking lot at Artist Point.

Chain Lakes Trail

Chain Lakes trail is 1+ / 1.6km trail. The first mile of this trail is nearly level, although on the side of a steep slope. It takes you to a junction with a closer view of Mt. Baker. At this point the trail splits and ambitious hikers can continue to Chains Lakes or Ptarminagn Ridge (4-5 more miles). Directions: trail begins at the south west end of the Artist Point parking lot.

Table Mountain

Table Mountain trail is a 1.5 / 2.4 km hike. NO DOGS are allows. No exceptions. The first part of this hike is steep and zig zags up through lava cliffs. Not recommended for young children. It ends at mountain top with panoramic views. Directions: Trail begins at the north west side of the parking lot at Artist Point.

Island County

Central Whidbey is home to the Kettles Trails and Fort Ebey State Park. Here you will find miles of varied terrain hiking and bicycle trails. The Town of Coupeville, the Admiralty Head Lighthouse and Fort Casey State Park, and Greenbank Farm are all home to scenic walking trails with ocean, and prairie views. For more information, please visit:

San Juan County

Gnats Nature Hikes

Come and enjoy a guided hike at Moran State Park or on one of Washington's Outer Island Marine Parks. Learn about the natural history and plant life of the islands. Any weather is good for hiking. Come hiking under a canopy of trees to forget the drizzles or brighten any sunny day. For more information, please call Natalie Herner at: 360-376-6629 or visit

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Photography & Information Courtesy of: Photography Magic, Lawliss Creative, Scherrer Photography, Jon Brunk Photography, Getty Images, iStock and the following Chambers of Commerce's and Visitor Bureau's from: Bellingham/Whatcom County, Birch Bay, Blaine, Bow, Everson-Nooksack, Ferndale, Mt. Baker Foothills, Point Roberts, Sumas, Anacortes, Burlington, Concrete, La Conner, Mount Vernon, Sedro-Woolley, Camano Island, Central Whidbey, Coupeville, Langley, The Greater Oak Harbor, San Juan Island, Lopez Island and Orcas Island.