Whatcom Falls Park is an accessible place for all kinds of activities, even beyond hiking, which makes it one of Bellingham’s most popular destinations regardless of season. Hikers, bikers, fishing enthusiasts, and dog-walkers are all welcome. The miles of wide trails are gravel and the small rolling hills are doable for nearly every level of hiker. Enter the park from one of two locations, at 1401 Electric Avenue or, to get to the lower playground, fish hatchery and picnic area, use the entrance off of Lakeway Drive. Whichever way you get there, trails are immediately accessible from the parking lot to take you into the green, moss-filled forest.
Visitors will begin their journey passing the fish hatchery and crossing over the historic bridge. The fish hatchery and sandstone bridge were built during the Great Depression as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal program. In 1939, workers brought Chuckanut Sandstone from a burned building in downtown Bellingham to construct the bridge over the roaring falls. Today, the bridge gives a thematic entrance to miles of trails and provides a safe crossing over Whatcom Creek.
The trails continue to lead to other historic landmarks along the way. Most recent are the interpretive displays that mark the 1999 Whatcom Creek burn site, telling the story of the terrible tragedy that killed two local boys and one adult. Another popular destination, Derby Pond, is stocked by the fish hatchery and seasonally open to fishers who are 14 years old and under. And, if you are looking to explore beyond the 241 acres, trails connect from Whatcom Falls Park to downtown Bellingham and Bloedel Donovan Park on Lake Whatcom.
Thanks to the immense amount of green spaces and interurban trails, Bellingham is a great spot to explore the nearby wilderness no matter the time of year. Whatcom Falls Park brings history and nature together for an even more educational outdoor experience.
1401 Electric Ave., Bellingham cob.org
Want more hiking recommendations? Try Sehome Arboretum.